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Thursday 10th May 2012 | 12:43
Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, said:
"The dedicated majority of public sector workers are working normally today and rigorous contingency plans are ensuring that nearly all key public services remain open as usual.
"We can now confirm that far fewer civil servants are on strike than in November - with around 100,000 taking part - down from 146,000 last year. This is dramatically lower than union claims.
"Nevertheless it is very disappointing that a handful of unions insist on carrying on with futile strike action which will benefit no one. We would urge these union leaders to reconsider their position. Pension talks will not be reopened and nothing further will be achieved through strike action.
"In March we set out our final proposed agreements on pension reform following more than a year of intensive discussions with trades unions. Our reforms ensure that public sector pensions will remain among the very best available and that they can be sustained for the future.
"Public sector workers are being asked to work a bit longer and pay a bit more, but they will continue to get a guaranteed pension which is index-linked and inflation-proofed. Most staff on low and middle incomes will receive a pension at retirement as good as what they expect today, and for many it will be even better."