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British government announces pension pact

Dec. 21, 2011 at 1:13 AM   |   Comments

LONDON, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- The British government and unions representing public employees have reached a tentative agreement on pension reform, a Treasury official announced Tuesday.

Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury, told the House of Commons many of the details must still be worked out, The Guardian reported. But he said most of the unions involved had agreed there would be no strikes while that work proceeds and they discuss the agreement with their members.

More than 1 million government workers participated in a one-day job action Nov. 30.

Alexander said union leaders agreed with officials the proposal is the "best outcome." It includes a pledge that the pensions of lower-paid employees will be protected.

"These reforms will save the taxpayer tens of billions of pounds over the next few decades and significantly improve the long-term fiscal sustainability of this country," Alexander said. "This is a fair deal for public service workers, an affordable deal for the taxpayer and a good deal for the country."

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