Civil Servants Strike

I received an email notification yesterday from the British Library advising me of the strike action taking place on the 30th June 2011 by all numerous public services.

Librarians join teachers, prison officers, immigration officials and other civil servants to strike, rally, protest over a 24 hour period. An estimated 750,000 people are expected to participate in this demonstration against pension changes, pay cuts and job losses.

I am often seen as more capitalist than socialist and have not always been in favour of striking, however, when my husband who is quite a socialist recently questioned the mass strike, I found myself somewhat defending it.

My husband’s concerns were that people were striking in opposition to changes and cuts that were necessary in light of the global recession and the financial difficulties.

Whilst I agree that the world is in a financial mess, I do not agree that civil servants need to be punished for these mistakes. Cameron’s “we are all in this together” doesn’t wash with me. I do not see the investment bankers taking pay cuts, having pension losses. Instead they use the excuse of global competition to keep increased wages and pay obscene bonuses. Fred the Shred, Sir Fred Goodwin, was paid off and retained his pension despite being responsible for the fall of RBS and one of the greatest pubic bailouts.

For the first time in a long time, I am delighted to see the unions standing united and fighting for their jobs and the their futures. Isn’t it astounding that the government has found billions to bail out the banks at the cost of our public services?


4 Comments to “Civil Servants Strike”

  1. It always strikes me that how inaccurate information is fed to the public. Yes there is a global credit crisis, yes the UK has suffered and yes the banks had the first and last laughs – but – in addition to telling the public sector ‘sorry we need to cut costs which may impact your job’ we some how find money to fight existing wars and go into brand spanking new ones too.

  2. I think two separate issue are being confused here. Changes to public sector pensions had to be made. The recession has just made those changes happen sooner.

    In it’s current form, when a government employee retires, the money for their pension has to be found from somewhere at that point in time. It is not saved up over the years.

    When the public sector pension was first devised, there were ten working people for every one pensioner. The system was not a burden on the tax payer.because they money could be taken from 10 people’s tax receipts.

    Now, today, there are only two working people for every one pensioner. That’s five times less money in the system.

    Surely it’s not rocket science to work out the system has to change. It’s no longer just a cashflow issue, it is unsustainable.

    The private sector worked out that it was unsustainable for them in the 90s and changed the system so that you as an employee were made more responsible for your own future.

    I find it amusing that the very same people who criticise the nanny state, want to be parented into retirement by that very same government.

  3. Thanks for explaining the pensions gap a little but it is the banks who have benefited from the nanny state or overly indulgent Asian mum state – they are the ones who were bailed out for their gambling habit and they are the ones who will not feel the pinch of the cuts.

    I agree with some cuts the public sector needs to stay on its toes with efficiency but I am gutted about library closures. I think it is one of the good examples of how inclusive Britain was and to a certain extent the public sector are right to fight they don’t have fancy contracts and legal teams so they have to resort to old fashioned methods.

  4. Im a civil servant & i took part in the strike on 30th june. I understand the economics surrounding pensions, however, when i first become a civil servant 10 years ago this also involved agreeing to terms&conditions of a pension. It was a legally binding contract. Why cant i have the terms i agreed to? I refuse to be penalised for others mistake and hope my union, pcs, are able to have favourable negotiations. Can i also point out that we have had a 2 year pay freeze forced upon us despite the basic cost of living increasing. The general morale of all civil servants is at an all time low & the government wonders why!!!!

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