The Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury said the Government would be contacting 2.5 million public sector workers directly over the next weeks to "explain to them directly" the latest improved pensions offer.

Liberal Democrat: 自由民主党

Chief Secretary to the Treasury: 财政部秘书长

pension: 退休金,抚恤金;津贴

Unison, the biggest public sector union, said earlier this week that millions of its members, ranging from school dinner ladies and refuse collectors to social workers and NHS staff, backed a campaign of industrial action.

The union is now set to strike on November 30, when teachers, civil servants and other public sector workers will also be staging a walkout – the biggest in the UK for decades.

public sector: 国营部门经济;政府资助的企事业;社会经济的公有部份

refuse collector: 垃圾收集车;垃圾工人

NHS: 英国国民健康保险制度

civil servant: 公务员;文职人员

stage a walkout: 罢工

It was the biggest ballot in union history, with Unison sending out 1.1 million voting papers to its members, along with a strong recommendation to back strikes.
Mr Alexander told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show that the Government wanted to appeal directly to striking members.

"In a sense the most important here are not the trade union leaders, they are the individual nurses, teachers, civil servants," he said.

trade union: 工会

"This week and over the next couple of weeks we will be communicating directly to 2.5 million public servants across the country to explain to them directly what it is the Government is offering.

"In a sense in these people's hands is the decision whether or not to go on strike."

Last week, the government offered several concessions, including a proposal for more generous accrual rates - the rate at which pensions build up in value - than previously planned, and higher "cost ceilings", the limit on contributions paid by the government.

concession: 让步;特许(权);承认;退位

accrual rate:利息;利率

cost ceiling: 成本限额

The Liberal Democrat insisted that if public sector workers visited the Treasury website to see for themselves the detail of the latest proposals they would find a "generous, positive offer that will protect the value of public service pensions for 25 years to come".

He added: "I think most of the unions, the moderate unions, want to reach an agreement, but there are some who seem desperate - hell bent if you like - on strike action.

hell bent: 不顾一切的;固执的

"What we need to make sure is the interests of public servants are not set aside in the interests of trade union leaders who want to go on strike."

set aside: 留出;驳回,撤销;不顾

Meanwhile, Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander said the revised offer was "a welcome step forward", but more needed to be done.

"I think there needs to be further negotiations," he said. "None of us wants a strike.

"We think there needs to be further compromise on both sides. The public sector trade unions need to recognize that we're all going to have to work longer and contribute more in the future. On the other hand, I think there are some very specific details that need to be looked at [by the government]."