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General Strike 4th July 2016???

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ainsworth74

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Yes I believe that is clear from what has been posted and I am somewhat perplexed by the turn that events have taken! Shall we move on? There does not appear to be any wrong-doing or violation of any Forum Rules by any party so if everyone could shake hands and be friends again that would be excellent :)
 
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Oswyntail

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Sadly, the governments idea of engagement seems different to that of normal people. They want bodies simply to rubber stamp their proposals. ...
To an extent, that is quite proper - they have been elected to run the country on the basis of certain proposals, and it is their job to implement those. That is true whatever the complexion.
However, if you look at, say, the Junior Doctor's dispute, you will see that the initial proposal was basically to address what everyone agreed was a problem, in the number of hours the doctors worked; this was felt to compromise patient safety. Slowly, the DH, NHSE and the BMA worked out a scheme that reduced the hours without damaging pay for the vast majority. Both sides were on the verge of accepting it, because it had been created through co-operation. Then the bigwigs of the BMA worked out that the "losers" would actually be the consultants who would be required to carry out their supervisory duties over altered hours. All of a sudden, the virtual agreement was thrown out, it was "compromising safety", making junior doctors work even longer, reducing pay for everyone, and generally a typical example of high-handedness from government. The campaign was more personalised, directed at Hunt (yes, it is part of the job of a minister to be a figurehead), linked to the unnecessary (because no one is getting rid of it) "Save our NHS" campaign. The result was that years of co-operative working were thrown out of the window. It is quite understandable that the DH decided to impose what had already been (almost) agreed. It is being presented, though, as the government imposing, demanding a rubber stamp. If only all parties would accept that the government has a right to govern, and that workers' representatives (and others) have the right to advise vigorously and negotiate but not at the end of the day stop the government governing, we might see light dawning.
 

cactustwirly

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I agree with Paul, this strike against "Tory Austerity" will achieve nothing, however if the teachers had a strike over the new Academy policy, then the Government and the public will be inclined to listen.
 

Greenback

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A general strike could well backfire on the unions. As Paul said, the Tories won't take any notice, and will use it to justify bringing in even more ways to make industrial action difficult to organise and implement.

I can't see many positives coming out of it if I'm honest.
 

aformeruser

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A general strike could well backfire on the unions. As Paul said, the Tories won't take any notice, and will use it to justify bringing in even more ways to make industrial action difficult to organise and implement.

I can't see many positives coming out of it if I'm honest.

Agreed. While most people don't agree with the Tory policies on employment, strikes causing maximum disruption to essential public services will only increase support for making those kinds of strikes more difficult to implement.
 

Tetchytyke

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If only all parties would accept that the government has a right to govern, and that workers' representatives (and others) have the right to advise vigorously and negotiate but not at the end of the day stop the government governing, we might see light dawning.

The government do not have the right to abuse a dominant market position to impose unfavourable terms on their employees, though. Which is what Jeremy Hunt is trying to do, and which is what his predecessor Lansley was trying to do. It's interesting that your line is now that it's all the fault of the Big Bad Consultants, given that the previous line- that it was all the fault of the Greedy Junior Doctors- has been so comprehensively demolished.

As for the future of the NHS, I think it is clear what the endgame is for this government. The Health and Social Care Act made that abundantly clear. NHS Trusts now have to "compete" for contracts, meaning that trusts are now working against each other rather than collaboratively, and trusts cannot securely forward plan because the profitable bits are likely to be cherry-picked by private providers at any time. There may still be an NHS logo above the door, but that is not the same thing as an NHS working together to achieve the best patient impacts.

Add in the deliberate underfunding, making it harder for NHS trusts to compete on price on the profitable work, and it is clear where things are going. But of course anyone who doesn't take Hunt's pronouncements at face value is some sort of Trot.

It is the same in education. Academisation has no proven educational benefit, but it does have one great benefit for the privatisers: it creates a fragmented workforce working against each other rather than working collaboratively, and it allows private companies to cherry-pick the lucrative work. Interesting how academies will not have any duties or obligations towards children with SEN, isn't it?

I see much the same trajectory among the Teachers. I do not know why - in those areas this government has actually been one of the least intransigent in recent history.

Lots of things have changed in the last year, and where the Coalition was prepared to negotiate (because of the calming influence of the Lib Dems) this current government are not. Anecdotally this seems to be coming from the Chancellor. Osborne's already been forced into two climbdowns about benefit changes, his welfare Secretary of State lambasting him for his refusal to negotiate and then resigning. And you see Osborne's sticky fingers elsewhere too- why is the Chancellor announcing education policy in a budget speech for goodness' sake?

I think the reason why co-operation is failing is a simple one: Gideon Osborne doesn't do negotiation.
 

Tetchytyke

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A general strike could well backfire on the unions. As Paul said, the Tories won't take any notice, and will use it to justify bringing in even more ways to make industrial action difficult to organise and implement.

I can't see many positives coming out of it if I'm honest.

I can't see it achieving very much either, to be honest.

As for "backfiring", it could go either way. I think it is clear that certain people within government are desperately provoking the unions into action, thinking that public support will swing against the unions. We've already seen the tactic used against criminal law barristers and against junior doctors, trying to label them "greedy champagne socialists" despite medics and lawyers not been renowned for their Trot tendencies. It didn't work with the medics- and you can sense the amazement in government that it didn't- so they're trying again with the consultants this time.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Probably doesn't as no such person is C.O.E

Gideon Oliver Osborne isn't Chancellor of the Exchequer? But if he isn't...who is?

No doubt you think Gordon Brown still is. It would explain your other postings :lol:
 

Oswyntail

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... It's interesting that your line is now that it's all the fault of the Big Bad Consultants, given that the previous line- that it was all the fault of the Greedy Junior Doctors- has been so comprehensively demolished.....
Please explain why the BMA position changed. Part of that change, as you remember, was the sudden "realisation" that the 11% rise was to compensate for reduced hours rather than a full pay rise - that is the only time anyone thought the junior doctors were being greedy (actually more naive). And that position has never really been addressed, let alone demolished, as the union has quietly dropped pay as an issue down its list of priorities. It has always been known that consultants have been a potential sticking point.
 

DynamicSpirit

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Gideon Oliver Osborne isn't Chancellor of the Exchequer? But if he isn't...who is?

Maybe it would save confusion if you could use people's actual names rather than making names up? I have no idea where the name 'Gideon' that you like using so much came from, but it rather obviously is not George Osborne's name. Whatever disagreements you might have with him (and I personally have many), I see no purpose in avoiding using his name.
 

FordFocus

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Whilst I semi agree with Paul's thoughts on that it's likely the Tories won't do anything in response to the strike as it's enshrined in Tory DNA not to listen to the voice of who represents the workers on the ground. It could lead to them sitting up and listening when the Ashcroft polls swing towards the oppositions favour because of the strikes affecting schools and health.

It's an interesting time for the Conservative party. Cameron has stated on record he isn't seeking a third term (can see a U Turn over that personally), Osborne's job on this 'austerity' project is on shaky ground as his last budget managed a massive 2 days before another U turn on PIP payments and he's set to miss the 2020 surplus target.. the right wing media did a sterling job of sweeping his original 2015 balanced books target under the carpet.....

Then we get to the Brexit, IDS leaving and stabbing Osborne in the back, Boris using this as a platform for the leadership election and Cameron having to jet set across Europe to drum up support for a watered down deal for the UK.

Cameron has sent pro-private Jeremy Hunt in untethered by the Lib Dems now to pick a fight with junior doctors and went in head first laying down his terms were not for negotiation, after a couple of strikes the issue is now down to loss of money on a Saturday. Anyone else can surely have solved this dispute by now, so my thoughts is that the gov is provoking these strikes with a non political professional union such as the BMA.

Now the government and the increasingly incompetent Nicky Morgan has decided to roll out a forced program of Academy's by 2020, which no one asked for and nor does it actually benefit anyone apart from a very select few.. So it's now the turn of teachers to fight this proposal off. The teaching profession, again of no political alignment recently heckled her. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lolMtJfhUbc

To me a general strike would be great as it pokes holes in how quickly this inept government is falling apart. Co-ordinated action between the BMA and NUT is probably the most legal way of doing it.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Maybe it would save confusion if you could use people's actual names rather than making names up? I have no idea where the name 'Gideon' that you like using so much came from, but it rather obviously is not George Osborne's name. Whatever disagreements you might have with him (and I personally have many), I see no purpose in avoiding using his name.

George Osborne was born as 'Gideon Oliver Osborne'
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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The government do not have the right to abuse a dominant market position to impose unfavourable terms on their employees, though. Add in the deliberate underfunding, making it harder for NHS trusts to compete on price on the profitable work, and it is clear where things are going. But of course anyone who doesn't take Hunt's pronouncements at face value is some sort of Trot.

Where is it laid down in Statute regarding a British government not having "the right" that you so describe?

The "Trot" reference you refer to above immediately brought to mind the novel by Charles Dickens called "David Copperfield", where Great-Aunt Betsy Trotwood always referred to the young David Copperfield as "Trot"...:D
 

Tetchytyke

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I have no idea where the name 'Gideon' that you like using so much came from

It came from Osborne's mum and dad.

He got teased about it at school so started calling himself George instead.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Now the government and the increasingly incompetent Nicky Morgan has decided to roll out a forced program of Academy's by 2020, which no one asked for

Morgan's just the Fall Guy (gal?). The fact the Chancellor was using his budget speech to announce education policy explains everything about where this government is going.

Oswyntail said:
Please explain why the BMA position changed.

I don't think the BMA position did change. The DoH's position changed markedly after June 2015, though...
 

DynamicSpirit

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Whilst I semi agree with Paul's thoughts on that it's likely the Tories won't do anything in response to the strike as it's enshrined in Tory DNA not to listen to the voice of who represents the workers on the ground. It could lead to them sitting up and listening when the Ashcroft polls swing towards the oppositions favour because of the strikes affecting schools and health.

I imagine it's rather more likely that any strikes that are obviously political strikes (as opposed to genuine industrial disputes) would cause public opinion to swing in favour of the Government, and public and media attention would become diverted from what the Government is doing (for example on academies) to the fact of 'political' strikes disrupting people's lives in a very immediate and obvious manner.

I'm not sure how serious these strike calls are, but, no matter how well motivated, opposing the Government in that way does not seem a very sensible or effective way to do it. (And to my mind, there are ethical issues about strikes disrupting the lives of people who are innocent bystanders in all this, anyway).

George Osborne was born as 'Gideon Oliver Osborne'

Ah, thanks for the explanation. On some googling, it seems he changed his name more than 30 years ago, when he was still a child. Probably not too surprising - I think if I'd had a name like 'Gideon' I'd probably have wanted to change it too. Doesn't really change my point that his name is now George, and has been for a long time, so it would be both polite and un-confusing to use that name.
 
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FordFocus

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Morgan's just the Fall Guy (gal?). The fact the Chancellor was using his budget speech to announce education policy explains everything about where this government is going

Fully agree. Like him or loathe him, Corbyn touched on the subject of how Academys will mentioned in the budget and how he's never heard of that been done in his decades of parliament.

She's a person with minimal, if any experience of the teaching profession. Her media skills on recent conferences and TV outings haven't gone unnoticed. A quick look on wikipedia (<D :p) tells a story that she is from a legal background for business. Her Loughborough constituency isn't known for been a Tory safe seat either and with it been a student town I can see her having to bury all the bad news now and to try and fly under the radar until 2020 when it will all be conveniently forgotten or she's shunted into another role.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I imagine it's rather more likely that any strikes that are obviously political strikes (as opposed to genuine industrial disputes) would cause public opinion to swing in favour of the Government, and public and media attention would become diverted from what the Government is doing (for example on academies) to the fact of 'political' strikes disrupting people's lives in a very immediate and obvious manner.

These unions though aren't really known to have stage political strikes nor ever really spoken out against governments unlike ASLEF, RMT, Unite, FBU, TSSA and a few others. The medical and education are professions that are more respected by the public than for example if my train driving grade went on strike, it will be 'overpaid and greedy. Holding people to ransom etc'. The BMA were backed into a corner with Hunt's junior doctors proposals coupled with the fact large chunks of the NHS are been slowly sold off to Branson, Circle and other health firms with many other companies across the pond wanting a piece of the action.

I'm not sure how serious these strike calls are, but, no matter how well motivated, opposing the Government in that way does not seem a very sensible or effective way to do it. (And to my mind, there are ethical issues about strikes disrupting the lives of people who are innocent bystanders in all this, anyway).

It comes down to the common question of any dispute with a union of 'Why strike, can't you sit down and talk about it?'.. The BMA did lots of talking since 2013 when this change of contract came about. Hunt then threatened to impose the contract and is now in the process of doing so late this summer. That's clearly left the union with no option but to walk out.

The teaching unions now have a similar problem with the Academy plans that they oppose. I believe the government are running a consultation and have even allocated £500m of public money on plans that weren't in a manifesto, the public never knew about and seems a waste of money during these cuts and 'austerity'.

Some members of the public will support strikes even if it affects them, some won't.
 

Oswyntail

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....She's a person with minimal, if any experience of the teaching profession. ....
To be honest, that is not a necessary qualification. Her job as a minister is, in part, to oversee the implementation of Government policy. This takes lots of skills, but not necessarily experience of the area of her portfolio; that should be provided by her advisers within the Civil Service. In fact, some of the worst ministers over the years are those who have had "relevant" experience, and so thought they knew it all.
....The BMA did lots of talking since 2013 when this change of contract came about. Hunt then threatened to impose the contract and is now in the process of doing so late this summer. That's clearly left the union with no option but to walk out. .....
One slight change in chronology. Both sides did indeed do a lot of talking, and had reached an agreement that was about to be implemented. Then the union did a volte face and refused to have anything to do with it, leaving the DH with no real option but to impose the contract.
 

455driver

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We've already seen the tactic used against criminal law barristers and against junior doctors, trying to label them "greedy champagne socialists" despite medics and lawyers not been renowned for their Trot tendencies. It didn't work with the medics- and you can sense the amazement in government that it didn't- so they're trying again with the consultants this time.
Dont forget us lazy drivers on £60k a year for a 3 day week and dont have to work Sundays so we mess up 'his' railway! :roll:
 
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Xenophon PCDGS

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If the 24 hour co-ordinated strike goes ahead with the large amount of envisaged support, will we all wake up the following day to find the Government has had an overnight Damascene conversion and will divest itself from all the policies that so many have said are unfair....or will it be just "business as usual" at numbers 10 and 11?
 

jon91

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One slight change in chronology. Both sides did indeed do a lot of talking, and had reached an agreement that was about to be implemented. Then the union did a volte face and refused to have anything to do with it, leaving the DH with no real option but to impose the contract.

So it was nothing to do with increasing the hours junior doctors would have to work to achieve the same pay thereby putting them under even more stress and risk of making mistakes? To your point about consultants being some kind of driving force behind the BMA's 'volte face', you conveniently forget that those same consultants will be expected to deal with mistakes of the junior doctors working under them, which perhaps explains why they aren't too keen on it.
 

Oswyntail

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But the hours are not increasing - that's the point. Except for those relatively few who played the system by working more than their share of unsociable hours. As for consultants, a major part of their job is to supervise their juniors, and pick up the mistakes. A large proportion of the dissatisfaction expressed by junior doctors has been that this is not being done properly, especially in unsociable hours, leaving them unsupported and feeling undervalued.
 

jon91

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Yes, the basic rate is going up by about 11% to cover for the loss of some unsociable hours but that isn't going to match the pay they would receive under the current system. That loss of incentive is going to lead to less doctors covering the same workload, with predictable results. I'm not saying the current system is perfect but I honestly don't believe that what the DoH is proposing is going to improve matters at all.
 

DarloRich

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To an extent, that is quite proper - they have been elected to run the country on the basis of certain proposals, and it is their job to implement those. That is true whatever the complexion.
However, if you look at, say, the Junior Doctor's dispute, you will see that the initial proposal was basically to address what everyone agreed was a problem, in the number of hours the doctors worked; this was felt to compromise patient safety. Slowly, the DH, NHSE and the BMA worked out a scheme that reduced the hours without damaging pay for the vast majority. Both sides were on the verge of accepting it, because it had been created through co-operation. Then the bigwigs of the BMA worked out that the "losers" would actually be the consultants who would be required to carry out their supervisory duties over altered hours. All of a sudden, the virtual agreement was thrown out, it was "compromising safety", making junior doctors work even longer, reducing pay for everyone, and generally a typical example of high-handedness from government. The campaign was more personalised, directed at Hunt (yes, it is part of the job of a minister to be a figurehead), linked to the unnecessary (because no one is getting rid of it) "Save our NHS" campaign. The result was that years of co-operative working were thrown out of the window. It is quite understandable that the DH decided to impose what had already been (almost) agreed. It is being presented, though, as the government imposing, demanding a rubber stamp. If only all parties would accept that the government has a right to govern, and that workers' representatives (and others) have the right to advise vigorously and negotiate but not at the end of the day stop the government governing, we might see light dawning.

But the outcome of your suggestion is that people must simply accept whatever the government decide without comment. The extension of your view is that any complaints by whatever body (charity/union/church/lords/trade body) should merely be along the lines of would you mind awfully not which can then be rejected by a government which knows best about everything. History shows that they (of whatever colour) often DONT! ;)

Also it is worth considering that a majority of people did NOT vote for the Conservative plans and so might quite reasonably wish to complain or voice their disapproval. Your supposition is fine IF the governing party holds an undisputed popular mandate to govern.

I should also point out that often union members will use the democratic right to reject proposals agreed between the negotiating group. That is very frustrating when you have tried hard to do a deal that can be presented as win for all sides but the descion of the members must be respected.
 

Oswyntail

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But the outcome of your suggestion is that people must simply accept whatever the government decide without comment. ...
Not really. All the various groups and individuals can comment, lobby, influence as much as they like - and Government is legally required to consult. Individuals are (sardonic laughter from all here) represented by their MP, who should contribute to debates and the like. It is, however, open to any Government to ignore comments, if only because commenters will have their own viewpoint while Government generally has a fuller picture.
In the area I seem to comment most on, Health, this Government (Coalition and not) has actually been one of the most flexible and responsive in recent history. The amount of discussion (with all sides), refinement and revision of the Act was unprecedented, and, in the end it was accepted by all but the most die-hard showboaters. Not that this was reflected in the media. Likewise with the junior doctors, which is why it caused such frustration when the union did its about turn.
 

DarloRich

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I would replace the phrase "fuller picture" with "entrenched dogmatic position"! ( by any government)

Many of us do not trust the Conservatives, especially on the NHS. I never will never be convinced that they have the best interests of the majority at heart in any of their changes, especially around the NHS. That is even if i benefit personally from their ideas. That is until I fall ill or fall out of work!
 

DynamicSpirit

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In the area I seem to comment most on, Health, this Government (Coalition and not) has actually been one of the most flexible and responsive in recent history. The amount of discussion (with all sides), refinement and revision of the Act was unprecedented, and, in the end it was accepted by all but the most die-hard showboaters. Not that this was reflected in the media. Likewise with the junior doctors, which is why it caused such frustration when the union did its about turn.

Would it help if someone could dig out and post a link to somewhere that explains - accurately and reasonably factually - what exactly the Government are 'imposing' and why the BMA and junior doctors are opposed to it (assuming there is anywhere that explains it reasonably impartially)? I personally find it rather confusing seeing claim and counter-claim in this thread, given that very little of the media coverage of the dispute has explained exactly that the dispute is about in the first place!
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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Yes, the basic rate is going up by about 11% to cover for the loss of some unsociable hours but that isn't going to match the pay they would receive under the current system. That loss of incentive is going to lead to less doctors covering the same workload, with predictable results. I'm not saying the current system is perfect but I honestly don't believe that what the DoH is proposing is going to improve matters at all.

You don't get all that many postings on threads on this particular website where an 11% basic rate increase has been incorporated into the contractual agreement to cover the pay loss of some unsociable hours.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I'm hearing from some of my friends in the teaching sector that there is a plan for what they're calling a "General Strike" with several other non-teaching unions. The protest is against Austerity and Government cuts to core services. I guess you could throw in the back door privatisation of public services too.

Anyway, politics aside, is anyone aware of the rail unions thinking on this and whether they are planning on joining the action in solidarity?

How many of the more elderly of the website members recall that good old union mantra from days long past..."All out May Day"....:D:D:D
 

furnessvale

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You don't get all that many postings on threads on this particular website where an 11% basic rate increase has been incorporated into the contractual agreement to cover the pay loss of some unsociable hours.

My stepson would give his eye teeth for such an offer. In the last 5 years or so, starting from a gross pay of considerably less than £20,000pa, he has had a shift change from 4 to 5 days a week (an increase of 1 hour with no extra money), a £2,500pa pay CUT, and a couple of 1% rises.

This year's imposed changes include a 1% pay CUT, removal of days in lieu for any bank holidays worked and a reduction of sick pay from 6 to 3 months.
 
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