Pensions 'more important than pay'
Almost half of public sector workers would rather have a pay cut than reductions in their pensions, according to new research.
A survey of 1,000 employees working in public sector organisations found they were "desperately" holding onto their pension packages in the face of planned changes announced by the Government.
Teachers and civil servants have taken strike action over the reforms and unions continue to threaten further disruption later in the year if the row is not resolved.
Recruitment firm Badenoch & Clark said its study showed a majority of public sector workers believed their pensions were worth striking over.
Around a third of those questioned said they believed they should be paid more, arguing that wages in the public sector should be the same as in private firms. Morale was said to be low, with three out of four describing the mood among public sector workers as "average to low".
Nicola Linkleter, managing director of Badenoch & Clark, said: "The public sector remains in a state of crisis.
"Leaders must now reassert the public sector brand more than ever before. Workers will remain loyal to their employer so long as they perceive that they employer is committed to its workforce.
"This commitment must include clarity on pension reform. Lack of transparency will further damage morale, and could lead to further strikes."
Brian Strutton, national officer of the GMB union, said: "Following the toxic combination of job cuts, pay freezes and antagonistic behaviour by ministers it is hardly surprising that morale in the public sector is plummeting. That's why imposing a hike in pension contributions will be the final straw for most public sector workers.
"It will take more than a change in communication strategy to reverse this trend. What's needed is a fundamental change in policy."