Public sector union, Unison, has threatened “the largest industrial action since the General Strike” if it cannot reach an agreement with the Government over proposed pension reform.

If there is no agreement at a final meeting on 27 June, the Union’s General Secretary, Dave Prentis, said members would be balloted on industrial action.

In an attempt to reduce the growing cost of public sector pensions, the Government is proposing a 3% increase in employee pension contributions, which amounts to a doubling for many public sector staff. Unions say that plans under discussion also include reducing pension benefits and staff being expected to work longer.

The Government has said it is ‘totally committed’ to the talks, but Prentis said the Government’s approach was still ‘miles away’.

Prentis said if no agreement was reached, the union would:

“Campaign to make sure there is a large turn-out and a large Yes vote in what would be the biggest ballot by any trade union, leading to the largest industrial action since the General Strike – action that would need to be sustained and sustainable.”