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Submitted by martin on Wed, 21/12/2011 - 07:41

In health, Unite has rejected the "heads of agreement". But "the British Association of Occupational Therapists, British Dental Association, British Dietetics Association, British Medical Association, British and Irish Orthoptic Society, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Federation of Clinical Scientists, GMB, Hospital Consultants and Specialist Association, Managers in Partnership, Royal College of Midwives, Royal College of Nursing, Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, Society of Radiographers and UNISON" have "agree to take [the Government plan] to their relevant executive bodies as the best that can be achieved by negotiations".

In local government, Unite and GMB have signed joint statements with Unison. They endorsed the "heads of agreement" and then suspended their endorsement in protest at a provocative letter from Eric Pickles.

In the civil service, PCS has clearly rejected the "heads of agreement". The FT reports that in retaliation "Cabinet Office insiders said the PCS would not be invited to further discussions on details of the reforms".

NIPSA, the Northern Ireland public service union, has declared: "NIPSA firmly rejects what is on offer as capable of providing for a fair solution to the dispute".

FDA has put out a statement offering its members little information, but a squalid sneer at PCS. "In the civil service, the FDA - together with Prospect and GMB - have... indicated [that] they were prepared to consider an outline of a new scheme as a basis for further negotiations... The Prison Officers' Association also wants to continue in the negotiations. Unite has stated that it 'wants negotiations and discussions to be positive and to reach a successful conclusion'. However, PCS appears to have rejected the proposals".

Prospect says it "has suspended industrial action for the duration of the talks [but] it has reserved the right to take further action if the talks break down". "Although the Cabinet Office sought to make continued participation in the negotiations conditional on acceptance of what it termed 'the main elements of scheme design', Prospect has undertaken to convey the outcome of the talks to [its] Civil Service Sector executive" (and, it suggests, though evasively, it has undertaken no more than that).

And the POA says that: "the POA would not endorse the 'Heads of Agreement' as outlined in [the Government's] formal offer until there has been a suitable conclusion to our negotiations on the normal pension age".

In education, the teachers' unions NUT and NASUWT have taken a halfway position. NUT general secretary Christine Blower announced: "the NUT was not able to sign up to the Government’s headline proposals. There was insufficient progress..."

But her statement was headlined not "campaign continues", but "talks to continue in the New Year".

ATL has endorsed the "heads of agreement". NAHT has done the same in a mealy-mouthed way. "We have reached a point where we have produced some 'parameters' for the pension scheme which we believe exhaust the full potential of negotiations at this stage [and] are worth putting before our National Executive and members to see what you think... We will not escalate any industrial action while this process takes place".

The Scottish teachers' union EIS has made no statement.

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