By Hugh Logue, Newswatch Editor
Members of Napo, the trade union for family court and probation staff, have voted overwhelmingly to go on strike over a dispute with the Government on pensions.
In common with other trade unions across the public sector, Napo conducted a ballot of its members working in probation and the family courts. The results announced today revealed Napo members voted overwhelmingly for strike action due to begin on the 30 November. A massive 83% of members supported strike action on a 45% turnout. This is only the third time in its 100 year history that Napo will take national strike action.
Speaking following the announcement of the ballot result, Jonathan Ledger, Napo's General Secretary, said: "Napo's members have sent the Government a clear message. Its attack on their pension entitlement is not fair, not reasonable and not necessary. They have joined the hundreds of thousands of hard working public sector workers who are uniting in defence of their pensions, pensions earned after years of demanding work on behalf of our communities.
"This union does not take strike action lightly. Our members care passionately about their work and remain committed to the best interests of the people whom they serve diligently every day. But they also believe in respect and fairness and this Government is showing them none at a time when cuts and privatization are creating uncertainty about the future. Their pensions are vital to our members, hard earned and essential for a secure and dignified retirement. The Government needs to return to the negotiating table and make real and creditable changes to its pension proposals if this dispute is to be resolved."