|TUC General Secretary, Brendan Barber|
Speaking after a meeting of public sector unions at the TUC yesterday (Monday), TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:
'Since the day of action we have seen a new atmosphere in the negotiations. The state of play varies between sectors.
'Progress has been made in health and local government where key principles for further negotiation in heads of agreement will provide the basis for further talks in the New Year.
'It's important to stress that no agreements have been reached, but unions now have proposals to put to their executives and members.
'We have reached a stage where the emphasis in most cases is in giving active consideration to the new proposals that have emerged rather than considering the prospect of further industrial action.
'We have been talking for many months but since the day of action that involved millions and with the intensive discussions over recent days we now see change. Accrual rates are more favourable then were originally proposed, there is enhanced protection for those nearing retirement, Fair Deal protection for those whose jobs transfer out of the public sector and there will be no adverse changes to pensions for 25 years.'