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November 30th 2011 Public Sector Strike


Magic
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Public sector workers are staging a strike over pensions in what unions say is set to be the biggest walkout for a generation.

 

Schools, hospitals, courts and government offices around the UK are among services being disrupted, as more than 1,000 demonstrations take place.

 

The chancellor urged more talks, saying strikes would not achieve anything.

 

Unions object to government plans to make their members pay more and work longer to earn their pensions.

 

The strike is having the following effects:

 

- The Department of Education says it is expecting 13% of state-funded schools in England, including academies and free schools, to open and 13% to be partially open. The status of 16% of schools is unknown

 

- In Scotland, 30 of the 2,700 council-run schools are believed to be open, says local authority body Cosla

 

- Plane arrivals and take-offs at Britain's two biggest airports - Heathrow and Gatwick - are largely unaffected with only a few cancellations of in-bound transatlantic flights to Heathrow

 

- Heathrow operator BAA, and its busiest carrier, British Airways, have both reported near normal services, with queues at immigration no longer than usual

 

- At Heathrow, the 10 EU desks at Terminal 3's immigration services are being manned by a mix of Home Office staff and police officers who have been trained. Five non-EU desks are open as airport sources suggest immigration controls are at two-thirds of normal staffing levels

 

- In Northern Ireland, no bus or train services will be operating and two-thirds of schools and colleges will be closed

 

- Unions estimate about 300,000 public sector workers are on strike in Scotland while 170,000 workers in Wales are taking action

 

- NHS managers say contingency measures have been put in place to protect services such as A&E units, cancer treatment and end-of-life care

 

- In England, the government estimates about 400,000 nurses and healthcare assistants, paramedics, physiotherapists and support staff like cleaners and administrators are joining the action. It says about 60,000 non-urgent operations, out-patient appointments, tests and follow-up appointments have been postponed

BBC News Channel's chief political correspondent Norman Smith tweeted: "(Health Secretary) Andrew Lansley says patients who have ops cancelled today will still be seen within 18-week limit."

 

- London Ambulance Service tells BBC London it is "struggling" and said people not in a life-threatening condition may not get an ambulance while South East Coast Ambulance Service says it is now only responding to "life-threatening emergencies"

 

- In Scotland, at least 3,000 operations and thousands more hospital appointments are affected

 

- Union leaders say although court staff are taking action, the trial of two men accused of killing of teenager Stephen Lawrence will not be disrupted

 

- The BBC's Ross Hawkins tweeted that strike placards had been seen outside the Royal Courts of Justice but said the Leveson Inquiry is going ahead as planned

 

- BBC political correspondent Mike Sergeant tweeted: "Union official outside HMRC in Whitehall predicting 70% of those who work in the building will strike."

 

Source: BBC News http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15953806

 

Anyone on strike? Or being affected by people who are?

 

I disagree with the strike. In my opinion, public sector workers have been offered a very fair deal. The majority of the public sector workers are paid more than private sector workers - almost £4000 per annum more on average. People in this country don't realise how good we have it. All it takes is to compare these people's lives to people in third world countries and to see what real poverty is.

 

Not only that, but I disagree with complaints of public sector workers regarding increased retirement age. The average death age is increasing, so I believe it is only fair to expect people to work slightly longer. It's not a drastic increase either.

Edited by Magic
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Source: BBC News http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15953806

 

Anyone on strike? Or being affected by people who are?

 

I disagree with the strike. In my opinion, public sector workers have been offered a very fair deal. The majority of the public sector workers are paid more than private sector workers - almost £4000 per annum more on average. People in this country don't realise how good we have it. All it takes is to compare these people's lives to people in third world countries and to see what real poverty is.

 

Not only that, but I disagree with complaints of public sector workers regarding increased retirement age. The average death age is increasing, so I believe it is only fair to expect people to work slightly longer. It's not a drastic increase either.

 

Said by someone with absolutely no clue I'm afraid. Possibly one of the most ignorant statements I've ever read. I never thought I'd read something that would annoy me more than Jayfunk talking about anything but seriously....

 

Hey Magic, by the way, we're increasing the cost of the subbers room by 20% which you pay whether you like it or not retroactively but you'll only get 6 months access and you won't actually get to see the champagne room 4 days out of every 7. Sounds fair right?

Edited by Omega
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He hasn't got any points. He's got ignorant assertions that some how public sector workers live a privileged life earning thousands more than everyone else. It's idiotic in the extreme. The private sector contains more lower paid workers than the public sector because the public sector contains many more professionals who funnily enough tend to get paid more than your avergae burger flipper! They also work in all the institutions that make the country actually work for f*cks sake. Do they not actually deserve to get paid a decent wage?

 

If you'd been saving into a bank account and then suddenyl your bank manager turned around and said "Well, we're lowering interest rates so what we'll do is take back any interest paid over the new rate and you'll need to pay in twice as much as there is now but you'll only ever be able to draw half of that out and only once you;ve saved with us for another 3 years" you'd flip out. But because it's the privileged public sector Magic some how thinks they deserve to have money they've already paid taken away from them and then be asked to fill the gap twice over.

 

Anyone remember the Guinness pension scandal where the bosses took out all the pension money and spent it? But if the government chooses to do it to pay for their new 30bn pound projects it's no a problem. Please.

 

EDIT: By the way the increase in pensionable age is only being protested in conjunction with the other measures. In itself a rise in pension age is totally expected and was already planned and NOT balloted about because funnily enough people realise that was always going to be the case as we lived longer. They're also bring the age forward from their original plan, not sure if that's universal or just for the public sector.

Edited by Omega
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I've worked a lot in the public sector as a contractor, and there are definite gravy train issues in some areas of the public sector. I'm talking about the people who have 360 days a year sick leave and still get full pay and can't be fired. People who get promoted to management level without anything to actually manage based solely on tenure. Mayors who earn ridiculous amounts of money.

 

And then there is the flip side, with nurses (who don't earn nearly enough) and doctors working 100+ hour weeks, firemen and policemen who earn nearly as poorly as nurses do. Teachers who aren't paid enough for the shit they have to put up with from students, let alone the workload.

 

I completely agree we need to make public sector cuts, but screwing over their existing pensions just isn't right, especially as there are much better ways to make those savings. Starting with having each public sector worker assessed for if their work is required, the quality of their work and if we're getting value for money. And we can start with the PM and MP's....

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I'm with Omega on this one, and not just because I work in a school. I'm not striking today because I'm not in a union so I'm typing this from am empty classroom, in an empty department, in an empty school.

 

I hate the assumption that, just because public sector workers earn more per year, that they should have the cut down to match the workers in the private sector. It's a little unfair because, as Omega said, generally the people on strike today are part of f some of the most important insitutions. not saying that the private sector doesn't have it's place, because is does, I'm just saying that the wages, generally, reflect the work.

 

Just coming out with "oh but they earn more anyway" is pretty ridiculous. By that sentiment people who work in Mcdonalds should earn the same wage as doctors and nurses, which I think is ludicrous. I'm not going to feel guilty about having a good job and a good wage, and I'm equally not going to feel guilty about striking if the Government want to make changes that are going to hurt in the long run.

 

As I said I'm not striking today, so that last sentence might seem a little strange seen as I'm sat on my arse typing this, but I'm more talking about the sector as a whole then me personally.

 

Also something interesting to note, the last strike we had earlier in the year only included 2 unions that were representing education, this time there's 8 or 9. Just thought you might like to know how that's developed.

 

EDIT: just want to clarify something, I agree with etz about some parts of the public sector, I'm not saying it's completely perfect, just that while there's a lot of support for the strikes, there's also some people who don't really understand what they're about.

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They also work in all the institutions that make the country actually work for f*cks sake. Do they not actually deserve to get paid a decent wage?

 

The average working salary of Public Sector employee is £28,802. This is a fact. And if you can't live a comfortable life on that amount, then that person is doing something wrong.

 

I don't have much more to say than that. I feel debating politics with someone who disagrees strongly is utterly worthless, because nothing ever gets achieved other than both sides getting increasingly annoyed.

 

I believe that what they have been offered is a fair system and what they deserve. You are welcome to disagree Omega, it comes down to subjective opinion on what these people are entitled too, and we just don't think the same.

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So you're saying that just because they earn a decent wage (which is reflected by the workload and hours they put in) they should just accept anything that gets thrown at them? That's not fair. not at all. If they're going to have their pensions fiddled with, then their hours and job descriptions should be altered accordingly.
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Just to be clear, Magic's premise that Public Sector workers get paid more on average then Private Sector is completely wrong isn't it? I haven't been keeping up to date with the current situation so forgive me but my long standing understanding was that the trade-off was that comparable workers get much higher wages in the Private Sector but Public Sector workers get a better pension and job security. That's right isn't it?

 

By which I mean, workers that can be compared due to skill, experience, expertise, job e.t.c not some dodgy comparing shelf-stacker's wages with a Town planners and accountants.

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The average working salary of Public Sector employee is £28,802. This is a fact. And if you can't live a comfortable life on that amount, then that person is doing something wrong.

 

Seriously? £28K is some life changing amount of money where suddenly everything is easy? You are coming across like a stupid, naive 19 year old who thinks that GROSS pay of £28K makes you living the gravy train. I can assure you that it isn't.

 

The problem is Magic, other than clearly you having no clue, they aren't striking because they aren't getting paid enough so even if, even if anything you've asserted was even close to being true it simply isn't the issue in question.

 

I would seriously re-consider venturing an opinion about what a real living wage is to people when you've actually had to go live a life.

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I never like strikes in themselves, just because it always seems so self-destructive and selfish, but, at the same time, I don't know enough about the issue at the heart of it to be able to really condemn it. So, unlike a fair few strikes in the past, I can't actually really honestly be against this one.

 

And, yeah, £28K is no big deal. From school, I remember that children who's parents earn under £30K are considered to be so financially unstable that they get government grants just to turn up for class.

Edited by John Hancock
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The public sector can be really weird in terms of earnings. Some people are massively overpaid, others are paid in line with their work and still others are stupidly underpaid.

 

The top end management of most of the public sector, for instance, is massively overpaid. The argument that you have to pay these people the same as they'd earn in the private sector is bullshit because in the private sector, pay is based on results and profit, unless you're talking banks (no one knows what that's based on). Their jobs and their careers live or die by results. In the public sector that's just not true.

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I was simply responding to your comment Omega regarding how much they get paid, not justifying why they were striking.

 

I live fully self sufficient of my parents, pay my own bills, my own rent and earn my own money. I earn a measly £9200 per annum, and my girlfriend earns less. Yet we have our own place, have savings in the bank, have zero debt. We can afford to live a what I consider a very comfortable standard of living.

 

This is all done on just slightly more than half of the average public sector worker. So forgive me if I can't understand how someone earning this amount can't be living a comfortable life.

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Just to be clear, Magic's premise that Public Sector workers get paid more on average then Private Sector is completely wrong isn't it? I haven't been keeping up to date with the current situation so forgive me but my long standing understanding was that the trade-off was that comparable workers get much higher wages in the Private Sector but Public Sector workers get a better pension and job security. That's right isn't it?

 

By which I mean, workers that can be compared due to skill, experience, expertise, job e.t.c not some dodgy comparing shelf-stacker's wages with a Town planners and accountants.

 

If only.... now the greedy ****ers want all the benefits and the same pay.

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I don't know what you are referring to.

 

The trade off between lower pay, better benefits and job security in comparison to the private sector. Now they want the same or better pay while maintaining the benefits and job security. Essentially, they want the trade off to **** off. Hence, greedy ****ers.

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I was simply responding to your comment Omega regarding how much they get paid, not justifying why they were striking.

 

I live fully self sufficient of my parents, pay my own bills, my own rent and earn my own money. I earn a measly £9200 per annum, and my girlfriend earns less. Yet we have our own place, have savings in the bank, have zero debt. We can afford to live a what I consider a very comfortable standard of living.

 

This is all done on just slightly more than half of the average public sector worker. So forgive me if I can't understand how someone earning this amount can't be living a comfortable life.

 

You're 19 living in what I presume is a small flat with little outgoings plus even if your other half earns less, she still earns so it isn't on half the average salary at all. Again, a real living wage of, and I feel slightly bad in using the term, proper adults who pay out a lot more than you do and I am TELLING you that £28K is not a lot of money. Not in real terms. Not for families. Not for Mortgage payers. Not for anyone who works in a job that means you can work in the private sector and be assured that you have access to universal healthcare, you are protected from fire and crime, you get your benefits, you get your rubbish taken away and all the other things done for you by the public sector that you certainly don't want to or are not able to do.

 

therefore you argument that they get enough is fundamentally incorrect and I sincerely hope you realise this now before you say it out loud and make a tit of yourself.

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Those are incomparable figures though mate. The private sector has much, much more menial, manual and unskilled jobs then the public sector. It's comparing apples and oranges. The public sector has a higher proportion of skilled and highly trained workers due to the nature of it's role.

 

 

The trade off between lower pay, better benefits and job security in comparison to the private sector. Now they want the same or better pay while maintaining the benefits and job security. Essentially, they want the trade off to **** off. Hence, greedy ****ers.

 

Can you point me to examples of this because I still don't know what you are referring to. Unless you mean the top layer of the public sector the DG of the BBC e.t.c because that's a completely different situation to the people I'm talking about.

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Can you point me to examples of this because I still don't know what you are referring to. Unless you mean the top layer of the public sector the DG of the BBC e.t.c because that's a completely different situation to the people I'm talking about.

 

This was really shittily worded what I meant etz was are you still referring to the highest level of the Public Sector where this trade-off goes out of the window because of the weird situation these jobs are in that you were referring to earlier or something else?

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