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  • FIRST POST
    Former MSE Penelope
    'Do you support Wednesday's strike?' poll
    • #1
    • 28th Nov 11, 12:11 PM
    'Do you support Wednesday's strike?' poll 28th Nov 11 at 12:11 PM
    Poll started 22 November 2011, click here to vote

    Do you support Wednesday's strike?

    On Wednesday, 23 public sector unions will strike over changes to their pensions. This is likely to impact many areas including schools, some NHS operations and passport checks (more info in BBC Q&A).

    Which of these is closest to your view (if you have more than one job/contract choose the one you spend most time on)

    I work in the public sector

    A. I fully support the strike
    B. I support it as it's democratic - but I would've voted / did vote against it
    C. I'm against the strike
    D. I don't know enough about it to decide

    I work in the private or charity sector

    A. I fully support the strike
    B. I support it as it's democratic - but I would've voted / did vote against it
    C. I'm against the strike
    D. I don't know enough about it to decide

    I don't work / am unemployed/ am retired

    A. I fully support the strike
    B. I support it as it's democratic - but would've voted against it myself
    C. I'm against the strike
    D. I don't know enough about it to decide



    Click reply to discuss
    Last edited by Former MSE Penelope; 28-11-2011 at 12:50 PM.
Page 3
  • Jiser
    I have worked for almost 40 years, in the private sector as a VERY low paid nursery nurse.
    I could never afford a private pension, or even to save. I paid towards my state pension, assuming I would be eligible to collect it at 60, I now have to wait until I am 64.9. (and I am not even sure it will be enough to live on!)
    I am only one of millions, in similar positions, shall we all go on strike!
    PS. I was made redundant too!
    Originally posted by savvy06
    I sympathise with you but I also blame your lack of ambition or get up and go !

    If you didn't like it why didn't you do something about it?

    There aren't really enough exuses for 60 odd years of life for not achieving...
  • Jiser
    I have been both private and public sector worker on both low and an 'average' pay for my age bracket.
    In most cases private sector wages are much better in my line of work. The pension is one of the only benefits.

    In previous public sector work there is alot of beaurachy and money wastage! In fact in two secondary schools I worked in both senior leadership 'teams' of roughly 7 took regular nights/days and weekends on jollys with paid hotel stays etc. I also saw governing bodies take laptops for their own children (though they do volunteer for governing duties).

    In regards to teachers - there work is emotionally draining for many but also comes with a good salary, pension, a dynamic work envrionemnt, holidays and not bad working hours when you know your trade. Out of the public sector? They have it the best...their jobs aren't under attack really. Where else can you bake fairy cakes for 35 k a year and 13 weeks holiday? Trust me ive seen alot of them - straight out the door when the clock hits.

    I no longer work for schools but still a public sector worker. I fully support the strike though won't be striking due to not a member of union.
    • Snow Angel
    • By Snow Angel 29th Nov 11, 10:44 PM
    • 654 Posts
    • 967 Thanks
    Snow Angel
    I'm a public sector worker but as a physiotherapist I have the option of switching to private sector as and when I choose...or emigrating which is looking a better option! I'm getting really annoyed with the private vs public arguments and general !!!!!ing. Surely we're all on the same side. We're all being shafted. Here's the facts about MPs pensions:

    A funded final salary scheme (their reforms for public sector are career average)
    Normal retirement age is 65, minimum age is 55 (for us with very physically demanding professions it's going to be 68)
    MPs can contribute either 11.9%, 7.9% or 5.9% of their £65,738-a-year salary (hard life!)
    From April payments are now increased in line with the consumer prices index Accrual is capped at two-thirds of an MP's final salary
    The coalition agreement included a commitment to consult with the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority on "how to move away from the general final salary pension system" ('"commitment to consult" menas nothing)
    28.7% taxpayers contribution added to their own contributions

    Public sector and private sector workers all get way, way less than this and despite their 'reforms' for public sector pensions they are not changing their own pensions...despite them being public sector workers.

    http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:N_YtLpjM8ewJ:www.parliament.uk/documents/upload/M05.pdf+MP+pensions&hl=en&gl=uk&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEE ShaLgw0bembRI3x5Bu3ZzxuzBhgJcZ91hjlTYgFfUFHchvEjd0 TmwsPxHNOkfSq1PRHKfai0_WMc-16jAXGhgs4Z9o7nNh7HxqMMpNDiUpqdbWpDKadl4KS4T_l2nMD BQrLR-zA&sig=AHIEtbS10ZKR9W9pYkQF9m5V-lHg9qv4jw
    Last edited by Snow Angel; 29-11-2011 at 10:46 PM.
    • liz545
    • By liz545 29th Nov 11, 10:56 PM
    • 1,713 Posts
    • 16,706 Thanks
    liz545
    I've worked in the public sector, currently working in private. I fully support the strike - I don't think a lot of people who're against it realise it isn't a day's holiday, everyone striking loses their wages, that many can't really afford to do. I know that public sector pensions are better than their private sector equivalent, but there's absolutely no reason to cut people's real earnings just because the private sector doesn't look after its staff. If the extra money being asked was actually going to go into people's pensions, that would probably not be so bad, but it's just going to bail out the deficit, because the Gov't can't get back the money that went to bail out the financial industry. This government should expect a lot more protest as the country wakes up to the pain people are experiencing so that they can keep the City happy.
    2015 comp wins - £370.25
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    • hannahnightmare
    • By hannahnightmare 29th Nov 11, 10:57 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 69 Thanks
    hannahnightmare
    I work in the private sector and I'm totally against the strike, I feel that some public setor workers really don't understand how lucky they have it. When minimum rate wage went up the company I work for laid off 40 members of staff to cover it. They made this totally clear this was the reason why they had to let the staff go. Fair no! Did they get the chance to strike? no! Sadly most people at the moment are living month to month and can't even consider a pension. I feel really let down by the public sector for going on strike when at least 10 people I worked with on a daily basis have lost there job and would give there right arm to be in any kind of job at the moment.
    • DKLS
    • By DKLS 29th Nov 11, 11:03 PM
    • 12,761 Posts
    • 21,519 Thanks
    DKLS
    Having worked in a number of public sector organisations, I have zero sympathy for their "cause"
    • jax1305
    • By jax1305 29th Nov 11, 11:07 PM
    • 47 Posts
    • 123 Thanks
    jax1305
    I support the strike, and at the risk of sounding like a loony commie - I also support the campaign to redress the wealth inequality worldwide. There is money sloshing about that could address many of the issues - unfortunately, it's in the hands of the 1% who don't want to hand it back to the 99%. Instead of the petty bickering and glib acceptance of the mass media's portrayal of campaigners for wealth equality as anti-capitalists, if the majority of the 99% were to unite, take a stand & demand the introduction of a financial transactions tax, many of the imbalances of society would be addressed, cuts to services & increased taxation avoided and potential world recession averted. We are the 99%, please support the robin hood tax and occupy together.
    Now I stand down off my soapbox and await the onslaught
  • cbrooks
    Finally some sense
    [QUOTE=Snow Angel;48946867]Here's the facts about MPs pensions:

    A funded final salary scheme (their reforms for public sector are career average)
    Normal retirement age is 65, minimum age is 55 (for us with very physically demanding professions it's going to be 68)
    MPs can contribute either 11.9%, 7.9% or 5.9% of their £65,738-a-year salary (hard life!)
    From April payments are now increased in line with the consumer prices index Accrual is capped at two-thirds of an MP's final salary
    The coalition agreement included a commitment to consult with the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority on "how to move away from the general final salary pension system" ('"commitment to consult" menas nothing)
    28.7% taxpayers contribution added to their own contributions

    Public sector and private sector workers all get way, way less than this and despite their 'reforms' for public sector pensions they are not changing their own pensions...despite them being public sector workers.



    Thankyou Snow Angel,

    The workers of this country are being pitted against each other to cover for the mismangement of this whole crisis. if the Mp's really wanted to solve the financial crisis they would reduce their salaries and perks then cut their own pensions, this will never happen. We have Mp's being paid rediculous salaries to make decisions that they are not qualified to make, so they employ experts on high salaries to advise them. It's time to cut out some of these middlemen.
    I voted for the STRIKE as i cannot afford to have my pension stolen by these unqualified people.
  • alimckay
    For all those moaning that tax payers pay public sector and their pension I,d like to point out a couple of things ....public sector workers like everyone else apart from mega paid big bonus folk pay taxes, they also pay lots of their lower salaries into cover their pension, it is not a free perk like the common misconception out there.I worked in private sector when we still had non.contributory pensions, in public sector where I paid loads in and now in private sector where I made a huge pay jump when I moved so have knowledge of all sides.
    BUT who do you all think pays banks staff, shop staff, etc answer really the tax payer....we pay our money into the bank, we borrow from the bank they make profits and that funds their operating costs and pays staff wages and the bonuses of those still getting them.....banks don't operate without tax payers money and the profits they make.....if tax payers don't shop in places they close because in reality tax payers fund the shop and their staff wages it's basic economics...tax payers fund pretty much all of it.
    Yes in a shop you get goods, in a bank you're meant to get a safe place to keep your money....in public sector you get free education at school, free healthcare, free dentist, free social work care, bin service, roads and so on so that's what we pay for.
    Just ask yourself if the public servants in government are serving normal tax payers why then do many use private schools and the like the rest can't afford just like the same folk who brought the worlds finances into chaos because they can afford to and yes it's the rest of us normal tax payers who pay for it!
    Good luck to those losing a days pay on strike or those who loose out as a result of it but all fighting each other nicely deflects the fight from those who caused this mess in the first place so they win in the end..again!
    • paulwellerfan
    • By paulwellerfan 30th Nov 11, 7:14 AM
    • 1,132 Posts
    • 1,068 Thanks
    paulwellerfan
    yep i support the strike, i am just going to join the picket now.....
    as you can guess i am public sector.
    credit card bill. £0.00
    overdraft £0.00
    Help from the state £0.00
    • AHAR
    • By AHAR 30th Nov 11, 8:52 AM
    • 969 Posts
    • 661 Thanks
    AHAR
    Hang on, I want to change my mind. The traffic was lovely and light this morning. Thanks public sector workers strikers.
    • kevanf1
    • By kevanf1 30th Nov 11, 11:43 AM
    • 297 Posts
    • 210 Thanks
    kevanf1
    I am truly amazed at the utterly selfish attitude of those who do not support the strike. I see comments such as the public sector are lazy or that the private sector are paying for the public sector pensions. Rubbish!!! If only these people would open their eyes and realise that they are being manipulated by the MP's and the fat cats of industry/commerce. We should all be focusing our attention on MP's salaries and pensions, both of which are protected and both keep going up year after year despite relatively poor performance.

    If everybody, both public and private sector, would only stand together then both sets of pensions would have a far better chance of being protected.

    For the record, I have a pension that will be next to nothing when I get to retirement age. I was made disabled and unable to work well before I had managed to put anything into my pension. However, this does not mean I begrudge the public sector a decent pension and I also support the private sector getting a good pot at the end of the day too.
    Kevan - a disabled old so and so who, despite being in pain 24/7 still manages to smile as much as possible
    • cs94njw
    • By cs94njw 30th Nov 11, 12:20 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    cs94njw
    Right or Wrong, Unions harm the message
    I have a few issues.

    These strikes cause enormous disruption for other people - public/private both. But this also affects children and other services. I appreciate this is a consequence of strikes, but then...

    The Union Leaders are telling people not to give notice of their participation in the strike. Normally a school gets 24 hours notice and can decide whether the school can open normally or not. But as they don't know who will be in school, they have to close the school just in case.

    So now workers have to find child care or a day off work, and this turns a inconvenient strike into something a bit more malicious.

    Effectively this is holding the country to ransom. Cuts are being made everywhere in the country. Even the shadow government agree they are needed. Why is it fair that a Union holds the country to ransom, gains their members an advantage, and the government then needs to move funds from elsewhere (if we're lucky), or just go into more debt because of it.

    Finally, I have seen the leader of the Rail Workers Union on TV. What a tit. I'm sure he bullies more than negotiates. If that kind of person is responsible for these strikes, then that instantly degrades the message behind the strike to us people-in-the-street. For all I know, the union is being unreasonable and bullying the government.

    So whether the cause is right or not, the perception by the rest of the populace is going to be negative due to the way it's being carried out.
  • etruscanshades
    So Cameron has successfully turned this into "Public sector against private sector". "Your jobs are paid for by our taxes".

    Whereas it should be about the incompetence of the government. Stuffing money into the bankers pockets. Failing to collect taxes from the rich. And how does putting 700,000 tax payers out of work, paying them redundancy, and unemployment pay, and taking away their spending power help the economy? Quite apart from how this affects the services that the rest of us depend upon?

    An indefinite strike is what is needed. Show the government. Co-ordinate with the students who are being even more royally shafted by politicians who benefitted from free/grant aided education themselves.

    The private sector is not immune from all this, and should be joining in rather than blaming the public sector.
    • Plumjam
    • By Plumjam 30th Nov 11, 1:04 PM
    • 57 Posts
    • 116 Thanks
    Plumjam
    The government is breaching the contracts
    I work in a school which is closed today although I am not on strike and will make up the hours that I am missing. I fully support the strike. Teachers work exceptionally long hours - they get to school hours before the children, stay hours after the children have left and work in the evenings and at weekends. None of them takes the holidays without coming in at some time to prepare lessons and classrooms. They have actually been told not to do any work from home today although I suspect most of them will still be doing so. For the training that they have done and the dedication that they show, they signed a contract for a salary and a pension scheme. The government has broken that contract.
    If the government wants to bring in new contracts for future employees, then so be it. I fear for the quality of teaching staff and other public service professionals. The bright, dedicated people that we want in our public services will not work for the pittance that this government will offer. When there is a shortage of teachers, the government will be forced to rethink.
    • magicrichard5
    • By magicrichard5 30th Nov 11, 1:30 PM
    • 83 Posts
    • 24 Thanks
    magicrichard5
    I work in a school which is closed today although I am not on strike and will make up the hours that I am missing. I fully support the strike. Teachers work exceptionally long hours - they get to school hours before the children, stay hours after the children have left and work in the evenings and at weekends. None of them takes the holidays without coming in at some time to prepare lessons and classrooms.
    Originally posted by Plumjam
    My school day used to be 8:45-4 with just under 2 hours worth of breaks in that time - i'd be gobsmacked if teachers weren't working longer hours and coming in during "holidays".

    What hours do you think people in the private sector are working? How many days holiday do you think they get?
  • kippermanbike
    Dear Mr Cameron,

    Please find below my suggestion for fixing the UK's economy.

    Instead of giving billions of pounds to banks that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.

    You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan:

    There are about 10 million people over 50 in the work force.

    Pay them £1 million each severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

    1) They MUST retire. Ten million job openings - unemployment fixed

    2) They MUST buy a new British car. Ten million cars ordered - Car Industry fixed

    3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage - Housing Crisis fixed

    4) They MUST send their kids to school/college/university - Crime rate fixed

    5) They MUST buy £100 WORTH of alcohol/tobacco a week ...... And there's your money back in duty/tax etc

    It can't get any easier than that!

    P.S. If more money is needed, have all members of parliament pay back their falsely claimed expenses and second home allowances

    If you think this would work, please forward to everyone you know.

    Also………..

    Let's put the pensioners in jail and the criminals in a nursing home.

    This way the pensioners would have access to showers, hobbies and walks.

    They'd receive unlimited free prescriptions, dental and medical treatment, wheel chairs etc and they'd receive money instead of paying it out.

    They would have constant video monitoring, so they could be helped instantly, if they fell, or needed assistance.

    Bedding would be washed twice a week, and all clothing would be ironed and returned to them.

    A guard would check on them every 20 minutes and bring their meals and snacks to their cell.

    They would have family visits in a suite built for that purpose.

    They would have access to a library, weight room, spiritual counselling, pool and education.

    Simple clothing, shoes, slippers, PJ's and legal aid would be free, on request.

    Private, secure rooms for all, with an exercise outdoor yard, with gardens.

    Each senior could have a PC a TV radio and daily phone calls.

    There would be a board of directors to hear complaints, and the guards would have a code of conduct that would be strictly adhered to
    .

    The criminals would get cold food, be left all alone and unsupervised. Lights off at 8pm and showers once a week. Live in a tiny room and pay £600.00 per week and have no hope of ever getting out.

    Think about this (more points of contention):

    COWS
    Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that during the mad cow epidemic our government could track a single cow, born in Appleby almost
    three years ago, right to the stall where she slept in the county of Cumbria?

    And, they even tracked her calves to their stalls. But they are unable to locate 125,000 illegal immigrants wandering around our country. Maybe we
    should give each of them a cow.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Also;

    Think about this ... If you don't want to forward this for fear of offending someone -- YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM! It is time for us grumpy old folk of
    Britain to speak up!
    • Andymoney
    • By Andymoney 30th Nov 11, 2:33 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    Andymoney
    The Private versus Public fight is a synthetic creation of the right leaning media (Mail, Telegraph, etc.). The destruction of private sector pensions for most employees over the last decade has been an abomination because it has not applied to the select few (many directors). The real fight is between all ordinary employees and those few. If we were "all in it together", then the same pension terms would apply to all of us, but they don't.

    The further cuts announced by Osborne yesterday just extend the amount of suffering of the less well off. A fairer solution would have been to ensure that tax is properly paid by those who can afford to pay a lot more.

    I worked in the private sector until made redundant. I support the strike not on the particular pensions issue (which was the only issue that could be used to coordinate this action), but as a protest against the unfairness of the cuts overall.

    Less tax avoidance means less cuts.

    Andy
    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 30th Nov 11, 2:42 PM
    • 5,610 Posts
    • 9,226 Thanks
    Nick_C
    There are several reasons why public sector pensions are in trouble;

    People generally are living longer (although I have had two friends die this year before reaching pensionable age)
    Gordon Brown robbed the pension funds by taking away tax relief. (This lead to the winding up of most final salary schemes in the private sector).
    Local Authorities have used pension surpluses to fund early retirement for people over 50 (now over 55) when making redundancies
    They are final salary based, but your contributions are based on current salary. Some people apply for promotion in their final years, and end up getting a pension that they haven't paid for.
    Some schemes are non contributory and not funded, so the pensions are paid for out of current taxataion.

    I work in Local Government, and I'm not supporting the strike. The Local Government schemes, although funded, are in deficit, and we need to pay more if we want to keep the generous pensions that we expect. The increase in contributions - from around 6% to 7% to about 8% to 10% - will keep these schemes affordable. Changing from a final salary scheme to a career average scheme is fair. I don't like the fact that after no pay rise for 2 years, I will have a pay cut of 3% next year to pay for the higher pension costs, but I'm realistic. We are all collectively living beyond our means, and we are all going to have to accept cuts in our standard of living. If we don't take drastic action to sort out the mess the country is in, then we may as well buy boiler suits now and start learning Chinese.
    • stroptart
    • By stroptart 30th Nov 11, 3:38 PM
    • 54 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    stroptart
    I support the strike, yes I'm a civil servant.

    So is my SO, and between us, we're being asked to contribute an extra £40 each per month for pensions. On top of losing our £40 per month child tax credit in April, thats a loss of £120 per month, and I really don't know where it will come from.

    I'm not well paid, I earn less than £12000 a year, and my weekly pension when I retire will be £40 per week, hardly gold plated, and if I was to receive that as a pensioner today, I'd qualify for a top up from Pension Credit!
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