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Two of the largest unions representing civil servants and health workers are to strike on May 10, the day after the Queen’s Speech, in the long-running dispute over reforms to public sector pensions.
The Public and Commercial Services union and Unite said members would take action over the government’s plan for higher contributions, later retirement and a shift from final-salary to career-average pensions. The Queen’s Speech is expected to include a parliamentary bill on the pension changes.
The PCS said there would be another strike at the end of June and threatened further co-ordinated action with other unions in the civil service, health and education sectors.
The dispute has gone on for more than a year but the unprecedented coalition of 29 unions that mounted a strike by 1.1m workers in November has fragmented, with most consulting members over the government’s final offer.
The May 10 strike will be on a smaller scale. The PCS has 290,000 members, mainly in the civil service, while Unite has 100,000 in health.
The National Union of Teachers said it would not strike on May 10 but offered support to those that did.
Meanwhile workers at Tube Lines, which maintains part of London’s underground network, will strike for 72 hours next week in pursuit of the same pensions and benefits as other London Underground staff. RMT members will walk out from 4pm on Tuesday 24 April, threatening disruption on the Piccadilly, Northern and Jubilee lines.