STRIKE on 30th November!Tagged as: 30th cuts november pensions public services strike work
Strike to defend pensions on 30th November
Our public sector workers strike on 30th November is growing, and some say will involve more workers than any action since the 1926 General Strike. Schools and health services, as well as central and local government, will see workers defying their bosses in defence of pension rights, and the wider attack on public services.
The first union to ballot its members was the NUT in the summer. Their vote is still valid and they will be out on 30th. More recently the biggest union Unison balloted 1.1 million members, with 78% of those voting in favour. Over the last few days the GMB and Unite have also announced that their members have voted four-to-one in favour of a strike. This follows the building workers union UCATT who voted with an 83% majority. Today the NASUWT have announced 82% in favour, and there are many smaller less well known unions that are also striking.
Public sector workers are standing up to the ConDem government, who are trying to make them pay for the bailout of their friends the bankers, and the mess they have made. Most public sector pensions schemes have already been overhauled in recent years, and are sustainable. Don't believe the lies the government peddle, or their New Labour stooge Lord Hutton. The NHS pension scheme for example, after being overhauled in 2008, will earn 2 billion surplus each year for the government over the next 5 years. The Local Government pension scheme is also flush. The teachers pension was renegotiated in 2007, and put on a good footing. The government refuse now to say how much it is worth. The changes the government wants to make – raising workers contributions by half as much again, and making us work until we're 68 – are just ways of making more cash for the treasury.
And the government aren't playing fair (like they ever do!) A pension of all things is a long term commitment, and you can't be re-designing the whole damn thing every 3 years. The proper negotiations weren't had when the government proposed these changes. Nor were they when they unilaterally imposed the change from Retail Price Index inflation-proofing to Consumer Price Index. This much lower measure of inflation is now being challenged in the courts by Unison.
Public sector pensions are not gold plated as the media sometimes claims. The average public service pension is £7,800. I myself am a nurse, and went into nursing when I was 20. I'm 40 now. My pension forecast used to say I would get about £10,000 a year, plus a lump sum of around £12,000, when I retired at 60. Okay that's enough to live on, but its not exactly luxury. And thats after 40 years hard work. But now of course I my retirement age is being raised anyway.....
There will be a rally on the Forest recreation ground from 10.30 on the strike day, then marching into town down Mansfield Road at 11.30. It will pass through market Square before heading up to a rally at the Albert Hall, and in the square outside (beside the Playhouse theatre).
Some workers in essential (life and limb) services are being exempted from strike action by prior arrangement – our fight is with the government not with patients and service users. Many of these workers are donating that day's pay to a hardship fund. We want to defend public services for the benefit of everyone. Although the issue at hand is pensions, this is really just the straw that broke the camels back. As we saw when half a million or more people took to the streets of London in March, the bigger issue here is the continued existence of decent public services. Public bodies not private companies should run our health education and social services, and not be subject to the Tories slash and burn, their sell it off and make a dollar mentality. And we will not pay for their crisis! Tax the rich – the buddies of the 23 out of 29 cabinet ministers who are millionaires. They fucked the economy up, not us.
If you work in public services then STRIKE on 30th November! Join a union if you aren't already a member – new members will still be protected to take action.
Spread the word. Messages of support (or flasks of tea!) will be greatly received at picket lines at all major public buildings. Join the march from the Forest! Make a noise!
We won't pay for their mess!