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Are all the strikers really that convinced?

On 2 Dec 2011 at 2:23pm Not from around here wrote:
I spoke to a teaching assistant friend of mine before the strike and she seemed to be saying that she was striking to 'support the union' as 'might need them in future' for other reasons. In other words she was striking principally (but not only of course) because she had been 'asked' to by the union.
I wonder how many people would really strike if they were not afraid of offending their unions and their work friends and colleagues.
It seems that once a union calls for strike it is almost inevitable that it will happen due to this sense of (misplaced) loyalty.
One thing that did concern my teaching assistant friend was that at the current rate she would 'have to retire in her 60's', something which she thought deeply shocking. When I said 'oh, just like everybody else then' the comment seemed not to penetrate at all! Selective deafness. In fact I tried to avoid the coversation with her but she unfortunately brought it up.
I was in a middle school the day before the strike and I certainly did not get any sense of people being motivated by a great 'purpose', in fact the general mood was one of reluctance (half of the staff in that school were not striking anyway).
I was then in a Junior school the day after the strike and noticed that the mood was certainly not jubilant - in fact i would say there was an air of defeat about the staff. So all this leads me to wonder just how many people REALLY are that committed to strike action and if another strike is called how many will actually support it.
On 2 Dec 2011 at 2:38pm Dingo wrote:
Well you will just have to wait and see won`t you dick brain.As for you having a friend who is a teaching assistant, vampires and ghouls like you don`t have friends, only victims.
On 2 Dec 2011 at 2:43pm Not from around here wrote:
It would be you to reply first wouldn't it? Webbo, what about curbing Dingo's personal insults?
I do indeed have one friend who is a teacher who I have spoken to about the strike and who I know was not on strike, and another friend who is a teaching assistant.
Now bearing in mind that I value their friendship more that I value my right to speak on the strike, I try to avoid these potentially controversial conversations with these friends who are well aware of my views anyway.
If I feel that I don't want to offend them personally, and I am sure many strikers may feel the same way - they don't want to openly go against the general view of their friends and work colleagues.
On 2 Dec 2011 at 2:50pm Dingo wrote:
If it looks like a vampire, smells like a vampire and walks like a vampire then it`s a Tory.
On 2 Dec 2011 at 2:51pm Angry wrote:
I work in a highly unionised environment (but not in the public sector) and can assure you that there is a great deal of bullying goes on among the union members. Often, those being bullied decline to vote at times of proposed action rather than actually standing up to the union and voting against. Thus we get the situation where less than half the workforce votes in favour of action but the action still goes ahead.
On 2 Dec 2011 at 2:53pm Not from around here wrote:
Thought so!
On 2 Dec 2011 at 2:58pm Dingo wrote:
If it looks like a ghoul,howls like a ghoul,and spouts lies and garbage like a Tory ,then it`s you Angry pants.
On 2 Dec 2011 at 3:04pm Clifford wrote:
Well, there you are Not from round here, you've convinced yourself and your little mate Angry. Any other surprises for us?
On 2 Dec 2011 at 3:04pm Not from around here wrote:
Need to stop feeding the Dingo..
On 2 Dec 2011 at 3:06pm Dingo wrote:
My ,my you are having fun aren`t you!Maybe I should let you both indulge yourselves undisturbed in more of you right wing masturbatory fantasies.But there again mabe not.
On 2 Dec 2011 at 3:09pm Not from around here wrote:
Angry is not my mate and I've no idea who they are or what their politics are - it doesn't matter. I suspected that people might be influenced by their colleagues rather more than a belief in the need to strike. Angry, whoever he/she is also seems to think that might be the case and has more direct experience of this than me. What's so strange about that? You seem to be confirming Angry's assertion about bullying right here.
On 2 Dec 2011 at 3:24pm Dingo wrote:
You poor old thing all getting a bit much for you is it?
On 2 Dec 2011 at 3:38pm Angry wrote:
I am speaking from experience. Two years ago (our last wage settlement) 3 weeks was spent negotiating a deal. Rather than allow the local rep to do the negotiation, the union sent in a full time rep from their HQ. This was accompanied by frequent letters to staff painting a very negative picture of what would happen without their support. There were also handwritten notes dropped into staff pigeon holes saying things like "I know what car you drive" etc. Make of it what you will, but I would say that was bullying.
On 2 Dec 2011 at 3:43pm padster wrote:
I don t agree with NFRH, but there is no reason to be agressive towards him, its a forum, air your views, be comfortable with other people having differing views. It's not like NFRH has said something really offensive. Billy Bragg gives a good bit to camera on the BBC news web site re the public sector strikes. Lets not forget we are being asked to pay for the mismanagement of the powerful few, we seem to forget public money saved banks. I would of let alot of them go to the wall, that's capitalism.
On 2 Dec 2011 at 3:44pm Dingo wrote:
Why don`t you move to China or Syria they don`t have unions there, I`m sure you be a lot happier without all that terrible bullying.
On 2 Dec 2011 at 3:50pm Not from around here wrote:
Well, much as I'd like to keep feeding you Dingo, I've got work to do. It's work I created myself and I'm damn proud of it. I have no union and no formal pension and I'm not rich - but I'm certainly not as bitter as you.
Maybe you should try it one day - it might change your perspective. Ah, but then if you worked for yourself you would have nobody to blame - except yourself.
On 2 Dec 2011 at 3:54pm Dingo wrote:
I do work for myself and I work bloody hard so less of the patronising tone. I work in the private sector but some of my clients work for the public sector and i have a high regard for most of them.
On 2 Dec 2011 at 4:06pm Not from around here wrote:
Well if you work for yourself and you're not happy.. that's your fault. Perhaps you should work harder? Or work in something more productive/enjoyable.
Quite amazing that you have been spouting this anarchist/revolutionary line when in fact you are one of the 'employer class' you so despise. It's been a blast Dingo.
On 2 Dec 2011 at 4:20pm Dingo wrote:
Life`s full of surprises eh?I am an old fashioned socialist by the by If you had read any thing of our country`s history then you would find my views less surprsing.William Morris was by the way sef employed and a great craftsman and artist.Its people like him I admire people. with vision drive and imagination and creativity who dedicated their lives to improvement of the lives of others.You should read up about him a little you may like what you read.
On 2 Dec 2011 at 4:39pm Not from around here wrote:
But you've just been lumping me in with a 'class' you hate and yet you know nothing about me other that the fact that I don't share your views. And now I discover that you belong to the same noble group as me - the self employed.
If you are so bitter, then something is wrong and you have the power to change it yourself. Come-on dingo, get a grip, if you work for yourself then I salute you, but you should take more pride in wanting to create something. By creating services, goods or wealth we all enrich the lives of others. Get off that soapbox and see the world without those red blinkers on.
I too it seems admire some of the same qualities and people as you do - so we have something in common after all. There is no need for you to be on one side and me on the other.
On 2 Dec 2011 at 5:20pm Dingo wrote:
You are right you are not the enemy and I apologise. When the ship goes down you`ll probably be drowning in the water like the rest of us.
On 2 Dec 2011 at 6:14pm cyclist wrote:
Dingo please stop hurling insults you do the cause no good. I don't beleive in the 'bullying that Angry and NFAH were spouting about. The ballots were postal and private so it looks like those that did not vote, lost their papers, forgot to post them or could not be bothered. Either way the strength of feeling by those that did vote was strong and the strikes went ahead. I get very annoyed by members who don't take action when a strike is called. Why should they gain whatever benefits a strike produces when they have lost nothing. People who don't take action should have to leave the union. If that were the case then people who cannot be bothered to vote might bother (if it is really true that they don't want a strike.) After all it does not work the other way round if the vote is no people who thought they should strike cannot just go on strike any way.
On 2 Dec 2011 at 8:47pm padster wrote:
banner seen on a march on the day of strike action:
Fantastic. lets not forget, everything we have , freedom , vote , health care etc has pretty much come through struggle. The public sector are just saying we kept our part of the contract so should you (the government).
On 2 Dec 2011 at 9:26pm Happy wrote:
I am not Angry anymore. I am Happy. When I arrived home tonight there was a nice fat cheque from the Inland Revenue because I had been overcharged from 2005 - 2009. Good old public sector.
On 2 Dec 2011 at 11:18pm Paul Newman wrote:
There never was any contract stretching into perpetuity Padster , that is simply nonsense . The contractual arrangement cannot apply to contributions no-one has yet made .
There is no justice, Padster ,in Union members who are better paid ,less productive , more job secure , better educated , more often homeowners and take early retirement disgracefully often ( teachers 25%) leeching money from ordinary people with no pensions and their children too.
The average worker has, in effect, taken a 7 per cent cut in real pay since the recession, the private sector has lost 410,000 jobs, while the public sector headcount has actually gone up by 51,000. Who is whining .. Why is it always the same story ?
Do you , does anyone really think the public sector will lead us out of this slow down ? You might as well ask HR to sell something or make something and save a Company .
This problem has nothing much to do with the recession it is primarily to do with old age which has made already valuable index linked guaranteed defined benefit pensions more valuable every year .
Reform was in the pipeline under New Labour it is unavoidable if these fabulous perks are to be sustained . An arrangement when a teacher on £30,000 ends up with a pot worth about ¬£500,000 which her sister would have had to spend 40% of her salary to get is indefensible
The Public Sector are paid by the Public and cannot hold the Public to ransom indefinitely .
There must be many in the Public Sector who agree . With turnouts of 30% this mandate comes form about 15 % -20% of the members , members who were asked if they wanted more of other people‚??s money . Support was pathetic , sympathy is non existent .
I think the Public Sector is full of hard working and intelligent people , who despite their understandable sectional slant ,know deep down, that this strike was so absurd , so laughably at odds with the old Union spirit , and so selfish that it has poisoned the ground for future negotiations .
On 3 Dec 2011 at 1:04am padster wrote:
I have read your essay Paul, and I have some points to make.
Your wrong.
On 3 Dec 2011 at 1:36am Dingo wrote:
Seriously Angry that is bloody brilliant news,congratulations.Did they pay you any interest on what they owed you?
On 3 Dec 2011 at 2:20am Paul Newman wrote:
oh I`m sure I am frequently wrong and sure you will be able to tell me exactly why we ought to be asking tax payers to throw more and more cash at one uniquely ring fenced elite.
Five years ago, if you want the figures , contributions and pensions were roughly in balance. But this is changing. This year, public sector pension payments are expected to exceed pension contributions by £5.8 billion. By 2015-16 (assuming that Lord Hutton‚??s proposals were implemented in full which they are not ), the gap was expected to be £8 billion, and rising.That has to be met by future taxpayers and it gets worse and worse.
A cold hard look at it tells you that reform has not gone anything like far enough. My own feeling is that entire question will at some stage simply have to dissolved in an end of National Pay bargaining.
On 3 Dec 2011 at 2:54am Zebedee wrote:
Change the pensions arrangements for new entrants into the public sector then they can make an informed choice about whether they want the job. There is a contract with existing workers.

It is a shame that the government were not brave or long-sighted enough to deal with this a long time ago when it was first realised that people were living longer and the pensions promised might not be affordable later.

Our electoral system promotes short-term feel good fixes at the expense of tackling longer term pain. No monolithic single party based government will want to address stuff that might lead to hardship now for gain 40 years in the future (unless they are forced to, as they are now). Anyone with any sense in the last 20 years knew that the ever-increasing levels of government and personal debt were unsustainable and that relying on a housing bubble would inevitably lead to bust.

Nothing was done to remedy it because it made us feel good and as long as we felt good we were less likely to boot the incumbant party out of power (government is not the correct word). Until we have an inclusive government of all shades that is representative and not a single-party whip-driven monolith this inherent short-termisn will always be a problem.

Unfortunately our squalid little country just blew the only chance it will get for many decades of achieving a more grown-up government.
On 3 Dec 2011 at 8:06am padster wrote:
Paul your opinion is valid and as always back up with stats. I was just having a joke with my two line reply. I can't argue with you because I am arts your science. Stats mean nothing to me when I consider this issue. Ps its not just about pensions.
On 3 Dec 2011 at 9:50am Clifford wrote:
Paul and Padster, you know of course that the cost of public sector pensions will be going DOWN, don't you? Hutton's report said that as a proportion of GDP the cost of public sector pensions is around 1.7-1.8% of GDP, but will fall from now on ‚?? down to around 1.6% of GDP by 2030 and 1.4% by 2060.
On 3 Dec 2011 at 12:24pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
How did you get the figure of a £500k pension pot for someone on ¬£30k, Paul?
I left local government after 12 years' service on a final salary of £25k. I had my pension pot valued earlier this year and it was worth £64k. Adjusted for the higher salary and greater length of service, I find it hard to see how it comes to more than about £300k at today's prices.
Are you factoring in some sort of nominal inflation for the period until they retire?
On 3 Dec 2011 at 12:41pm Yawn... wrote:
Or simply getting the figures direct from your crack-pot right-wing secretly funded propagandist 'think tanks' and then spouting them as fact in your usual roughshod manner?
On 3 Dec 2011 at 2:25pm padster wrote:
I mean "valid" in the sense that the political position is clear from Paul, take money from public sector pension / pay less to public sector pension, i said the sats mean nothing to me , and they still dont. I think all sats can be found to defend a political argument. Did you know that 89.6% of sats are made up on the spot!!
Some tories would love to strip the public sector down to the bear bones make it all private, why should them attacking pensions not be expected. Lib dems are quiet at the moment....
On 3 Dec 2011 at 6:13pm bastian wrote:
gosh I have missed alot while I was busy...Dingo I find you funny and understand that short, sharp humour is the end result of a long tedious battle..fear not, we all know the truth and statistics are obviously b*ll*cks based on three earnings of 12k, 35k and 150k averages out at 75k..does the person on 12k think they are rich? I think not.
On 3 Dec 2011 at 7:47pm Dingo wrote:
Uniquely ring fenced elite,teachers,firefighters,nurses?
Uniquely ring fenced elite,bankers,company directors,stockbrokers? Well it`s make up your mind time folks, who would you consider to be the ring fenced elite so castigated by Paul Newman?I would `ave fought it was a bit bleedin` obvious, know worra mean?
On 3 Dec 2011 at 11:14pm drone wrote:
The strikers I met seemed convinced. I`ve not met too may colleagues who are keen on paying larger pension contributions that are going to the Exchequer to fund the bank bailout rather than topping up the pension pot. The public support on the day was fantastic. I have never known a dispute that drew such wide support from the general public. Every other car seemed to be tooting its horn in support as they drove by our picket line. People were standing on the pavement applauding marchers as they passed by. It was a fantastic & inspiring day to be involved in.
On 4 Dec 2011 at 4:51am Paul Newman wrote:
I have not spoken to a soul with good word to say about myself Drone.
Dingo you say this money is going to the treasury, but the treasury, ie the tax payer is subsidising these pension pots and will go on doing so. Other than Northern Rock the banks have not cost the exchequer a penny whilst banking , in the UK, contributes £50 billion or so to the exchequer every year.
You may have some dimly conceived objection to wealthy money lenders but public sector pensions are the things that take money from Policing, Nursing and Firefighting. That is not the point of public Service is it ?
On 4 Dec 2011 at 6:53am Expat two wrote:
"Other than Northern Rock the banks have not cost the exchequer a penny"
Oh really?
The extent of the debts future British tax payers will be saddled with, according to the Daily Telegraph, are:
£76bn To purchase shares in RBS and Lloyds Banking Group
£200bn Indemnify Bank of England against losses incurred in providing over £200bn of liquidity support
£250bn Guarantee wholesale borrowing by banks to strengthen liquidity in the banking system
£40bn Provide loans and other funding to Bradford & Bingley and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme
£280bn Agree in principle to provide insurance for selection of bank assets
£671bn Total Government spending in the financial year 2009-2010
¬£32.9m Slaughter & May ‚?? Commercial legal advice
¬£15.4m Credit Suisse ‚?? Financial advice on a range of measures, including Bank Recapitalisation and the Asset Protection Scheme
¬£11.3m PricewaterhouseCoopers ‚?? Advice on APS
¬£8.7m Ernst & Young ‚?? Due diligence on APS, Northern Rock
¬£7.7m KPMG ‚?? Due diligence on APS
¬£7.4m Blackrock ‚?? Valuation advice on APS
¬£5.3m Deutsche Bank ‚?? Financial advice on a range of measures
¬£5m Citi Financial ‚?? Advice on Aps
¬£4.9m BDO Stoy Hayward ‚?? Valuation of Northern Rock
¬£4.5m Goldman Sachs ‚?? Financial advice on Northern Rock
¬£1.5m Morgan Stanley ‚?? Financial advice on Bradford & Bingley
¬£2.5m Other advisers ‚?? Financial advice on a range of measures and proposals to revive Britain‚??s ailing economy
On 4 Dec 2011 at 11:25am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
Paul, you seem to regard all public sector pension schemes as the same kind of scheme.
The local government scheme is fully funded as are the FE/university schemes. I believe they account for 40-50% of the public sector. While it is true that the employer's contribution comes from public funds, I don't really see where else it could come from. It's no different to to the employees' contribution for Tesco's staff coming from the customers which ultimately it does.
With the unfunded public sector schemes (civil service, police etc), the pensions paid out count as treasury expenditure, but the income from current scheme contributions meets a significant part of that, but isn't shown as an offset.
A senior local government finance person told me that the problem for both types of schemes was caused as much by the shrinking workforce as by longer lifespans. Every time jobs are cut or contracted out, the scheme membership shrinks and the proportion of receipts:payments alters dramatically. Clearly, this is much more of an issue for unfunded schemes. In one way then, it's the tories' own policies that have caused a significant part of the problem, and they expect private sector workers to pay the price (as always).
According to the treasury's own figures, the PS sector costs as a proportion of GDP was set to rise slightly up to 2027/8 and then to fall again. Another good reason for pushing the boat out to stimulate growth, imo.
On 4 Dec 2011 at 11:28am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
Awesome figures, Expat. I make that more than £1.5tn (this may be very wrong - anything with more than 6 noughts makes my head go funny).
On 4 Dec 2011 at 1:27pm Paul Newman wrote:
ExPat - The State has provided liquidity, lines of credit and bought shares effectively to guarantee security. What this means is that the tax payer is acting as a guarantor and owns bank instead of credit . If you want figure for the "Premium " cost of this I have read £30 billion pa but that money is not actually spent and none of it figures on our National Debit or current deficit because where there was credit there is now Bank if you follow me (which I seriously doubt ). The fees I grant you ¬£100 million which is nothing, blimey we throw ¬£12 billion at foreign AID, the Economy is about 2.1 trillion and the state takes about third whilst spending over half ( thats the defciit right there ) . Banks pay about ¬£50 billion to the exchequer pa

On 4 Dec 2011 at 2:10pm Paul Newman wrote:
ANC - Coucil workers Pensions are topped up every year by money taken directly form the local Tax payer as well as the overall treasury settlement ( A little known fact ). Public Sector employment expanded to around 8,000,000 (of which 2,000,000 are para state ) in the New Labour period and has grown slightly overall since (51,000 )while the private sector has shed jobs. So wrong or lying.
As a means of counter cyclically stimulating demand putting money into a Public Sector Pension fund may be the most ridiculous idea I have ever heard. Thinking counselled
Still if you think you don`t need the tax payer , you know the answer,... we would be simply delighted for you to take your funds and prove us wrong by making your own arrangements precisely as the rest of us have had to.
Bye then..

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