Thursday, 30 June 2011
Strikes are good #3: civil servants, teachers, lecturers - all fighting for their pensions
Today around (!) 750,000 public sector workers will go on strike to protest against government attacks on their pensions.
Because of the variety of the pension schemes affected different groups of workers will lose different amounts, but they will all lose significantly. The unions involved are teaching unions the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (it will be the first strike in ATL history, and their origins go back to 1884); the civil service union the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS); and parts of the University and College Union (UCU).
There will be a number of picket lines at Jobcentres; Barnet NUT and their supporters will meet at 9.30am at Finchley Central and Golders Green tube stations before travelling to the central London march which assembles from 11am at Lincoln's Inn Fields; and Middlesex University UCU members will set off from the Hendon campus at 10.30am. I imagine that UCU members at Barnet College will be on strike, although I don't have any details.
Please support the strikers in whatever way you can today, since they are likely to take a hammering in much of the mainstream media. They are not greedy, irresponsible bastards who don't want to work and don't give a stuff what happens to those they serve. They are just people who don't accept that they should have their living standards attacked: this is a rich country and can afford to pay everyone - public and private sector - a decent pension.
P.S. NUJ members at the South London Press who were to have been on strike today will now go into work - because the action they have taken already was successful. Their management (Newsquest) have discovered that they can, after all, afford to fill vacant posts. Yet more proof that strikes are good!