Members of unison, the uk’s largest union, have today voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action to protect their pensions.

The union balloted members including nurses, teaching assistants, social workers, care assistants, paramedics, police staff, school dinner ladies, probation workers and cleaners.

Overall: Yes: 245,358

No: 70,253



Local Government (Including Scotland)

Yes 171,428

No 54,500

76% in favour – Turnout 30%

NHS (including Scotland)

Yes 73,930 No 15,753

82% in favour – Turnout 25%

Dave Prentis, General Secretary of UNISON said:

“The decisive yes vote in the ballot, reflects the deep concern that our members have over Government ministers’ proposals for their pensions. “Yesterday’s statement in Parliament was a marked improvement on earlier proposals.

“But, it is important to understand that the statement has to be translated into offers in the scheme specific talks. We still have had no offer in those negotiations, where such an offer can legitimately be made.

“We support the TUC day of action on 30 November, but will be negotiating right up to then and beyond to get a fair deal for our members.” Senior lay officials of the union are meeting throughout the afternoon to discuss the latest Government statement on pensions and to decide what action to take as a result of the strike ballot.


I want to strike but I'm worried about....

I can’t afford to strike

I'm a frontline worker - what about the clients I work with? They are vulnerable - I can't let them down.

I work for a Charity / Housing Association / Voluntary Organisation so why am I affected by public sector pensions?

I am facing redundancy. Won't going on strike make it more likely I am made redundant?

My employer is saying that a one day strike would be seen as a break in service and that my that continuity of service would be broken – is this true?

If I strike will that make my service be more (or less) likely to be outsourced?

I'm in my first 12 months of employment - what are my rights?

What if I'm on sick leave?

What if I take annual leave?

Are my pension contributions affected if I take strike action?

Why should I strike when.....

I earn less than £15,000 so my contributions won’t change so why should I strike?

Why should I strike when I can just leave the scheme?

Why should I strike when I'm not in the pension scheme?

I think I’d be better off under the 'career average' (CARE) scheme so why should I strike?

Do I have to strike?

Would I still have to strike if I voted 'No'?

About the ballot

Will I get a vote?

What's the ballot timetable?

Are other unions balloting for action?

If members vote 'yes' to industrial action, what happens next?

Do I have to tell my employer if I am going on strike?

Will I lose pay and if so how much?

I'm not a member yet - can I join now and still take part in the proposed action?

What should I do if I'm not involved in the ballot or any action?

Emergency cover & exemptions from strike action

General advice: It is the responsibility of your employer to providing appropriate emergency cover. This will need to be negotiated locally.