Strike update for a small part of England

As usual the children have turned up at our local school, delivered by mums and dads.  There seems to be no strike action there – but I won’t mention where in case we get a bunch of pickets infesting the neighbourhood.  It will be interesting to see a map showing the areas most and least affected in Britain.  I would have volunteered to man a Border Agency post at a nearby airport, though my method of letting everyone leave the UK and saying No to anyone I didn’t like the look of trying to enter might not have been acceptable.  It would probably have kept that border secure though.

58 thoughts on “Strike update for a small part of England”

  1. Interesting that the brilliant tactitian who came up with this idea for a day of disruption thinks that this is the way to convince those who pay for their pensions – and whose own pensions are nowhere near as generous – to support them.

  2. Akshully Bravo, that is exactly what I am doing.

    Supporting them, what other option do they have? At least they are doing something to show this eejit gubmint that they cannot simply run roughshod over the people they are supposed to serve.

  3. I don’t know where you get this ‘generous’ pension idea from chum. The average pub Sector pension is £7,500 a year. Bearing in mind there are a lot of so called execs pushing that figure up, you will find that a large percentage of the pub sector is due to receive less than £5K a year in their dotage.

    But then Cameron doesn’t want you to know that.

  4. What a pity the public sector did nothing to show the previous “eejit gubmint” that they could not go on spending money they had to borrow at a rate of knots. This is the whirlwind we’re reaping thanks to Blair and Brown and a Labour party that let them get away with it. I would not have expected the public sector to get up on its hind legs and object when Brown stole money from private pension funds. Quid pro quo?

  5. That one doesn’t wash either Sheona,

    These measures were in place long before Bliar et Bruin had even the slightest chance to bugger it up.

  6. Sipu,

    You too have fallen for the utter tripe reported by the kind of paper which is so far up Camerons Exhaust it could tie Cleggs shoe laces.

    He are the actual facts taken from the Hutton report.

    “The Hutton report found the average pension payments – including workers and dependents – in 2009-10 were as follows:

    Local government worker: £4,052
    NHS worker: £7,234
    Civil servant: £6,199
    Teacher: £9,806
    Member of armed forces: £7,722”

    You can throw figures, projections and estimated mean deviance based on the anticipated performance of teh south african bean crop and pork bellies, but the people who are striking today know exactly what they are standing to lose and are rightly pig sick of the smoke and mirrors thrown up by politicians.

    I on the other hand fully expect a politician to try and wheedle his/her way out. Its the gullible selfish man on the clapham monorail who laps all this fantastic nonsense up which grips my exhaust. If you want your bins emptied, your snot gobbling offspring educated and your ailments treated, you have to pay.

    Tell me Sipu, Imagine you went to work one day and the boss called you in. He said he is very happy with your work but you are going to get a 6% pay cut, have a significant portion of your pension spirited away, oh and you are going to have to work an extra 6 years and contribute for said just to qualify for what is left? I wonder if you would be feeling a little hard done by or would you simply bend over and say “Thank you sir may I have another?”

  7. Sorry, which measures are you talking about, Ferret? And does Brown’s disastrous increasing of the National Debt, with corresponding increase in the interest payments, have absolutely nothing to do with this?

  8. Forgot to mention that the binmen were round today as usual. Of course they could be employed by a private company, which might just give local authorities more reason to sub-contract.

  9. Sheona,

    Public sector salary and pension contributions have been in place for a very long time. While Cameron appears to claim they have risen by at least 4.5% year on year, the actual facts are that for normal workers pay has been frozen for a long time. Take into account inflation and they have been getting a pay cut effectively.

    The strike issue is about being expected to take an even greater cut in wages now, go on being raped financially and the ultimate “wiping of the dick on the duvet” afterwards, being short changed for the privilege.

    I note the boy David hasn’t offered to start paying rent on his council house or elected to take a similar cut in his own extremely generous renumeration package.

  10. Ferret, ‘average’ means square root of bugger all. How many years on average does a soldier serve or teacher teach or a nurse nurse? You are cherry picking statistics. Many only work in those professions for a few years but still earn a pension from it, albeit a small one. That factor lowers the average payout. You have to look at cases of workers who have worked their whole lives in the public sector and compare them to those in the private sector.

    To answer your slightly daft question, I would have a choice. If there is no money left to pay me what I believe I am due, I can leave and look for work elsewhere. If there is no work elsewhere, I would probably just have to lump it and stay where I was. Going on strike would not create money for the company as you seem to believe.

    In any event, who said anything about anyone being happy with the work carried out by the public sector? Most of them are a pretty crap at what they do, though there are a few exceptions.

  11. Sipu,

    Your argument is as ever based on your own experience with the service provided by your local council I see. Last time I looked at the overinflated roll of honours down at the HOC I didn’t catch the sarf ifrikan representative I must look again.

    Average means a hell of a lot when you consider that the soldier has to serve for a minimum 22yrs to even qualify for a pension.

    I am not saying the unions are squeaky clean here, they are sppinning in the opposite direction. But both sides are claiming absolutely incredible figures with absolutely no basis in fact. One gubmint paper actually suggested the public pension payout in 2024 will amount to 85% of the UK GDP!

    Wake up and do a very small amount of research. You will find that neither side of the table can be believed in all of this.

  12. Sipu,

    I would also like to know where I stated a strike would make money for the company, or where I suggested that making a profit was a requirement at all for that matter.

  13. I’ll need some links to help me believe some of your assertions, Ferret. Cameron’s “extremely generous remuneration package” is far smaller than private sector bosses, of course, but also far smaller than some local government bosses and even (whisper who dares) less than some union leaders. And please don’t get started on whether he has private means or not. That has nothing to do with the case.

  14. Ferret: The other option they have is to start living in the real world, that those in the private sector have to live in. It does not matter who created the present conditions, the unarguable fact is that they are no longer tenable. Do not forget that 100% of the money to pay for the public sector is generated by the private.

    The other issue is, of course, how many in the public sector are actually doing jobs that are needed. I would say at a rough estimate at least 30% of them are not required. We can definitely blame the last government for this state of affairs.

  15. FEEG,

    I disagree yet again.

    The tories before NuLab sold off every piece of the public sector they could. Naturally that meant any bit of it which was making a profit. Oil, gas, water, phone company, electric to name a few. If only the treasury was reporting the record profits those sectors are recording year on year. Sectors now owned by Pedro, Pierre, Gunther and Mahmood I might hasten to add.

    Selling off the family silver was a well established practice way before that Gormless Bruin thought he had invented it.

    What is no longer tenable is the massive pension pots being awarded to the privelaged few and as you say, the nepotists and free loaders. I agree there is a need for a cull but they won’t dare because ol’ Strangely Browns lad has a post in that quango while Scruffer Jenkins’ daughter would have nowhere to go if they axed her 450K non post.

    But noooooooo lets squeeze even more shekels out of the poor sap struggling to earn a crust and might I add, pay their taxes and their mandatory pension contributions

    The way you lot carry on, you would think PS workers don’t pay for their pensions.

  16. sheona :

    I’ll need some links to help me believe some of your assertions, Ferret. Cameron’s “extremely generous remuneration package” is far smaller than private sector bosses, of course, but also far smaller than some local government bosses and even (whisper who dares) less than some union leaders. And please don’t get started on whether he has private means or not. That has nothing to do with the case.

    Of course Sheona,

    I never once mentioned anything about his private means. But he is being housed for free on the tax payers penny and having his own bricks ‘n’ mortar in Witney subsidised while he does.

    I shall see what I can dig up on the linky linky front.

  17. Also,

    The amount the treasury pays out is tempered by the amount PubS employees pay in. Now let me see, gubmint rips the total number of PubS employees by a massive number equals fewer paying in but still the same number drawing out. Add to that the cost of benefits to those now out of a job and its a double whammy.

    There are new pension schemes in place which reflect the changes in lifestyle, they started around 2007/8 but it will be a few years before the new schemes begin to have an effect. The OBR have massaged the figures to show a doubling in the costs by 2014/5 but another set of figures from the same source show the cost of PubS pensions will fall as a %age of UK GDP.

  18. Ferret: Can you remember how long it used to take to get a new phone connection, get a repair to a water main done etc, etc? I agree that the privatisations could have been done more efficiently, but none the less, the present system is somewhat better, and rather less expensive for the taxpayer.

  19. ‘The people who are striking today…’ Are paid out of taxes. There are no more taxes – it’s all in hock. So, what these people are saying to the rest of us is pay more tax to pay us better pensions than you have. Smart.

  20. Teachers that have done 30 years plus get a damned sight more than that for a pension.

  21. I see the rentamob anarchists are out in force. >One anarchist, Khan, 18, says: “This is not democracy…’

    Wait, an anarchist said… ROFLMAO 😀

  22. And your comparison doesn’t stack up.

    I have recently felt the need to tell Sky to stick their contract, especially their archaic Broadband service up their exhausts. To acheive closure from the spawn of Murdoch and not lose personal communication ability I ensured that a Virgin cable contract was in place before taking great delight in telling the Sky TV morons exactly where to get off.

    I have to wait a month before Virgin can get out to put in a telly box and a BBand router. Where there is an existing line to the house as well.

    Even under the private BT if you don’t qualify for one of their restrictive bonus/new customer contracts you can find yourself paying a limb or two for the privilege.

    Plus way back in the days of the GPO the tech was somewhat agricultural to say the least.

    Now look what is happening, Tommy Towelhead decides he wants to smack his neighbour about a bit and the price of fuel skyrockets, scared shitless that he wont be able to order a new Ferrari this month, Mr Oil Baron smacks the cost plus a small fudge %age onto the people who simply cannot live without. Tommy runs out of bullets or other towel tops to blow up and takes up jigsaw puzzles instead, peace reigns, oil prices drop. Mr Baron waits for the next chance to hike the cost and expand his margins. At the end of the quarter that began with a comment “we simply cannot afford to absorb the increasing cost of oil any more” comes a press release saying “Baron Inc reports record profits in Q1” Go figure.

  23. bravo22c :

    ‘The people who are striking today…’ Are paid out of taxes. There are no more taxes – it’s all in hock. So, what these people are saying to the rest of us is pay more tax to pay us better pensions than you have. Smart.

    No Bravo that is not what they are saying.

    These people are tax payers too. They are simply asking not to have their already cut to ribbons salary cut even more.

    For example, my missus is a district care type, she must travel from house to house throughout the north east. There is absolutely no option but to use a car for this purpose.

    She gets a discounted scheme for vehicle leasing which is fair but not exactly free, we pay 240 a month for a simple 4 door which includes her insurance. Underwritten by the NHS so none of that NCB and such. She also gets to claim for the fuel she uses as part of the job. That rate has been frozen for the last 4 years. Think of how much fuel has gone up in the last 4 yrs. She operates at a great loss on fuel.

    This year they are talking about scrapping the leasing scheme too. We will have to buy our own car and insure it with no NCB for her. I do not have the first idea how we will cope and she is now talking about jacking the whole thing in and getting a nice little job in a sandwich shop.

    I am inclined to agree, unfortunately those people who rely on the service she provides will just have to suffer and die because as you say, you want the service but you just can’t be bothered to pay for it. Big Busted f@;king Society at its best.

  24. Yes, Ferret, that is exactly what they are saying.

    Your example is one I might have put up. How many ‘gay and lesbian councilors,’ ‘climate change officers,’ ‘childrens’ play managers,’ this and that inspectors… are leeching money away from actual providers of essential services? How much national and local tax is wasted on these non-jobs – and think about this, for a moment. You say these people pay taxes, and so they do, but look at the costs. Money is extracted from the taxpayer. Some of it’s value – a lot, given the size of the bureaucracy, is lost before it is transmitted to civil servants’, (I use the term loosely,) salaries and pensions, tax is extracted and more value lost in the process… It’s a vicious circle, we’re up to our eyeballs in debt and it has to be stopped willingly, or it will be stopped unwillingly.

    You can only pluck so many feathers from the goose before it notices…

  25. Pie in the sky:

    “If the (private sector) person begins their career being paid £25,000 per annum, that level of saving would be equivalent to 29pc of earnings. By contrast, the current teachers’ pension scheme requires members to contribute just 6.4pc of earnings while the Government contributes 14.1pc.”

    Even those figures do not accurately reflect the cost of these benefits because this is an unfunded scheme. There is no pot of money. Today’s teachers’ contributions and the taxpayers’ subsidy is used to pay pensions to teachers who have already retired, leaving the benefits being accrued by teachers still working today to be funded by teachers and taxpayers in future.

    An unfortunate example. I have no beef with teachers being properly paid, nor, teachers in particular being allowed to retire at 60. Delete ‘teachers,’ however, and insert an example similar to the ones I gave in #29…

  26. Ferret: Your missus, like many others in the public sector, is doing a very worthwhile job, and deserves a good pension. But what about the timing of retirement? Also, how many Diversity or Equality Officers do we need in the public or private sectors? My point is that the necessary public sector workers are held back by the vast numbers doing totally unnecessary “jobs”.

  27. Ferret, I’m amazed that your Socialist forebears, in about 1951, didn’t realise that in 2011 an unusually large number of UK baby-boomers would reach 65 years of age. I mean they should have foreseen the problem and started to plan for it. They were, like you, the party of the people after all, closely in tune with our every need, unlike the Tories, of course. 🙂

  28. Socialist Hugh?

    Hell no.

    I agree with Bravo that there are non-jobs and leeches throughout the public sector. How a bout a scheme that targets the waste and gets rid of it. Instead of attacking the providers of the essential services we all need?

    My other half is not alone, they have all been putting up with less and less year upon year. A lot of excellent staff have upped sticks and left already. My missus has just about had as much as she can take and it is making her extremely angry but we can no longer afford to pay for her to work.

    Welcome to a Bravo new world where the only people you will have to serve you are the wasters and non-jobs who would never be able to find a real job. All the professionals have genuinely had a gutfull. That is why you are looking at strikes today and you will be looking at empty classrooms, full bins and deserted A&Es tomorrow.

    The best part of it all of course is that the people who you are forcing out of the job will still be eligible for their pension so they will be drawing that and no longer paying in. How d’ya like dem apples?

  29. Welcome to a Bravo new world where the only people you will have to serve you are the wasters and non-jobs who would never be able to find a real job. All the professionals have genuinely had a gutfull. That is why you are looking at strikes today and you will be looking at empty classrooms, full bins and deserted A&Es tomorrow.

    Which is exactly what I am saying, so where’s the beef?

  30. My beef Bravo, is that these measures are punishing the professionals instead of the workshy, pen pushing leeches.

    Anyone who sits back today and does not support them, has only themselves to blame when they have no public services at all.

  31. But, but, it’s not the professionals who are out there on the streets, and supporting the professionals is not the same as supporting the rest of the jobsworths who are out there demonstrating.

  32. I have just read this thread, and I have to give my Furry Friend full marks for a spirited, good tempered and blooming brilliant defence of the strikers.

    Those who opposed the motion were slaughtered, in the nicest possible way.

    Brilliant discussion, and just what this site does best. Congratulations to all.

  33. As an ‘outsider’, who knew nothing about this strike but part of whose pension is stolen by the British Government on a weekly basis – let me ask you

    Where was everyone when the Commonwealth ex-pat pensioners asked for justice? Where was everyone when Maggie sold off the ‘Family Silver’ – for short gain profit? Where was everyone when who-ever it was raided the private pension schemes? Where is everyone out there protesting about the money – your money – that is being sent to the EU and overseas aid – which should be spent on providing services for your citizens?

    Governments, not just the British Government, have robbed Peter to pay Paul for decades. They have taken short-term financial measures and picked on one group after another to subsidise their over-spending and, in my opinion, they have been aided by the Press in turning one mob against another.

    It’s the old story – those at the top ‘stuff up’ and then tax those at the bottom to get themselves out of trouble. As I understand it – those in the Commons have had their ‘expenses’ increased – whilst those at the bottom are having to pull their belts even tighter…

    While I understand that it is ‘annoying’ to have schools shut, etc – it really is about time that those at the bottom stood together…

    In case anyone is in any doubt – I’m firmly behind Ferret on this one 🙂

  34. I agree, Boadicea, that it is disgraceful that British ex-pat pensions are not index-linked in certain countries like Australia. Particularly bad considering some of these countries are part of the Commonwealth.

    I’m glad you enjoyed the discussion, Araminta. Do you think that the current fairly disastrous state of the British state education system might have contributed to a lack of popular support for the teachers on strike?

  35. Sheona

    Governments have got away with ‘stealing’ what people have worked for because those who are not affected have not supported those being ‘robbed’. It’s hardly surprising that they think they can do it for ever…

    I don’t think the teachers have ever had any support for their strikes! They certainly didn’t some thirty odd years ago…

  36. Sheona.

    I fear you may have a point. I am not a great fan of unions, although I admit they fulfilled a purpose, but teachers as a profession are not highly regarded. This is most unfortunate; I would not do the job for any amount of money. Most of them are dedicated professionals, but their authority and standing has been eroded by politicians who have meddled with disastrous results.

    Now with regard to the topic under discussion, I’m with Ferret here, I think they have a point. Whatever the rights and wrongs, moving the goalpost is not unusual and this is what is happening here, in my opinion.

    I agree we cannot afford it, but a bloated and socialist inspired public sector cannot be sustained. Slim in down but do not target the professionals and those who do an excellent job with little reward.

  37. I suspect, Araminta, that trying to winkle out the “non-jobs” created by Labour would result in screams of “Racism! Homophobia! Sexism! Ageism!” etc. Possibly even “pwonunciationism” to quote Delboy.

    As regards moving the goal posts, this is what Brown did regularly and no one, certainly not financial journalists, remarked on it at the time. Perhaps some goal posts are more equal than others?

  38. Sheona.

    I cannot disagree, and frankly I have to admit that although we are suffering from New Labour atrocities , I’m not convinced that the Tories play fair either.

  39. Ferret :

    Sipu,

    Average means a hell of a lot when you consider that the soldier has to serve for a minimum 22yrs to even qualify for a pension.

    I am unconvinced by that remark. This from the Army’s own website.

    http://www.army.mod.uk/join/20101.aspx

    “Nobody joins the Army thinking about retirement. But when the time comes, the Army’s pension scheme will be there to support you. Most civilians either have to pay into a private pension fund, or contribute from their salary into a company scheme to ensure they have something to live on when they retire. But in the Army you are entitled to monthly payments based on your final salary, without having to contribute to your pension at all.
    After two years of Regular service you’ll have earned an Army pension that will be paid when you get to the age of 65. And if you serve for 12 years you’ll be entitled to a tax-free resettlement grant on retirement too. Anybody aged over 40 who has served for at least 18 years gets the right to claim an immediate pension and tax-free lump sum on leaving the Army, and a second lump sum when they turn 65.”

    There are many 10s of thousands of former soldiers who served but a few years in HM Forces. If they are drawing a pension after 2 years, I cannot imagine that it is very much! It would have the effect of lowering the average pension. QED

    By the way, I am not sure what South Africa has to do with anything. Though I think you will find a significant number of specialist forces are from this part of the world! Perhaps you felt a gratuitous insult was necessary!

  40. I am happy with the bins, roads, police, fire and health cover I receive. They may be moaning now, but wait and see what happens when those provisions start to disappear.

    But, Ferret, they are disappearing now – the money that is supposed to pay for actual, necessary public services is disappearing into the black hole of non-jobs. That is what I’m complaining about and those are the vast majority of the people who are protesting against coming up against conditions in the real world.

    I repeat, in case you missed it first time around:

    “If the (private sector) person begins their career being paid £25,000 per annum, that level of saving would be equivalent to 29pc of earnings. By contrast, the current pension scheme for useless drones as well as public sector workers who do real jobs requires members to contribute just 6.4pc of earnings while the Government contributes 14.1pc.”

    Even those figures do not accurately reflect the cost of these benefits because this is an unfunded scheme. There is no pot of money. Today’s workers’ contributions and the taxpayers’ subsidy is used to pay pensions to useless drones who have already retired, leaving the benefits being accrued by useless drones still working today to be funded by public sector workers and taxpayers in future.

  41. While this was an interesting and generally pleasant discussion, I have now decided to delete two comments which have personally insulted me and my intelligence. I object to being told patronisingly that I immediately believe everything David Cameron says and “readjust my world to accommodate this unshakeable truth”.

  42. On another note, I see in the news this morning that gubmint has decided it can not afford to pay for paliative care for the elderly.

    The same folk who have paid their entire working life for others are now being told to fend for themselves. And still the general public accept this and continue to bitch and moan that for one day they had to be responsible for their own little snot gobbler. It beggars belief.

  43. This from the OBR on public pensions, the very same scaremongers who say teh cost will double by 2014/15.

    “The gross cost of paying unfunded public sector pensions is expected to fall from 1.9% of GDP in 2010-11 to 1.4% of GDP by 2060.”

    Lies, damn lies and then statistics. Which are we supposed to believe?

  44. I appear to have missed a couple of interesting comments so I do not know if anything was said about my number 45. In the meantime,

    Ferret :

    This from the OBR on public pensions, the very same scaremongers who say teh cost will double by 2014/15.

    “The gross cost of paying unfunded public sector pensions is expected to fall from 1.9% of GDP in 2010-11 to 1.4% of GDP by 2060.”

    Lies, damn lies and then statistics. Which are we supposed to believe?

    I have no idea whether either of those statistics is remotely near the truth, but it seems very clear to me that they cannot be compared and thus they do not contradict each other. The first talks in absolute terms and is for the period to 2015, while the second talks in percentage terms and is for the period to 2060. They could both be true.

  45. I don’t agree with everything that Richard Murphy posts, like all people with a vested political interest he is ‘conservative with the truth’, something that most of the UK media is guilty off. Personally I’m resigned to ‘getting screwed’ whatever political administration is running the country.

  46. Sipu,

    I responded to your No 45 but offended Sheona in the same comment and she quite rightly zapped it.

    I was referring to your remoteness from the public services you malign. I can only assume you have based your opinions of the PubS on the reports and comments of others or perhaps a historical prejudice since you do not rely upon them yourself.

    I also noted that you went to an Army recruitment website whos sole purpose is to entice yoofs into the loving arms of the MOD and took their spin on the pay and pensions as gospel truth. Shame on you for accepting such a biased description.

    The 2 year thing is a total joke, the 14 yrs jobby is a fraction of salary but still nice to have. It is fixed however because it doesn’t exist as a lump sum. You cannot therefore transfer it or build upon it with a private scheme. The 22 yr pension and lump sum for enlisteds is a very good deal I have to admit. !8 yrs if you happen to be a rodney (orcifer). But yer basic grunt has to put up with an awful lot of stuff for it. The basic wage is abysmal, the support is terrible and the hours are unpredictable at best.

    A serviceman can elect to pay additional voluntary contributions AVCs to top up his pension as long as he is in the mob. Since 2005 there has been a new AFPS armed forces pension scheme in force which saves the MOD a fair bit but is still a good deal just not as neat as the ’75 version. This proves that the gubmint have already been tinkering with PubS pensions and can not possibly have begun to see the benefits yet. Still they feel the need to cut even more.

    As for my comment above, what is mutually exclusive? The same body says that costs are going to double in 3 yrs and keep rising unless we do something. Then in virtually the same breath they state that in line with the economy it will all work out cheaper for the treasury in the long run? Now let me see, which one of those is a tax grabbing greedy gubmint going to latch onto?

  47. OK Ferret, I am not trying to be difficult here. I think what you are saying is that the MOD’s ‘2 year thing is a total joke’ in that the pension they get after 2 years is next to nothing. But surely that is the point. It is next to nothing and thus lowers the average. In all fairness though, one would not expect much of a pension after only two years. But if that is not your point, and ex-squaddies get nothing at all after 2 years then I do find it strange that the MOD could get away with such lies.

    For the record, I have a nephew who flies Apaches for the Army Air Corp. He has had several tours in Afghanistan. So please do not think that I am anti the military or do not appreciate the work they do. I come from a long line of soldiers. Having said that, I do go along with much of what has been said above in that there is a gravy train for many public servants, from all sectors, and once on it, many refuse to budge.

  48. I see Sipu,

    All I am saying is that when it comes to drawing in new recruits, the MOD has been known to overegg the pudding. None of the pensions before 22yrs for example are available before age 60 for example.

    Mine pays me 460 notes a month now and increases at 55. I then get a full pension at 60 based on RPI.

  49. An enjoyable debate which I regret missing! Well done Ferret, a fine example of how to debate calmly! I have inwardly digested! 😀

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