30th Nov 2011
Branch joins thousands in Aberdeen to
tell Government "Hands off our Pensions"
here for all the action on strike day in Scotland as it happened
Branch members joined with over two thousand colleagues from
other trade unions and community groups to tell this coalition
government that we will defend our pensions.
big thank you to all our members who came out on strike to support
the Day of Action for pensions justice, not just for yourselves
but for your colleagues in the pensions scheme and for all those
who come after.
In a fantastic show of unity, members from all the public sector
trade unions gathered in the Castlegate in Aberdeen to hear a
range of speakers calling on the Coalition Government to think
again on their pensions proposals.
And before that branch members had been up from early doors to
join picket lines across Aberdeenshire. There were pickets at
Seafield House in Banff, where Branch steward Julie Neale chained
herself to a pillar in protest at the attacks on our pensions;
at Gordon House; Woodhill House, Stonehaven; and at Meldrum and
After being treated to coffee and bacon rolls to warm them up,
pickets streamed into the Castlegate to join one of the largest
crowds seen there in years. Banners, flags and placards made a
colourful show as vuvuzelas and whistles joined the crowd's cheers
and applause for the speakers.
Click here for more photos of pickets
here for more pics
Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald congratulated strikers for taking
action to defend their pensions and pledged his support for the
action. He condemned George Osborne's "failed policies"
on the economy and his plans for further public service cuts in
his Autumn statement. With growth at an all time low and increased
borrowing it was clear that these policies are not working, Lewis
told the crowds, as he called on the government to rethink.
"Enough is enough"
Branch Chair, Kate Ramsden was one of the UNISON speakers. She
told the rally that public sector workers do not take strike action
lightly and that it is a mark of the real anger they feel that
they had turned out in such numbers today.
Kate said, "Let's nail the lies of this ConDem Government.
Our pensions are not "gold-plated". An average local government
pension is around £4,500 and for women it's under £3,000 Compare
that to the average pension of a Director of a FTSE 100 company
- £175,000. These are the real gold plated pensions!"
She warned of the government's divide and rule tactics.
"Cutting public sector pensions won't make private sector
pensions any better. In fact it will just make it harder to win
pensions justice for all. That is why our colleagues in private
sector unions are supporting our action today and we thank them
"The real pensions divide is between those at the top of
the earnings chain and the rest of us."
"And this is the message we need to get across," she
added. "We in the trade unions are on the side of fairness
and justice for all. We condemn the growing inequality in this
country where the rich are getting richer while the rest of us
pay the price. We stand here to tell this government that enough
Sandra Dee Masson
NEC member Sandra Dee Masson also addressed the Rally. She slammed
the government's attacks on our pensions. "Our members are
having to pay more, and work longer for a poorer pension at the
end of the day. Once again ordinary people are being made to pay
for a crisis they did not create."
Sandra Dee called on the UK government to get back round the
table and negotiate properly on our pensions.
Update 12th Nov 2011
Join the Day of Action
for pensions justice on 30th November and fight for decent pensions
"Don't push us around on pensions"
- All out on 30 November!
here for a poster
members have delivered a majority 'YES' vote for strike action
to protect their pensions.
Over 1 million Unison members will join the other 2 million Public
Sector union members on November 30th in the biggest strike Britain
has ever seen. This action will send a clear message to the government
that enough is enough.
The branch is calling on all our members to join with other public
service unions, the TUC and the STUC and take action on 30th November
to protect our pensions.
Kate Ramsden, Branch Chair said, "We are calling on our
members to take action not just for ourselves, but for our children
and our children's children. We expect all our members to take
"We need to take action today for fairness tomorrow."
The Branch will be taking part in a number of pickets across
Aberdeenshire. If you want to join a picket, please contact the
Branch Officers and activists below.
Woodhill House and Carlton House, Stonehaven (or if
you want to organise a picket) contact Inez Teece on 01224
Gordon House contact Kate Ramsden on 07767 027722
Seafield House, Banff contact Julie Neale by phoning the
Resource Centre on 01224 620624
Rolls and coffee will be available at Archibald Simpsons in Aberdeen
from 10.30am for members who have been on picket duty so that
you can warm up before the Rally.
Come along to the Rally in Aberdeen
Aberdeen Trades Union Council(ATUC) has organised a Rally at
12.30pm in the Castlegate in Aberdeen, with a range of local speakers.
Please come along to that and encourage as many of your colleagues
to get along too.
for an ATUC poster
Why we need to act now
The UK government has frozen our pay, cut our services and taken
our jobs. The price of food and fuel has risen sharply whilst
take home pay has plummeted in real terms. Ordinary people are
paying the price of bailing out the banks whilst boardroom pay
has rocketed by almost 50%.
this government is coming after our pensions. It wants us to pay
more, work longer and has already made sure we will get less by
linking our pensions to the lower Consumer Price Index.
Kate Ramsden, Branch Chair said, "Yet again this government
is hitting the low paid whilst their friends in big business and
the banks get pay rises of 49% and keep their real "gold
"Cutting public service workers pensions wonít make anyone's
pension in the private sector better. In fact it will make it
harder for us to win pensions justice for all," warned Kate.
"Workers in public services are modestly paid. Their pay
has been frozen while the price of basics is shooting up.
"Now many are being told to accept major changes by a UK
government which happily cancelled the bankerís bonus tax which
could have raised 3 billion pounds.
"Itís wrong to make workers in public services suffer to
pay for bailing out the banks.
"The Tory led Coalition is attacking pensions and the Scottish
Government is doing little to stand in its way. We must act now
and stand up for pensions justice for all."
Ian McDonald, Branch Pensions Champion added, "UNISON
members have voted overwhelmingly to join the STUC and TUC co-ordinated
day of action.
"Pressure from UNISON, including our ballot of more than
a million members, has seen the government move significantly
from its original proposals.
"But at the moment, all the government has spelled out is
outline principles - there are no detailed offers for the different
public service pension schemes that members can make a decision
"UNISON will continue to negotiate on our members' behalf
right up until 30 November and will consult members when any firm
offer is received.
"However, until and unless we have a firm offer, we need
to keep up the pressure and proceed with our plans for action
on 30 November alongside other public sector unions, the STUC
and the TUC," he added.
Your pension is under attack - join us in defending it.