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Last Updated: Monday, 14 February, 2005, 07:23 GMT
Love cards contain pensions plea
Someone using a calculator
Unison believes public service workers will be out of pocket
Public service union Unison is delivering Valentine's cards to all Scottish MPs and MSPs, calling on them to defend public service pensions.

The UK Government is reviewing a range of public service pension schemes, including the local government scheme, civil service scheme and NHS scheme.

Unison said staff rights are being eroded because politicians want to see the retirement age raised.

On 18 February, the TUC and STUC plan a UK-wide day of action over pensions.

The retirement age change in the local government scheme in England and Wales has sparked a strike ballot from Unison.

The union said there was anger at the impact of the proposals on employees - most of whom it insists are poorly paid - and concern about the likely impact on new and younger workers.

Mike Kirby, Unison's Scottish convener, said: "These proposals break contracts between the government and public service workers.

"They could condemn workers into working till they drop, or retiring into poverty.

'Raise the issue'

"We are stressing to Scots MPs that we want them to sign the early day motion rejecting proposals to increase pension age in the local government scheme.

"If it is agreed in England and Wales then both the Scottish Public Pensions Agency and the deputy minister responsible for public pensions in Scotland have said it must be introduced in Scotland.

"We also want MSPs to be aware that they have a clear role to play, as they will have the final say on changes to Scottish public pensions.

"We are contacting all our members and urging them to raise the issue of pensions with their MPs and MSPs."

As Scottish MPs and MSPs receive their Valentine's cards on Monday, Unison general secretary Dave Prentis will be in London delivering a huge card for MPs across the UK.

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