Sharing InformationYesterday was extremely busy and involved me getting up at the crack of dawn, which is unheard of for me.  The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union took joint industrial action with three teachers unions (National Union of Teachers (NUT), University and College Union (UCU) and Association of Teacher and Lecturers (ATL)).  These unions are trying to persuade the government that changes to public sector pensions and the sweeping cuts to the public sector are unnecessary and avoidable.  The one day strike could have been avoided if the government had engaged in meaningful negotiations and given ground on some of the key issues on the proposed changes to pensions.  Pension contributions of public sector workers are set to double or triple and the proposed age for claiming the pension could rise from 60 to 65 and eventually 68.

Yesterday saw picket lines outside schools and Civil Service establishments.  My workplace had picket lines outside each entrance and as I am on the PCS branch committee I was there, camera in hand.

PCS and Unite (who have a large membership in government pension schemes)  have recently signed an agreement to take part in joint campaigning.  Unite were unable to ballot their members in the time frame so they were unable to take part in the joint industrial action although  they were  able to show their support and help out in other ways.     There are a large number of Unite members at my workplace, a considerable number of them stopped their cars on the way into work so that they could talk the people on the picket lines.  This caused further disruption by causing the traffic to queue at times.

At lunch time the Unite members marched out of work to join the trade unionists who had been taking strike action and members of the public for a short march.  This was followed by a lunch time rally, which was so well attended that people spilled out from the main hall into adjoining rooms.  The rally was addressed by speakers from each of the unions including Gail Cartmail, Assistant General Secretary of Unite.  Gail exposed many myths that are pedalled by the media about public sector pensions and public sector cuts, after each exposé she got the room chanting “Its a big fat lie“.

The day was a huge success both locally and nationally.  The estimated turn out for my branch was 88% of members, with around 500 people taking part in the march

More information on the myths about the public sector can be found here.

Being Interviewed by the Local Newspaper Reporter

Getting Ready for the March

Unite Marching to Join the Rally

For more of this weeks PhotoHunt pictures check out tnchick.

24 Comments CherryPie on Jul 2nd 2011

24 Responses to “PhotoHunt – Busy”

  1. Claude says:

    Right type of BUSY-ness. Good luck to you all.:)

  2. YTSL says:

    Read about the strike in The Guardian. Is it my imagination or are there more strikes when the Conservative party is in power than Labour?

    • CherryPie says:

      Yes there are more strikes when the Conservative party is in power but that is because the people who are attacked in those times will try to change the decision.

      When Labour is in power the people they attack seem to take it on the chin without challenging the decision.

      I thought governments were supposed to act in the best interests of the people…

  3. In my country, demonstrations and strikes are banned and are illegal. We have to fight for our rights through feedback channels which are ineffective.

  4. Ruth says:

    Ah yes….it must have been a verry busy day for you. I had to switch the breakfast news off yesterday morning because yhe untruths being told about public sector pensions were making me so angry!
    Keep up the good work :)

    • CherryPie says:

      I avoid the news because the lies and the spin make me angry too. But also I am surprised that supposedly intelligent people fall for those lies :-(

  5. Mar says:

    Lots of demonstrations and strikes around the world these days… and what a busy day for you! enjoy your weekend.

  6. Annie says:

    Busy for a good cause! Best of luck to you. I admire what you’re doing.

    I was too busy to get a PhotoHunt post together this week but hope to be back next weekend!

  7. ivan says:

    Sorry Cherie. I don’t agree with you. After Brown raided my pension I get about £2k a year to live on. Even though I live abroad where it is less expensive it is hard to make ends meet on that as well as being over 70 and not getting a state pension. Therefore the public service pensions are rather excessive in my opinion.

    • CherryPie says:

      You don’t have to feel sorry for not agreeing with me. Differing opinions lead to exploring of ideas which can lead to expansion of knowledge.

      My thoughts following on from my post and your comments are:

      Left wing governments steal from the middle classes and right wing governments steal from the working classes. What do both governments have in common? They keep the money for themselves. It makes me angry in both cases.

      The difference seems to be that the working class will take a stand against the injustice but the middle class accepted what was delivered without questioning it…

      The issue is a lot more complex than that I know, I was trying to be brief.

      Getting back to my post – the public sector pensions are affordable, they are budgeted in and were reviewed quite recently and deemed affordable. I have accepted lower pay over a number of years knowing that I would have a small pension that would keep me going in retirement.

      I am interested to know what you think think an average public service pension is…

      • ivan says:

        Cherry, your last question obviously has no definitive answer because there is a range over which the value extends but I also believe even the lowest is more than my £2000 for which I paid a third of my earnings only to have Brown steal it away. Even if the lowest public sector worker gets less they have the state pension and other benefits available where I do not so I must continue working until I drop.

        In all walks of life and all professions there are those that try and look after themselves, I am one such and I assumed I would have enough to feed myself and my dog and not be a burden on anyone. That is now denied me. I had calculated that I needed an income of £4000 a year to live and pat my taxes, it is somewhat difficult trying to live on half that, at least a bowl of rice a day keeps me slim.

        I can understand your point but it rankles that when Brown stole the private sector pensions the unions didn’t have a strike or demonstration, in fact I seem to remember that they backed him.

        I don’t want to turn you excellent blog into a battle ground or a heated debate. I value your pictures too much for that so this will be my last words on this subject and I thank you for the space to say what I have.

        • CherryPie says:

          I don’t think we would fall out on the issue, we are both annoyed about the same thing. I am angry about what has happened to you too. Angry about the way people are used as pawns and so on.

          But you are right we need the lighter things in life to give us focus and keep us sane :-) Someone once said of my blog ‘thank you for reminding me of the sunshine and lolipops in life’ ;-)

          I can’t promise not to post the occasional annoying post, because it is part of my life but I can promise, ‘mostly sunshine and lolipops’ which I find more important to focus on :-)

  8. Lot depends on which state of union one lives in here. There been all sort of cut back in government programs here in the United States.
    Some states are demanding things.
    But the state of Idaho which I live in is a “right to work state” which pretty much non union state.
    There no bargaining or workers rights.

    I think things going to get interesting, great take on this week theme.

    Coffee is on.

    • CherryPie says:

      Interesting :-)

      We weren’t doing workers rights. We were doing don’t take away the terms and conditions which we have had an agreement on. In my case 30+ years….

  9. It was a necessary protest. I am very glad I am out of the civil service now

  10. Denise says:

    I took my pension early, at 55 – I feel I will be one of the few who will get this. My financial adviser said the Teacher’s Pension Agency has been inundated with requests from people like me. I supported this strike 100%.