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General Strike

(28 Posts)
theoldbrigade Wed 15-Jun-11 13:37:30

Seems the country is moving that way.

Have a feeling this will gain momentum over the next few months no matter whether private or public sector.

Your thoughts ?

bitsyandbetty Wed 15-Jun-11 16:27:37

No chance of private sector joining in IMO. We missed the chance to get moving when the state pension was allowed to increase with a damp squid and no union movement as there was in France. That would have affected everybody and that is why it was so powerful. This only affects public sector as unions are quite weak in the private sector.

bitsyandbetty Wed 15-Jun-11 16:28:44

Sorry the reforms that are currently being disputed relate to public sector only, it will just lead to more calls to outsource to the private sector.

Isitreally Thu 16-Jun-11 08:09:37

No chance at all from the private sector joining in. Not in any great numbers. Most of them have taken their battering already with job losses, pay cuts to save their companies and loss of other entitlements. Pay cuts in private industry started at least 2 years ago.

I think it's much more likely to open a huge divide with private sector workers anxious only to hold on to their jobs and feeling slightly outraged at the perks public sector workers get and expect to get forever more.
I actually think the divide will become (is becoming) quite bitter and will give the Tories the mandate they want to commence their attack on union power which I suspect is why they're letting the strikes go ahead without too much effort at negotiations. They know that they can point to "unreasonable" demands as greed and a lot of people who are suffering in the country right now will agree.
They know it will piss off other workers to see teachers for example strike over pensions where they get a 14% contribution when so many other people of the same age / same level of qualifications get absolutely nothing.
It is going to be quite a divisive move.

noddyholder Thu 16-Jun-11 08:21:55

I agree the private sector will not support this. It is really becoming a them and us scenario.

nicespam Thu 16-Jun-11 08:24:34

isitreally i agree so much with your post. it's going to be a tough couple of years. sad both dp and I are both losing our jobs later this years. don't know what to do, it's as if the tories just decided to cut a whole industry without knowing anything about the good they do - maybe should move abroad

niceguy2 Thu 16-Jun-11 09:33:07

I think there will be a "general" strike but I don't think most of us will notice aside from seeing it on the news.

As I said in another thread, it's basic mathematics. The private sector is screwed and it is they who must ultimately support the public sector. It only stands to reason that if the private sector is on its arse, eventually the public sector will also feel the pain.

In that context, cuts are inevitable. Pensions have been too generous for too long and simply unsustainable. Strike if it makes you feel better but ultimately mathematics will win out, no matter who is in government.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 17-Jun-11 11:42:35

I don't sense any momentum. As already pointed out, rather than hurting the government, all that the strikes will achieve is that people outside the public sector will lose sympathy. I'd have thought, when money was tight, that a responsible union would be fighting to keep as many of their members in a job as possible - even if that meant they had to accept wage restraint or a different pension deal. If they fight for higher wages and better pensions it just means more of their members will end up out of work. Don't understand how that is protecting workers.

Strix Fri 17-Jun-11 13:06:29

I agree that it will push people over to supporting the tories. I lose sympathy for any sttrike where those being effected by the strike are less well off than those striking: i.e. teachers and tube drivers.

xiaojoiii Sat 18-Jun-11 02:29:40

Message deleted

bitsyandbetty Sat 18-Jun-11 09:59:20

I noticed that shortly after the strike date was announced for all public workers, the Govt announced yesterday that they will definitely move with the Hutton proposals for anyone earning over £15k. So much for striking benefiting the public workers. The Govt must be rubbing their hands together.

As mentioned on previous threads, the unions have shot themselves in the foot by striking too early with no public support and not realising that by suggesting changes to pensions is realistic due to longevity and the future of the costs. I personally can see other options that may be beneficial for public sector workers including providing options. No by preemptive strikes it is just going to make the changes easier for the Government to push through.

There is a lot of claims on other threads that this is happening due to the private sector having mucked up. This is a crass effort to build a dvide. It annoys me that people lump the private sector together so readily in the same way that people lump all public sector workers together. This came about as a report that looked into pensions, nothing to do with the state of the economy. Hutton looked at the best way of achieving a good pension in the face of people living longer.

The pension on offer is still very good and career average works very well in occupations that do not have meteoric pay rises. It would not work in accountancy or law for instance where trainees start on very low salaries and could move up to much higher salaries. This is exactly the right type of environment. Increasing retirement age will enable some people to work longer and believe me we have very manual workers who want to carry on in our industry. Those that want to go earlier will still retire on decent pensions through early retirement.

ladylush Thu 23-Jun-11 11:59:04

I have an issue with anyone (private or public sector employer) defaulting on the terms and conditions that were in existence at the time the employee signed their contract. Simples. I've paid in to the NHS Pension Scheme since 2003. I had a projection done a year or so ago. I'm going to get another done soon. I'll then make a decision about whether I change career. I like my job but the pension is one of the reasons I put up with being overworked and underpaid.......ultimately, a major reason why I stay. I know it is the same for many of my colleagues. The general public want good nurses and good teachers. Do they really expect a 66 year old to be standing all day in a class room and keeping up with them in PE?! Or a mental health nurse like myself to be visiting risky patients in their home? It's easy not to think about these things when you work in completely different environments.

niceguy2 Thu 23-Jun-11 12:46:13

I understand your sentiments Ladylush but i think you have to dig a bit deeper and look at what is driving the changes.

If this were a company making money and just wanted to boost their profits at the expense of their employees then I'd totally agree with you. It would not be fair.

But what's driving these changes are the fact that we simply cannot afford what was signed in good faith. So those terms must be renegotiated or we face another economic meltdown in years to come. If you can see a disaster looming, it's always better to take action early to avoid isn't it? You don't plough on ahead regardless because that was what was agreed.

As for older workers, it's a stupid argument. Right now the retirement age for men is 65 so are you arguing that extra year is so bad? I know for women it's worse in so far as currently it's 60 and it will be aligned with men. But hey, you wanted equality, you have it now! We'll all have the same retirement age.

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Thu 23-Jun-11 13:12:05

There have been posts from Pubkc sector workers threatending to change careers . Do they really believe they will just waltz into a better paid better pensioned job in teh private sector? They have a shock coming coming when they emerge into the real world...

ladylush Thu 23-Jun-11 22:14:17

Niceguy - the NHS pension is equal for men and women. The previous scheme allowed mental health nurses to retire at 55! I disagree with you on the age issue. It most certainly is a factor in some occupations.

Mrsguy - er no, I don't think I'll walk into a private sector job with a cushy pension. However, I'm reasonably confident I'd get a better paid job with more favourable working conditions and I'd relish the opportunity to move about without worrying about losing my continuous service (currently 16 years). It's absolutely worth researching anyway.

niceguy2 Thu 23-Jun-11 22:29:43

But again your argument doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

Your train of thought is basically a teacher and mental health nurses should retire earlier because of their "demanding" jobs yes?

But what about that 65 year old builder who must still go up & down ladders? Or the manual workers in a factory? There are literally thousands of professions where I'd argue is more physically demanding than being a teacher or a mental health nurse. So should be boost all their pensions so they can retire early? To be honest it doesn't matter. The fact is we cannot afford it.

It's like a friend of mine's son who threw a wobbly the other day because his mum told him she couldn't afford to buy him an xbox despite having promised him she would. Understandably her son was upset but it doesn't change the fact she can't afford it does it? And therein lies the crux of the problem.

ladylush Thu 23-Jun-11 22:44:37

Factory workers and builders aren't public sector workers. I don't doubt that many non-public sector workers have physically or mentally demanding jobs. I'm not going to get into a debate whereby public and private sector jobs are compared - that isn't the point.
The NHS pension scheme and the Teachers pension scheme was set up as a perk - for recruitment and retention. It will be interesting to see what happens on both counts.

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Fri 24-Jun-11 13:35:47

NiceGuy - very apposite point re the XBox - that is EXACTLY what this episode reminds me of - spoilt kids refusing to face up to reality and imagining that if tey whine enough some magic will make what they want happen.

ladylush Fri 24-Jun-11 15:13:38

Mrsguy - what is your occupation? Obviously not one where literacy skills are necessary.
I fully support the planned strike next week. I think teachers are being treated very badly.

NotOnUrNelly Wed 29-Jun-11 22:55:03

Just because Mrs Guy makes a typo /grammatical error doesn't detract from the point she is making - I agree with her to be honest
While some teachers may be being treated badly, I have to say that others seem to be getting away with a fair amount ... my son's primary school is pretty big (3-form intake) - so there must be 24 teachers in all - I know of 3 who have been taking a term off every year for as long as anyone can remember as sick leave. I'm not disputing the fact that they are ill - but if you were away from work that much in most organisations, it would be adios - regardless of whether it was genuine or not.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 30-Jun-11 00:46:05

I also think teachers are being badly treated. But by their union representatives, not the government. The unions have known for quite some time that pension arrangements would have to be changed and wage restraint exercised. They're not stupid. They understand the economic situation and they know they'll have to get back to the negotiations at some point. But a dog-whistle has gone off somewhere and too many have got carried away thinking this is the moment to re-enact the winter of discontent and bring down the government. You know it's wrong when even Miliband says they're making a mistake.

TwoIfBySea Thu 30-Jun-11 02:16:34

There is going to be a huge backlash against this for as long as those in the private sector are having to take the punishment doled out by strikes.

While I may have sympathised it has shown that there is a "them and us" now. The unions don't help. What is their solution? All it ever seems to be is to strike and cause chaos and damage to ordinary people. Do they think their precious Labour party would be doing any different or is that not the same because these are the big bad Tories and everyone is meant to hate them? (They're both as bad as each other btw!)

I have a friend about to go on holiday, they've saved all year for it. So it gets spoiled because of this, is that worth it? We work in the private sector, the myth that the public sector takes lower wages and therefore needs the benefit of big pensions is no longer true. The public sector however have the ability to bully their point across by holding the rest of us to ransom.

Oh and NotOnUrNelly is right, the public sector workers get away with a hell of a lot more than private sector workers would. You just have to look at the misdeeds of the hierarchy who jump from one job to the next despite shockingly transparent incompetency.

The bankers may have sunk us but strikes and riots are not going to help. Why not go take your little march to where they are? I'm sure at that point everyone would be behind them!

TwoIfBySea Thu 30-Jun-11 02:19:44

Plus how will you feel working until death while a select group, after possibly causing you financial damage during your working life and making matters worse, swan around able to retire in their 50s? (Let's face it most of them then take a second job on.)

wordfactory Thu 30-Jun-11 08:46:52

I hav ehuge sympathy for the teachers...but I think they are walking right into the government's trap.
The government yawn in the face of today's strike. The teachers up the ante and there will be more industrial action in the Autumn. Parents who are supportive today get mightily pissed off....

As Ed Balls said, this is exactly what David Cameron wants to happen.

wordfactory Thu 30-Jun-11 08:49:50

Two you make a good point. My FIL retired from teaching at 56 and continued to supply teach while receiving his pension.
He also continued and still continues to set and mark exam papers.

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