Day of action from trade unions


 

Members of other unions are currently voting on proposed strikes, with a day of action planned for 10 July.

Unison said local government workers and school support staff – which include all school workers except teachers – had been subject to a three-year pay freeze and had now been offered a 1% pay rise.

The union said almost 85,000 workers – mainly low-paid women – voted and more than 58% backed the strike. About 410,000 workers had the chance to vote.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “These workers care for our elderly, clean our streets, feed and educate our school children and keep our libraries running, but they receive no recognition in their pay packets.

“They are mainly low-paid women workers, stressed and demoralised, and they deserve better from their employers and from this government.

“This is the group that has borne the brunt of the government’s austerity agenda.”

Mr Prentis said Unison members “expect to be joined” by other unions in the strike on 10 July, adding: “The employers must get back into talks immediately to avoid a damaging dispute.”

Unison said pay freezes and below-inflation pay rises had reduced local government workers’ pay by 20% since the coalition government came to power in 2010.

The GMB and Unite unions are expected to announce the results of strike ballots in the coming days, and the National Union of Teachers has already announced a strike on 10 July.

Midwives in England are currently being balloted about possible strike action after the government did not approve a recommended 1% pay rise for all NHS staff.

My thoughts of the national day of action:

1) I’m in full support of the trade unions day of action this on the grounds of that there are many low paid workers in this part of public sector and I would like to counter the arrangements from the press, social media, Local Government Association central Government who continue to feed the myth that public sectors are well paid in actual fact they are not followed by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) who knows nothing of how our public services operate which the local Government should be a shame of themselves for toeing the line of  the CBI and Central Government.

2) As a ex-employee of local and central government I have witnessed the hardships that faced by employees and in some cases that central and local government have at times failed in their duty of care of its employees to protect them from psychical abuse from the general public for instance Ambulance, Social Workers, Community Psychiatric nurse, doctors, police,  have been called out of hours to with the communities and they have to work at all hours

3)  It comes no surprise that the trade union members decided to vote on strike action over a number of reasons like the coalition attacking trade unions terms and condition, the coalition continued attacks on pay by offering lesser than inflation rate.

4) There has been more cuts in public sectors like police, and arm forces the continued closure of day and night care services, under this coalition than any other UK government compare to a Labour government so don’t be hoodwinked by the Conservatives, and their affiliate press will have you believe.

5) To add insult to injury few scenes have illustrate the draconian cruelty of austerity Britain better than the weekend’s kettle of disability protesters in Westminster.

Notice there has been no coverage of a 50000 people demonstration and only this weekend Disabled People Against Cuts had very attention by most of the leading press and social media. Many find it distasteful the a group who decided to their right to a peaceful assembly was kettle by the police at the request of Dean of Westminster who refuse to meet activists who broke no laws.

Article 11 Freedom of assembly and association

Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

No restrictions shall be placed on the exercise of these rights other than such as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. This Article shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on the exercise of these rights by members of the armed forces, of the police or of the administration of the State.

6) The police, arm forces, and public services will face a further increase in cuts by this dreaded coalition and rest assured if the Conservatives win a full majority in government we have a full scale cuts on public services.

7) It’s little surprise that it was the banks and tax avoiding corporations that wrecked the economy forcing UK, and Ireland and much of the world into wasted years of austerity and social misery.

8) Twenty-fourteen had barely begun when George Osborne was warning more cuts were on their way, with another £25 billion to be ripped out of the welfare state.

Yet the Chancellor’s economic black magic actually pushes the country deeper into the red, with £14m per hour being borrowed.

Just last week, his passion for the destruction of our social structures was revealed again with his plans to rid the nation of a million public servants.

Of course, many are doing very nicely in coalition Britain — such as the 62,000 “high-net-worth” individuals who joined the ranks of the global super-rich last year.

Over half a million people in this country are now among the wealthiest on the planet — one in every 121 of the population, hogging the goodies to themselves while 5.2m workers in this country earn less than a living wage.

9) Intriguingly a leading Archbishop has recommended that the government should pay its own workers a “living wage”.

The commission is an independent body bringing together business, trade unions and civil society.

It says that “the majority of people in poverty in the UK are working”.

The commission’s definition of a living wage is “an hourly rate of income calculated according to a basic cost of living in the UK and defined as the minimum amount of money needed to enjoy a basic, but socially acceptable standard of living”.

In 2014 the UK living wage rate stands at £7.65 an hour, and the London living wage is set at a higher rate of £8.80 per hour, to take account of the higher cost of living in the capital.

By contrast, the national minimum wage currently stands at £6.31 an hour.

The government is the biggest employer of low-paid people, and so should look at pay levels during procurement, and that private sector companies that are capable should also pay.

The commission’s research shows that there are currently 712 employers across the UK accredited as paying a living wage.

Service industries such as accountancy, banks and construction firms could boost the pay of 375,000 workers if they agreed to pay the national living wage.

“Working and still living in poverty is a national scandal”.

“For the first time, the majority of people in poverty in the UK are now in working households.

“If the government now commits to making this hope a reality, we can take a major step towards ending the strain on all of our consciences. Low wages equals living in poverty.”

10) Yet this  coalition government was accused yesterday of continuing to drive Britain’s low-income families further and further into poverty  to the point where they cannot even afford to feed themselves.

Independent charity the Joseph Rowntree Foundation published a report exposing how the ever-increasing gap between prices and wages is leaving low-income families struggling to meet the costs of basic essentials.

The Foundation warned that since 2008 the price of essentials had soared by 28 per cent, while average wages increased by just nine per cent.

The government responded by saying tax cuts — which have handed hundreds of millions of pounds to the wealthy — are a benefit to low-earners.

But the foundation’s chief executive Julia Unwin said: “These figures show there is still a lot of work needed to make up the lost ground for low-income families. The income they need to make ends meet has soared at a time when their ability to make up the shortfall is severely constrained.”

She said action was needed to “to help alleviate the pressure on the worst-off households.”

The foundation’s research identified the levels of wages needed for individuals and families to “afford a minimum acceptable standard of living.”

It said single people need to be paid £16,300 a year before tax while a couple with two children need to bring in a total of £40,600 before tax — an impossibility for most low-wage earners.

The figures are based on the foundation’s “minimum income standard,” which sets out the basics to be included in a minimum household budget according to public opinion.

Report author Abigail Davis said: “Throughout the past few difficult years, the people we talk to have held a consistent view of what it means to live at an acceptable level in the UK.

“It means being able to afford to feed your family and heat your home properly, but also having enough to buy a birthday present for your children, and to spend time with your family away from home, such as the occasional meal out.

“The growing number of people who fall below this standard are unable to afford basic goods, services and activities that most of us would take for granted.”

 

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