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So what exactly is Did the strike action Do? (Analysis by Gordon Lyew)


LABOUR leader Ed Miliband was spotted laughing and joking with the Prime Minister and his deputy as thousands joined the strike over public sector pension cuts.

The image of Mr Miliband with David Cameron and Nick Clegg, above, will infuriate workers already angered by his lack of support for the walk-out.

Over the past 24 hour I have been reflecting on what does strike action of teacher mean to me on both Twitter & Facebook. Sure there has been many articles that has written on it but does it really speaks volumes on the doorstep of our traditional labour voters.

Before I comment I decided to enclose various articles that I have gathered see below links:

Qoutes From Leader of the Labour Party On June 28 – 30th, 2011

I wanted to take this opportunity to respond directly to those of you who have contacted me to say you disagree with my view that today’s strikes are wrong.

I know that teachers and other public servants are worried about their pensions.

I also know that on strike today are hard-working people, committed to the children they teach and the communities they serve. I understand their anger about the way the government has acted.

But this does not alter my view that today’s strikes are a mistake. It is a mistake to resort to disruption at a time when negotiations are still going on.

And it is a mistake not just because of the inconvenience caused but also because I firmly believe it will not help to win the argument with the public.

The central argument is that while we need to reform our pensions system, it must be done in a way that is fair.

The government must bear a huge responsibility for what happened today.

They have acted in a reckless and provocative manner.

They pre-empted attempts to reach a settlement by putting a 3% surcharge on pension payments.

They have botched the whole issue, and parents, schoolchildren and others are suffering disruption as a result.

And this morning on the radio, Francis Maude, the minister supposedly in charge, revealed his ignorance of the facts of the Hutton report.

What should happen next? The government must get round the table with the unions to prevent this day of disruption happening again.

On June 28th, 2011

Strikes are a sign of failure.

They are a sign of failure on both sides and Thursday’s industrial action is a mistake.

Even with just hours to go I would urge both the unions and the government to think again.

The Labour Party I lead will always be the party of the parent trying to get their children to school, the mother and father who know the value of a day’s education.

On behalf of those people I urge unions and ministers to get back around the negotiating table and sort this out.

I understand why teachers are so angry with the government.

But I urge them to think about whether causing disruption in the classroom will help people understand their arguments.

You do not win public backing for an argument about pensions by inconveniencing the public – especially not while negotiations are ongoing.

This is not to excuse David Cameron from taking his share of the blame for these strikes.

The Conservative-led Government has badly mishandled the whole process.

As we saw on the NHS and sentencing, it is typical of ministers in this government to rush ahead with plans only to find they have got the detail wrong as problems emerge all around them.

The same has happened here.

They asked John Hutton for a detailed report. That report set out sensible starting points for negotiations.

But before Lord Hutton had a chance to produce that report, Mr Cameron and his ministers slapped a 3% surcharge on pension payments for millions of public sector workers.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, added to the chaos by making an announcement about the retirement age whilst in the middle of negotiations.

The truth is that the government is botching reform.

When they should be building bridges to find a solution they are mishandling the whole situation with parents paying the price.

When Labour was in office we had tough negotiations limiting the taxpayers’ liability for the rising cost of public sector pensions.

We increased the age new employees would retire. We moved many from final salary to career average schemes.

We did it without strikes and under Labour the number of days lost through industrial disputes fell to its lowest-ever level.

This government has acted in a reckless and provocative manner.

Despite this, some of the public sector trade unions are continuing to seek a negotiated settlement rather than taking strike action.

They are right to do so, rather than giving the government the fight for which, too often, it seems to be spoiling.

Now we have botched negotiations, unwanted strikes and deadlock on reform.

The public deserve better. All sides need to get round the table and back to negotiations.

Hundreds of thousands walk out – but the real battle is yet to come

The mass strike of public-sector workers passed without serious trouble. But unions are warning of far bigger actions in October

Thousands of public sector workers, from teachers to tax collectors, marched in protest at the Government?s planned cuts to pensions. More than 11,000 schools were disrupted

Trade union leaders warned that yesterday’s strike by teachers and civil servants would be followed by an “autumn of discontent” across the public sector unless the Government retreated over plans to cut their pensions.

The unions also turned their fire on Ed Miliband after he criticised the 24-hour strike which disrupted more than 11,000 schools and forced many parents to make emergency childcare arrangements.

Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), won the biggest cheer at aWestminsterrally when she declared: “The response of Ed Miliband has been a disgrace – he should be ashamed of himself. If our strike is a mistake, what has he done to oppose this devastating attack on our pensions? If the Opposition will not defend our pensions, we will.”

Related articles

Protests were staged in about 80 towns and cities. After a march by 20,000 protesters inLondon, 37 people were arrested for offences including possession of drugs, criminal damage, breach of the peace and an alleged breach of a by-law atTrafalgar Square. One police officer and six members of the public have been injured but Scotland Yard said scenes have been “largely peaceful”.

Downing Streetsaid essential services had been maintained, with only a “minimal impact” on services such as courts, 999 calls, passport controls and job centres. The Government said 105,890 civil servants walked out, meaning that 80 per cent of the civil service worked normally. The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) insisted the figure was double that in its biggest-ever strike.

The Department for Education said 11,114 of the 21,500 state schools inEnglandwere affected, with 5,679 shut, and another 4,999 partially closed. Some 201 academies and city technology colleges were also shut, while 235 remained partially open.

Both the ATL and the National Union of Teachers insisted the figure was a lot higher, with 85 per cent of schools disrupted.

Mark Serwotka, the PCS general secretary, warned that the ranks of the strikers would grow to four million by the autumn unless ministers backed down. He said the action would be “much, much bigger and will involve more unions”. PCS members began a month-long ban on overtime at midnight, which Mr Serwotka said would hit work in job centres, passport and benefit offices and government departments. He also attacked Mr Miliband, saying his personal ratings would “rocket” if he had supported the public-sector workers.

The Treasury wants a deal by November so that higher contribution rates, smaller pensions and a later retirement date can start to be introduced from next April. Hardline unions plan to build up the pressure during the TUC and Labour conferences in September and the Tory conference the following month.

However, other union leaders were more cautious about a wave of strikes last night, saying there would now be a “pause for peace” and a serious attempt at reaching a settlement on pensions when negotiations resume next week. They said the Government would have to make concessions to avoid alienating the general public.

Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister, said: “The vast majority of hard-working public-sector employees do not support today’s premature strike and have come into work. I am not at all surprised by the very low turnout for today’s action – less than half of PCS’s own members chose to take part. Very few civil servants wanted this strike at all – less than 10 per cent of them voted for it – and they are right.”

Brendan Barber, the TUC general secretary, said the level of disruption was not the key measure of the strikes. “The Government can say ‘well it didn’t have quite as much impact on services as it might have had,’ but that’s not what I see as the key measure. The key measure is that many, many hundreds of thousands of public service workers said, ‘look, what the Government is doing is simply not working, not justified’, and the Government should listen to that.”

Speaking at a rally inExeter, Mr Barber also took a sideswipe at Mr Miliband. “I think maybe Labour should be speaking up a little more powerfully to explain that that settlement [under the last government] was a sensible, fair-minded settlement and it is not justified to open it up in the way that the Government is seeking to do,” he said.

Mr Miliband said the Government had been “high-handed and arrogant” and he understood the anger of workers who feel they are being singled out by a “reckless and provocative Government”. But he told the Local Government Association conference inBirmingham: “I also believe this action is wrong. Negotiations are ongoing, so it is a mistake to go on strike because of the effect on the people who rely upon those services. And it is a mistake because it will not help to win the argument.”

Manning the picket lines: A day of strikes

* Almost 100 tax collectors, VAT officers and administrative staff joined students and activists outside the HMRC office inEuston Road, centralLondon, where UK Uncut fed the crowd a cooked breakfast.

* Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, slipped in the back door of his department to avoid civil servants picketing the building. PCS claimed that most of its 600 members in the Department for Education – more than half of its civil service workforce – had supported the strike. A small picket of about a dozen activists was mounted outside the building from 7am.

* Crown, county and magistrates’ courts across theUKwere disrupted. A trial at Southwark Crown Court did not sit after jurors refused to cross the picket line, while only five people turned up for work at Liverpool Crown Court, with all jury trials cancelled.

* More than 1,600 workers marched in Brighton and Hove, 1,500 in Sheffield, 6,000 inNewcastleand 5,000 inManchester. The protests inExeterculminated in a rally, where the singer-songwriter Billy Bragg performed.

* 95 per cent of police communication staff inLondonwent on strike, with an additional 200 officers being bought in to cover, the Met announced.

* The NUT said 95 per cent of schools were closed in Brighton and Hove, while only five schools in Liverpool were unaffected by the strike.

* The Met said 37 people were arrested at theLondonrally for offences including breach of the peace, criminal damage and possession of drugs.

There is no doubt that there is a lot passion for striking teachers, lecturers and civil servants served notice on politicians today that they will not be sacrificial lambs for capitalism’s crisis.

The workers who took action were defending not only their modest pension schemes but also our hard-won public services.

Big business and the politicians who defend its interests, irrespective of what party label they wear, are inspired by two motives.

The first is to force public-sector workers and citizens who depend on the services they deliver to finance the deficit caused by bankers’ reckless adventurism.

They are pulling a classic politicians’ fast one by trying to transform in the public consciousness a crisis associated with the private financial sector into a question about the justice or sustainability of the public sector.

The second is to devalue public-sector workers’ pensions arrangements so as to make privatisation more profitable and thus more likely.

Private-sector vultures intent on tearing into the body of our public services constantly complain to politicians about the cost of maintaining pension schemes when taking over operations from the state.

They would like to emulate the scandalous treatment in recent years of workers’ pensions in the private sector.

What took place with regard to occupational pensions in the private sector is scandalous, with schemes closed to new entrants and final-salary arrangements all but eradicated.

Then there’s the companies that walked away from their responsibilities, leaving tens of thousands of workers bereft of pensions they had paid for.

Add to that the history of financial institutions mis-selling private pensions to individuals and it is clear that the private sector is the last area to serve as a model for the public sector.

When Tory ministers assert that even if they have their way in forcing workers to pay more for longer and for reduced rewards, teachers and civil servants will still have some of the best pensions around, this just emphasises how much damage has already been done to pensions in the private sector.

The Con-Dem government is encouraging a race to the bottom because it sees workers’ pensions as an inconvenient burden on business and the exchequer.

In fact, pensions for all workers are simply deferred wages, which have to be defended against the government’s premeditated, politically motivated windfall tax.

The only windfall tax meriting support is one on the super-profits of the energy companies’ oligopoly, the banking sector and the rapacious supermarkets.

It beggars belief that the politicians and big-business media can keep a straight face when they unite to denounce public-sector pensions as gold-plated or unaffordable.

Research group Income Data Services points out that FTSE 100 directors can rely on average pensions of £170,000 a year, while MPs will still have a pension scheme that knocks those for teachers and civil servants into a cocked hat.

How enlightening it would be if every Mail or Telegraph leader writer and TV commentator who joins the gang-up against public-sector workers’ pensions were made to disclose their own salary and pension arrangements.

The same goes for the front-bench politicians who make a huge song and dance about their marginal differences while uniting in opposition to the justice of the public-sector workers’ case and to their reluctant decision to strike to get their voices heard.

Today’s splendid action was the first battle in a long campaign to defend our public sector and those work in it.

Pulling a fast one on pensions

Striking teachers, lecturers and civil servants served notice on politicians today that they will not be sacrificial lambs for capitalism’s crisis.

The workers who took action were defending not only their modest pension schemes but also our hard-won public services.

Big business and the politicians who defend its interests, irrespective of what party label they wear, are inspired by two motives.

The first is to force public-sector workers and citizens who depend on the services they deliver to finance the deficit caused by bankers’ reckless adventurism.

They are pulling a classic politicians’ fast one by trying to transform in the public consciousness a crisis associated with the private financial sector into a question about the justice or sustainability of the public sector.

The second is to devalue public-sector workers’ pensions arrangements so as to make privatisation more profitable and thus more likely.

Private-sector vultures intent on tearing into the body of our public services constantly complain to politicians about the cost of maintaining pension schemes when taking over operations from the state.

They would like to emulate the scandalous treatment in recent years of workers’ pensions in the private sector.

What took place with regard to occupational pensions in the private sector is scandalous, with schemes closed to new entrants and final-salary arrangements all but eradicated.

Then there’s the companies that walked away from their responsibilities, leaving tens of thousands of workers bereft of pensions they had paid for.

Add to that the history of financial institutions mis-selling private pensions to individuals and it is clear that the private sector is the last area to serve as a model for the public sector.

When Tory ministers assert that even if they have their way in forcing workers to pay more for longer and for reduced rewards, teachers and civil servants will still have some of the best pensions around, this just emphasises how much damage has already been done to pensions in the private sector.

The Con-Dem government is encouraging a race to the bottom because it sees workers’ pensions as an inconvenient burden on business and the exchequer.

In fact, pensions for all workers are simply deferred wages, which have to be defended against the government’s premeditated, politically motivated windfall tax.

The only windfall tax meriting support is one on the super-profits of the energy companies’ oligopoly, the banking sector and the rapacious supermarkets.

It beggars belief that the politicians and big-business media can keep a straight face when they unite to denounce public-sector pensions as gold-plated or unaffordable.

Research group Income Data Services points out that FTSE 100 directors can rely on average pensions of £170,000 a year, while MPs will still have a pension scheme that knocks those for teachers and civil servants into a cocked hat.

How enlightening it would be if every Mail or Telegraph leader writer and TV commentator who joins the gang-up against public-sector workers’ pensions were made to disclose their own salary and pension arrangements.

The same goes for the front-bench politicians who make a huge song and dance about their marginal differences while uniting in opposition to the justice of the public-sector workers’ case and to their reluctant decision to strike to get their voices heard.

Today’s splendid action was the first battle in a long campaign to defend our public sector and those work in it.

After reading all the blogs and websites and listening to comments from all my followers I enclosed their comments without their names of cause:

I m glad my Labour membership is up I will not be renewing it

Ed Miliband misjudged the anger of the public towards Public Sector Pensions shame on him

It’s a disgreace that Ed Miliband told Lablour MPs to cross the picket line

Today is like a General Strike from Pubic Services Pensions

Hands Off our public sector pensions I have worked 30 yrs and I want to see my grand children to go to university now this coalition wants me to pay more and get a lower pension how much of a pension will Cameron & Clegg when they retire from the House Of Parliament

The conclusion that I have come to is what does it stands for:

It is true that the teachers union has not strike before and this is the first time that they have been on strike. How can any unions get any information from the coalition if they are not prepared to give out the figures its like telling union members to sell themselves to the devil and the leaders has its members interest to protect.

Has the strikers fallen to a the coalition trap the simple answer to this is a small yes as they (coalition) will benefit of course they will  as of now will be enforcing more anti-trade union laws to protect the Fatcats who owns big businesses and who the biggest donator to the Tory Party.

Was the rest of the other big unions right to take the wait and see attitude I will yes yes agin because experience tells me that if nothing is forth coming then when the other rest odf the big unions join in for strike actions. The TUC  will give the unreserved backing to all the trade unions.

Lastly was Ed Miliband right with his statement I say for the timebeing that he is slightly right in the one hand on the other side when for unions are not affliated to the Labour Party like PCS, NUT, ATL and OUC the leader should choose his words carefully the other trade Unions were right to hold off from balloting its members untill they have a deal to bring back to its members I can said that those unions who held out for the last-minute to see what will the coalition will be yes.

 

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