29 June 2011
Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude has commented on the industrial action planned for 30 June 2011.
Francis Maude said:
Strike action is unnecessary and premature while discussions – set up at the request of the TUC – are ongoing. The majority of civil servants and teachers themselves did not vote for this action, showing how extremely limited support is for this strike.
"The Government has always been committed to working openly and constructively with the TUC on public sector pensions and we believe both sides have a responsibility to see the talks through.
"We can assure the public that we have rigorous contingency plans in place to ensure that their essential services are maintained during the strike action on Thursday. We will do all we can to make sure it is business as usual tomorrow and that people can continue to claim their benefits, pay their pensions and access job centre websites.
"Less than 10% of the Civil Service workforce has voted for strike action and only about a third of teachers, which shows the real lack of support for the kind of widespread action union leads are hoping for.
"Reform of public sector pensions is inevitable, but we will ensure that public sector pensions will still be among the very best, with a guaranteed pension which very few private sector staff now enjoy. But they will be paid later because people live longer. And public sector staff will pay more, for a fairer balance between what they pay and what other taxpayers pay.