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Am I the only one who doesn't agree with yesterdays strike?

(80 Posts)
goodkate Fri 01-Jul-11 15:04:31

I'm baffled why everyone thinks it was OK to strike yesterday.

It's OK that public sector workers have a really good pension, can retire at 60, live until they are in their mid 80's and expect everyone else to work to pay for it. Thats hardly in the spirit of our "lets stick together in this looming nightmare". Comments and defences please.

Peachy Fri 01-Jul-11 15:10:21

People striked for different reasons.

DS3's SN teacher chose to becuase whilst she is happy to pay extra into her penion, she cannot work out how she will be able to cope with her physically demanding class into her late sixties.

Not all public sector jobs are the same after all.

I entirely support her; it's not as if she will be able to move jobs (people past fifty rarely can and teaching here is letting people go bit hiring).

There should at least be something built in that acknowledges that people in certain toles need to be able to either leave earlier on full pension, or have a built-in system that allows them to role shift. Having temped at VAT office and worled in Psych care I feel fairly qualified to say that the roles are in no way the same and the same rules should not apply.

Dad was in a similar private sector role (construction, builder) but he knew that he could not do it for ever and had retrained by age 40. I am not certain etaching needs to lose a lot of people at that age and skill level (especially Sn teaching, far too few properly trained people as it is), or social work, or psych care, or............ even if there were the jobs or the time to retrain left to them.

Somewhat ironcially she was asked to leave the unit open as the kids she need so much extra care.

Er, yes

Peachy Fri 01-Jul-11 15:14:40

As for let's stick together are you really ahving a laugh?

the disability system has been amended so it will be virtually impossible to claim if you have autism (test entirely geared for physical disability, and then to eliminate claims on spurious grounds such as 'if you have a wheelchair you are mobile'- er no not if you have had the car that it needs to be transported in taken away!)

My son will neither it seems work nor be able to claim a penny from the state; PIP will not cover his set of needs, and so he will be required to claim JSA and attend job sessions that he cannot do so will be penalised having all other income sources cut off..... and he can't appeal either as they've taken away legal aid for that. Of course he could self represent. If he could talk clearly enough to be understood anyway.

In it together? the more vulnerable you are the more you are 'in it', and if protesting is a way to make yourself less vulnerable good on them.

goodkate Fri 01-Jul-11 15:20:07

I'm not getting drawn into arguments that are not to do with this thread.

My father to was a builder, very physical, worked all over the country away from his family Monday to Friday, worked until he 67 when he had saved enough to retire. Tough - very, Moaned - never!

In fact many people work in very physically challenging jobs until they are 65, the public sector isn't an exception to this. So that argument doesn't wash.

Peachy Fri 01-Jul-11 15:35:01

Your dad is clearly better than mine who is still working at seventy, happy to do so but has zero choice anyway as he had his pension taken away by the method of his employer being bought by an Amercian company who were then able to asset strip it entirely to pay an asbestos claim hmm. Of course he was stupod not to save as well as other people, not as if all the many financial advisors he ever saw count in his favour as a man who tried his best or anything. Dad worked ahrd, had a terrible childhood (think 15 / 16 kids, disabled mum and alkie dad, working at age 5 to be able to eat) and all my childhood did 16 hour shifts ion 20 day runs to pull in cash.

That argument DOES wash anyway becuase when someone looks after certain people the vulnerable people theyc are for are palced at risk if they are not able to fully conforem to their role. My boys are not just bricks or buildings that can be maintained by using people who are not up to the job physically. Poeple that can be put at risk becuase people with severe MH disorders can abuse people if not cared for properly, or kids at risk of abuse or conversely being wrongly taken from a family by a SW who is less than 100% (and my best mate's mum died of pre senile dementia in her late thirties so late sixties *has to have a heightened risk of reduced ability IMO) do not deserve that dismissal.

And the argument that vulnerable people are being hit so a wise thing to do is make yourself visible is absolutely to do with this thread.

Not a state employee BTW: am acarer who has been told her family income will drop by £200 pcm through cuts next eyar and struggles to make ends meet already. ANd is wishing she had made a bigger effort to attend demos etc to try and make my own group less visible (not that i could afford the frigging train ticket!)

Now hiding thread.

goodkate Fri 01-Jul-11 15:45:05

I don't think this is the right thread for your argument and as I said don't want to get dragged into it. Its a different matter that deals with the vulnerable, this isn't about the vulnerable but about the country's finances and public sector unaffordability.

Peachy Fri 01-Jul-11 15:46:12

The oublic sector and the vulnerable are hugely linked, can't you see that? And it's mumsnet: we can post where we wish. Where we see a lilnk.

goodkate Fri 01-Jul-11 15:49:09

No because thats not my argument. My argument is about those who work, with good paid jobs (the average wages is now above that of the private sector) within the public sector, not those who are supported by it.

You can post were you wish but I'm want to stay on point about public sector pensions and future affordability.

SirenSusan Fri 01-Jul-11 17:06:39

No idea what your talking about on the "lets stick together in this looming nightmare" - where is that from? Who agreed to that?

It takes enormous energy to teach properly and I'm not convinced that most teachers will have that energy - some will but many won't - best to let them retire and keep thing fresh - they have dedicated their lives to public service, I believe they deserve a good pension.

ASByatt Fri 01-Jul-11 17:10:21

Hmm, goodkate - your posts read read like something from the Daily Mail, sorry.
Have you actually read up on this properly (wrt affordability etc), or are you just listening to what the Govt would like you to hear?

GrimmaTheNome Fri 01-Jul-11 17:19:19

Its not really pure DM to be aware that the underfunding of public sector pensions is an actuarial timebomb which has been ticking for years, and which the last govt didn't begin to address. (I don't read the DM except from outraged MN links)

Something simply has to change. Not sure whether current govt has the balance right or not.

I don't agree with yesterdays strike simply because I don't think it achieved anything useful. Pissed off some parents - not me, DDs school stayed open and she had a lovely and semi-educational day.

(OTOH I was totally in support of recent strike by a local school by teachers whose head wasn't supporting them in matters of discipline so they couldn't do their jobs. They were concerned purely to make their school better.)

notcitrus Fri 01-Jul-11 17:42:37

Public sector pensions have been addressed: in 2002 the 'classic' system changed to require higher contributions for less pension out, and again in 2007 (even more in for less out). Most of the unions accept that changes may be needed in the future for future workers, but it's the decision to retrospectively change the rules that sticks in the craw.
And with the 25% reduction in staff, that's going to reduce future pension liabilities by a similar proportion.

That said, given negotiations were still ongoing I think striking over that was too early (my union didn't strike for that reason), but striking over how cuts are being implemented was reasonable.

And just to note that public sector workers pay tax just like everyone else!

loubie1967 Fri 01-Jul-11 17:49:53

This seems so ageist, some teachers are full of energy and really enthusiastic, experienced, knowledgeable etc way into their 60's. Don't write the oldies off, it's not fair.

belledechocchipcookie Fri 01-Jul-11 17:52:13

Striking is selfish IMO, it's made children and families suffer for something that isn't their fault. They need to find a different way to get their point across.

fothergill Fri 01-Jul-11 18:15:01

YABU. Conned. We are not quite all together in paying off the bankers debt. How pinched are the bankers feeling this month? Or when they retire? The final salary prize isn't going to be a great pension in many cases. Its a hard slog for rubbish pay and that was the only incentive.
My partner is a teacher and his paycheque was frozen ages ago and isn't going up anytime forseeable, April we lost tax credits, next April will lose child benefit, lost bit more with the NI increase, and now he is expected to work longer for less too? I am wondering how much of that list affects you. And talking of all in it together, how come my brother, on a household income of double ours will still be getting his child benefit?

jabed Fri 01-Jul-11 18:22:08

To sum up the OP's position it seems to be " I cant have what you appear to have, so why should you have it?"

All in the best tradition of a post Margret Thatcher of I myself and me.

Historically the majority of those in the public sector ( those with the so called "good pension) sacrificed much better pay in the private sector for the notion of "service" ( to others) and a pay off in old age ( the pension).

The pension has never been brilliant. On average a public sector worker will leave their post at 65 ( not 60 as is constantly claimed because that was lost many years ago) with a pension of less than 10K Oh, I hear you cry buy here in the private secotr we get nothing because someone swiped it all ( our pay masters and the management fund advisors wo charged more in fees than they made in your pension pot.

We all have our crosses to bear dont we? Yesterdays strike did not affect me. I was on holiday anyway. I never had a public sector pension because I was taken out of the public sector and was unable to carry it so it has been frozen until I reach 65 - when it will be worth little or nothing before any changes.

So lets not get carried away here. Yes, we are all in this together - we have all been ripped off.

mrz Fri 01-Jul-11 19:09:26

Coincidentally I got my Teachers pension annual statement today hmm and I'm due to get £6,299.55p per annum when I retire

aliceliddell Fri 01-Jul-11 19:17:48

Yes, some of us are in it up to our necks. As for Call me Dave & co, the bankers friends, Fothergill & Jabed & Peachy are absolutely right. I do not accept that Teachers lose their pensions, Teaching Assistants lose their jobs to solve a crisis created by unregulated banks. Not a penny, not a job, to save those bastards profits.

mumnosbest Fri 01-Jul-11 19:21:23

If you were told, your contract is changing to make you more affordable, you will have to work and extra half hour a day, get paid £5 less and need to pay for the priveledge of the change, would you be happy. I've made the numbers and time up but the idea is the same. I took a teaching post, under a set of conditions and now I'm expected to pay more, receive less and work longer.
I appreciate my job may be better than some but not as good as others, however this isn't a competition. Anyone who feels let down has the right to strike and shouldn't begrudge others according to how their jobs compare.

toutlemonde Fri 01-Jul-11 22:58:33

So staying on your point OP about public sector pensions and future affordability - here is cabinet office minister and paymaster Frances Maude, floundering on the BBC Today programme yesterday, as he is caught out trying to mislead listeners on the apparent unaffordability of public sector pensions - Today programme. The truth is that the cost of public sector pensions is falling year on year, and that the teachers pension scheme has been recently independently assessed as an affordable and sustainable scheme.

In the spirit of lets stick together - it is no coincidence that unionised workers, prepared to stand up for and even strike for themselves and eachother, have better conditions than those working without this kind of solidarity. Being prepared to put up with the inconveniences and sacrifices that occasional strikes and industrial dispute entail, exactly in order to stick up for eachother, is the point.

The public sector and other workers being expected to pay off the debts with our services, wages and pensions, are not the ones who created this mess, so why not save the disapproval for the banks and tax avoiders who deserve it?

sillybillies Fri 01-Jul-11 23:02:37

There is a thread somewhere asking teachers what they would accept as changes, please go and read that as I felt that reflected the views of my colleagues in real life.
As a teacher, I do accept some changes need to be made but the unions are saying the the government is not providing them with all the facts and figures and the negotiations are a farce. They would like a bit of fairness.

From my personal view, this is my contract that I signed up for and I will fight for it. I may earn reasonably well but I am a professional and I trained for it. My peers at university (that I'm still in touch with) all earn more than me. Its never bothered me before as I love my job and to be honest I knew I had a good pension.
I'm sorry that some in the private sector haven't prepared well for retirement but the arguement that 'I've been shafted so you need to be shafted too' doesn't sit well with me.

Mrz - my pension is about the same - gosh what are we going to do with all that money!!

crazycarol Sat 02-Jul-11 00:23:26

I am not in favour of striking full stop. I don't think it does anyone any favours. However I do think that public sector workers are being shafted. An example is someone who has worked for the public sector for 35 years with the expectation to retire at 60. Pay hasn't been wonderful, not a lot put by (Contrary to some beliefs the average public sector employee takes home less than £25K), but with the expectation of a pension of approx £X amount. 5 years before you are due to retire you are told, sorry you have to work another 8 years, pay a lot more, and are going to receive a lot less. Is that fair? Why, because the government bailed out the banks and allowed them to continue to pay massive bonuses to the bankers.

fivecandles Sat 02-Jul-11 09:21:28

Govts decide what is affordable and what is not. They decided it was affordable to spend trillions shoring up the banks and they have decided it is affordable to spend 3 million a week bombing Libya. They have decided they can afford not to chase up big companies who are avoiding paying millions in tax.

The average teacher's pension is £10,000 a year.

The teachers pension scheme IS affordable and in fact as Maude confessed earlier the amount being spent on pensions is actually going down. The Govt has no evidence that the scheme is not affordable and has refused to do a valuation which is now 2 years overdue.

fivecandles Sat 02-Jul-11 09:29:39

A point was made on Question Time the other night that I really agreed with which is that Govt is encouraging divisions and conflict between public and private sector workers in a way that is truly objectionable.

For once, I agree with Jabed, in that the I haven't got somethign so why should you have it is quite insidious.

FWIW Unions think that EVERYONE should have a decent pension in their old age and that NOBODY should be forced to work until they're 68 perhaps private sector workers should launch their own campaigns rather than nursing grudges against those in the public sector.

MrsMipp Sat 02-Jul-11 09:43:14

Outside of mn, I haven't come across many people supporting the strike. Maybe it's because I live in an area where both rich & poor are predominantly employed in the private sector. There is sympathy, obviously, but I don't think you need much more than a primary school level of maths to work out that the ponzi scheme design of public sector pensions has the potential to get very sticky indeed in 30 years' time. What's affordable today may not be affordable tomorrow. No one knows for sure, but the future has never looked more uncertain.

Reform will happen at some point. It's inevitible, I'm afraid. And you can either face up to it now, or leave the bomb ticking away and pray it doesn't go off when you are 75 and infirm.

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