UNISON has voiced its support for an annulment of the NHS pension amendment regulations, which will be moved at the Scottish Parliament today (Tuesday).
At a meeting of the Health and Sport Committee in Edinburgh, Drew Smith MSP will call for the regulations to be annulled, leading to a debate among the MSPs.
The proposed changes outlined in the regulations include a year one increase to employee contributions of up to 2.4 per cent – effectively a pension tax on health workers. There is no need for the increase as the NHS pension scheme across the UK is in surplus, and not one penny of this increase will go to the pension scheme.
The Scottish Government has said it is opposed in principle to these contribution increases, but it plans to implement them regardless.
Tam Waterson, chair of UNISON’s Scottish Health Committee, said: “The Scottish Government has the responsibility to address these issues in Scotland, so they have a duty to fully explore a Scottish solution for health workers.
“We welcome this call for an annulment of the regulations and would urge MSPs to put a halt on proposed changes until sufficient time has been given for negotiation and to look at alternative solutions.
“MSPs have to realise that asking hard-pressed NHS workers who cannot afford to contribute more to their pension at a time of pay restraint just doesn’t make sense.”