NORTH-EAST trade union representatives will lobby parliament today. Fifty Unison members are visiting London as part of a wider pensions campaign.

The intention is to raise the concerns of workers from local authorities, the National Health Service, Police, universities and colleges over proposed changes to public sector pension schemes.

Unison's regional secretary, Gill Hale, said: "We should not underestimate the seriousness of this attack on public sector pensions. Pensions are deferred wages, and the proposals threaten them just as if a pay cut were being imposed on public service workers."

Two of the main concerns are the proposals to raise the standard retirement age from 60 to 65 and the minimum retirement age from 50 to 55.

Claire Williams, of Unison, said: "It is ironic that while the Government are putting these proposals forward, MPs have voted themselves the best final-salary scheme in the UK."