Imminent Industrial Action

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Ivo, 27 Nov 2011.

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  1. Ivo

    Ivo Established Member

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    This coming Wednesday sees hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of public sector workers strike in protest at the Cuts. They are facing having their pensions reduced and thus intend to form Picket Lines and to march on cities nationwide.

    Well, I for one want to know why. The real reasons for this action. Do they not realise that everyone is "suffering"? That they are acting selfishly in blockading and/or abandoning so many critical facilities? That they are hurting children's education? The list goes on...

    Many of these Unions are allies of Labour. The same idiots - or, as I referred to them in the Scottish Independence thread, moronic Socialist hypocrites - who dumped us in this problem in the first place? Whose reckless disrespect for its nation left us with a mountain of national debt? Whose members were, lest we forget, effectively stealing from the public in the Expenses Scandal?

    Cameron and co. have little choice but to cut back. Do you see non-public sector workers on strike (except where led by a blithering self-obsessed idiot such as Crowe anyway)? Not even nearly as often!

    At this University, I have seen posters up all over campus - even in the toilets, meaning the reading material on the wall in front of you is pro-Labour trash - promoting this ill-conceived idea. They intend to form a Picket Line at the foot of the drive. And to march on the city centre. Well, I for one am glad that I don't have lessons on a Wednesday! I might even have to go down to the Picket Line and intervene! (OK, maybe not, but you get the idea.)

    And may I remind you all that I myself am looking at working in the Public Sector? Do you see me striking? Or in those Student march things from before? Of course you don't.

    I have to say though - this last week or so, I have rapidly begun to feel that this University, unlike the rest of Bath, is pro-Labour - and if it is, I intend to change that. The rest of the city is right - this Uni is not.

    Anyone else like to join me in my anti-Strike stance? Or, if not, why not - and if you intend to march, why?
     
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  3. scotsman

    scotsman Established Member

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    You make a good point. They're letting the side down by moaning because they're being hit by cuts that put the richest first and don't take into account who caused the financial crisis. Those hit hardest are in least position to take the hit.

    I daresay that if your own future was being cut away, you would do nothing?

    First they came for the communists,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.

    If I remember correctly, the banking crisis started in America. The banks in the UK that took part in much of the immoral and dangerous activity were allies of The Conservatives.

    Indeed, the Tories were as much players in the expenses scandal than Labour were!

    Outside the public sector, the railways aside, are you aware of many active unions? Hmmm.....

    And it's Crow (with the non-existant E), by the way.

    And your point is what, exactly...?

    If you were being asked to pay £9000 a year for your education, would you still have gone to uni?

    May I remind you that these "gold-plated" public sector pensions are anything but that.

    Workers in the public sector are:
    1. Paid less than their private sector counterparts. Fact.
    2. Have a slightly more generous pension. Fact.

    A 25 year old teacher in Scotland is now expected to work 8 years longer. As a result of the changes in pension conditions, she will lose £25,000 as a result.

    The Scottish Government claims that there is a lack of funding for pensions in Scotland. The budget allocations they made for public sector pensions are made based on the current pension terms - last negotiated in 2006.

    This somewhat rules out the Scottish Government's claim as being truthful.

    The city is right, and your fellow students aren't? Well, forgive me for saying this, but you sound rather arrogant. You can't just tar everyone with the same brush and say they're wrong because your own views. I mean, it's like taking a handful of fat-cats, pointing out they have huge pensions and saying that everyone in the public sector has a huge, overly-generous pension.

    Young people tend to agree with socialist principles more than older people - it's a fairly well known fact.

    By all means join the Conservative Association, they need a boost - they took quite a kicking when it got out that the St Andrews Uni Conservative Association burned effigies of Obama and Nelson Mandela.

    I was intending to go out and support the rally in Edinburgh on Wednesday, yes.

    Why? Because I don't agree with the government's opinion. The public sector which, for all the waste the Government has found, pays reasonable pensions. Sadly, because this is better than many employers in the private sector, the Government thinks it is acceptable to cut these.

    It is unfair, but not for the reasons you think.

    Just because they can live slightly more comfortably than private sector workers in old age, does that means they should have this removed?

    You do realise that many bin men, cleaners and janitors are private sector workers? Where's their "gold-plated" pension?

    Teachers aren't paid as much as you might think either.
     
    Last edited: 27 Nov 2011
  4. wintonian

    wintonian Established Member

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    There really are times when I wish I was allowed a sock puppet! ;)
     
  5. ralphchadkirk

    ralphchadkirk Established Member

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    Public sector workers generally have to do jobs that others would turn their nose up at, in difficult circumstances and all hours. They are usually paid less than they would be in the private sector, but in return for all that they get a slightly better pension than most people.

    Very few are on a final salary pension anyway! They were promised this in their contracts when they signed up. Now they're trying to take it away and effectively force a pay cut.

    I fully support the strike.
     
  6. Schnellzug

    Schnellzug Established Member

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    If the idiot cameron has little choice but to cut back, that's because he has no plan and not the faintest idea what to do, apart from cuts, cuts, cuts, Cuts and, oh, what else was it, yes, Cuts.
    I'm afraid the man doesn't seem to have a clue what to do about the Economy, apart from Cuts. He doesn't seem to have heard of the idea of investing to boost things - apart from this idea he's suddenly had where, out of sheer panic, he's suddenly decided to spend a Billion Creating jobs for young unemployed, just like that! If that isn't an admission that the Cuts have been a failure, then you can call me George Osborne.
    So for that reason, I'm right behind you, comrades.
     
  7. nedchester

    nedchester Established Member

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    Both myself and my wife will be on strike this Wednesday for the first time in our careers. We don't want to lose the money but basically cannot afford NOT to strike.

    The teachers scheme (of which we are both members) was costed in 2007 and found to be solvent. Now we are expected to pay £100 a month more, to work up to 8 years longer and get less at the end. All this whilst enduring a 2 year pay freeze whilst inflation is running at 5%. We are told 'we are all in this together'. Fine I am not getting a pay rise for two years but what about the bankers who got us in this mess? Hmmm!

    Many strikes are about wanting more money when the pay round comes round. This one is about not having money taken away.

    How many workers (say on the railway) would put up with getting £100 less a month AND having no pay rise?

    Be assured that if the government win this one they will be looking elsewhere to see they can do the same........
     
    Last edited: 27 Nov 2011
  8. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    I'm of two minds about the whole thing really.

    I agree that the retirement age should be raised - With increasing longevity some of the early retirements will inevitably come to be an unacceptable drain on funds.

    I can also see the point of going to an average salary rather than a final salary scheme. Calculating pension benefits by final salary does tend to allow the upper echelons to gain a disproportionate amount from such schemes at the expense of those further down.

    I do, however, disagree strongly with the increase in employee contributions. Coming on top of the pay-freeze (which as the late Jimmy Knapp would have pointed out is in reality a pay cut with inflation being as it is) this is a further pay cut that I can't afford.
     
  9. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    I presume that all TOCs currently have Final Salary schemes (open to new members)?
     
  10. mbonwick

    mbonwick Established Member

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    As someone who has a teacher for a parent, I fully support the strike.

    In addition to receiving less on their pensions, and paying more, many public sector workers (especially teachers) have had real terms paycuts for the last few years with below inflation rises/pay freezes. All the time inflation has been pretty high....
     
  11. Nym

    Nym Established Member

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    So what about all of the country's tempoary workers and those in minimum wage and service jobs who never see a pay rise and don't get a pension? We never strike and if we did we'd be sacked because there is no realitic union.
     
  12. MidnightFlyer

    MidnightFlyer Veteran Member

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    We got 'treated' to a lecture from out teacher in Government & Politics on Friday about why striking is good and why anyone aspiring to be a teacher should walk out too on Wednesday. Then when I got home college had sent me four identical letters explaining that college is closed on Wednesday. The reason given? Health and Safety.
     
  13. ralphchadkirk

    ralphchadkirk Established Member

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    Why should somebody accept a pay cut just because there are other people paid less? That argument is a fallacy.
     
  14. 20Man

    20Man Member

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    I work for an engineering company and haven't had a pay rise for nearly 6 years, and our bonus scheme finished some years before that, and I actually gross less now than I did 20 years ago. However I do at least have a job.

    Do I have any sympathy for those going on strike this week, not in the slightest.
     
  15. Nym

    Nym Established Member

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    SO just beacuse the're public sector workers they shouldn't have to suffer pay cuts post ressession?

    Considering pretty much every profession I have worked in and those that I will be working in have all faced massive pay cuts, some up to a 300% reduction and removal of overtime. How can that be considered fair?

    When I started in retail I was on 60% more than when I left, and when I left I was a duty supervisor on nights... Started on day shifts!

    HGV Drivers, that used to get paid £25/hour for Class 1 HAIB I am now seeing advertised at £7.50/hr...

    Electrical Engineers are on massive pay reductions, 5 years ago I'd have been on a starting wage of £30k, now thats down as low as £18k for some jobs, most down at £22k, considering when I started training for this I was looking at a £100k job when chartered, theres no chance of that any more, do I strike? No.

    Did I strike when my wages and conditions got cut in Retail? Did the union even consider it, no, because it's a union formed of the companys' managers!
     
  16. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    It also has to be remembered that Governments in the form of:

    1) Nigel Lawsons reforms in the 1980's taxing pension fund surplusses.
    2) Gordon Brown's tax hike on pensions.

    in collusion with the upper echelons of many private sector companies who took ill advised contributions holidays and were eventually all too keen to ditch their liabilities when it turned out that they'd not put enough in, which did for private sector final salary schemes.
     
  17. theblackwatch

    theblackwatch Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I think you will find that those on the minimum wage have had a pay rise - was it not increased from £5.93 to £6.08 in October?
     
  18. ralphchadkirk

    ralphchadkirk Established Member

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    If you were promised something, which you signed a contract for, which you were then told that actually, we spent the money on something else you would just roll over and take it?
     
  19. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Quite! Couldn't have put it better myself.
     
  20. Nym

    Nym Established Member

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    I didn't have any choice when they changed our break and overtime pay half way through the contract, the union agreed, and it was a rather bad change.

    We had breaks reduced by 35%, overtime pay reduced by 60%, staffing levels cut, and a reviewed rota set meaning worse hours for everyone, we'd signed contracts explicitly stating all the better conditions, but they'd been agreed to, and what choice would a set of retail workers have but to agree with them?
     
  21. ralphchadkirk

    ralphchadkirk Established Member

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    So just because you belonged to a rather weak and limp union then nobody deserves anything just because you got a bad deal?
     
  22. SS4

    SS4 Established Member

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    The media you have you believe that each and every member of the public sector is on a final salary pension. Don't believe a word of it! Final Salary has long been closed to new entrants and today they go for fixed term contracts, the idea of a job for life with a good pension has been dead for years.

    The right is using Murdoch's friendship to divide the country - classic divide and conquer. All workers and those on low incomes should be forming a solid front against this government which promises nothing but unemployment to low paid staff and young people. By promises I mean what has actually happened, not what they say.

    If we were truly all in it together why is Northern Rock being sold for a massive loss by the same party who accused Labour of selling off our gold for rock bottom prices? Why isn't the state forcing it's will on partially state owned banks? Why don't MPs take a pension or pay cut? I accept the need to save money but the Tories are going far beyond necessity and using cuts for ideological purposes.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Did you have your contract of employment changed without your will?
     
  23. Oswyntail

    Oswyntail Established Member

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    I am (for once) in two minds. I object to the way that SOME public service workers, having worked for years on the reduced pay but better pension theory, are now being expected (with relatively few years before retirement to make changes) to accept pay freezes (or "voluntary" downgrading) and higher contributions. But some groups of public service workers should accept that they did very well out of the Labour years, where most of the much vaunted "investment" went into pay rises, causing much of the problems we have here.
    However, my stronger objection is to the unwillingness to negotiate from the unions, backed by Labour. New offers are greeted by sticking fingers in ears and howling "Cuts cuts cuts". Sells well to the public, but doesn't really make sense.
    There is an economic problem, caused more by the previous government and its reaction to global trends than by bankers. The current government are taking a consistent approach, which may well be successful - it certainly seems to be being copied round the world. But we are being let down by the opposition who, rather than engaging in discussion and refining the approach, prefer sloganising.
     
  24. Nym

    Nym Established Member

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    I didn't belong to that union, but the company had this as their approved union who represented all contract changes even through no employees were actually a member of it, only the senior company managment.
     
  25. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    I do disagree with the endless contrating out of everything to everything which seems to have the effect of diluting and weakening employment rights in the private sector in particular.
     
  26. SS4

    SS4 Established Member

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    An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

    More pragmatically what do you think will happen as a result of these actions? Fewer public sector staff is a given and their quality will probably also fall. Would you want the kids of tomorrow brought up by barely competent teachers?


    Additionally when I worked in the public sector we were forced to support the government of the day in a professional capacity which extended to anything identifying you as a civil servant
     
  27. Nym

    Nym Established Member

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    I didn't notice massively compitent teachers when I was in Secondary Education, so what difference will it make?
     
  28. ralphchadkirk

    ralphchadkirk Established Member

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    That's still your employers and your union's fault. Just because you did not win that fight does not mean that everybody else should let employers walk all over them. Public sector unions are standing up for public sector workers - good for them!
     
  29. Nym

    Nym Established Member

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    Yes, it will, but it only ever seems to be the public sector or the well paid middle class workers that are actually able to strike, the only time I see the working classes strike are those unionised by Unite or Unison.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    And if private sector base level retail workers did that they'd all be out of a job and replaced within a month!
     
  30. SS4

    SS4 Established Member

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    The Free Schools and Private schools will get the best staff leading to a two tier system where the amount of money your parents have directly affects your chances
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Yet how are private sector base level retail workers treated by their employers? Worse than those in a union I bet. Management want to discourage unions because they give worker rights and protection
     
  31. Nym

    Nym Established Member

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    1) It already does, it depends on what area you live in, if you live in an expensive area with a 'nice' school you get a better education than living on a council estate!

    2) And yes, unionised workers in retail are usually, well, badly treated, as are most retail workers anyway, with the exception of some supermarkets..
     
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