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Video: Public sector unions strike over pay and pensions

16:29 10 July 2014

Harvey Crane organized Suffolk Needs a Pay Rise rally and march in Ipswich Town Centre on Thursday, 10 July.

Harvey Crane organized Suffolk Needs a Pay Rise rally and march in Ipswich Town Centre on Thursday, 10 July.

Public sectors workers from a wide range of services are today holding a one-day strike to protest about government pay restraint.

In Ipswich hundreds of workers from UNISON, Unite, the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), NUT, and the Fire Brigades U gathered for a march through the town centre to bring attention to their call.

Ipswich Trades Union Council chairman Harvey Crane, who is also an official with PCS, said public servants across the country were angry about the way they had been treated.

He said: “We have had a pay freeze for four years and now we are being promised an average rise of 1%. But that is an average rise – I’m only getting half a per cent.

“Across the region people are getting more and more angry. We are now being told that the economy is recovering, but we are not able to benefit from that recovery.”

UNISON representative at the borough council David Rowe said public sector workers had seen their real wages fall by 20% over the last five years: “This is something that can not carry on.”

The strike affected 59 schools across Suffolk, with 17 being closed altogether. Fire cover was affected and there was some reduction in council services in Ipswich.

Some homes in the south east of the town did not have their rubbish collected as they were due – householders were asked to keep their bins out with the promise that they should be emptied as soon as possible.

Streets in the town centre were being cleaned as usual, but some neighbourhoods were not getting the visit that they are due from streetcleaners.

Ipswich Conservative MP Ben Gummer attacked the strikes on three grounds:

He said public sector workers had fared better than the private sector during the recession.

He said striking teachers were damaging the education of the children in their classes.

And he said the government was taking action to clamp down on tax avoidance by the rich and to help the low paid.

“This government has lifted two million people out of paying income tax altogether and the gap between rich and poor is getting smaller for the first time in 20 years.”


  • @Poppys Dad. This government commissioned an independent report into public sector pay and it found the very lowest grades needed a 14% rise to bring them into line with the private sector equivalent jobs. Read the Hay Report, if you can find it. They ignored that but are now happy to take the 11% and justify it by saying it was an independent recommendation.

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    Esco Fiasco

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

  • MP's don't earn that much compared to other senior positions in the private sector . They didn't vote for the 11% rise either and independent body did . If the strikes continue it will save the public sector millions as every striker loses a days pay , say £50 a day per striker the amount would soon mount up . Striking does little nowadays to improve a workers situation . Public Sector pensions in their old format were not affordable and had to be changed , people now living alot longer than when they were developed . Private Sector pay , depends on what you do in the private sector , many jobs are overpaid , many are underpaid .

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    Poppys Dad

    Saturday, July 12, 2014

  • @tamara_knight - you are spot on. And Ben Gummer obviously believes his own party's propaganda. Every other reputable source is evidencing that the gap between rich and poor is widening but still the rich elite would like us to believe that they are driving down wages and filling their own pockets for our benefit. Unfortunately some people on here have fallen for it. Where is the logic in the argument that because conditions are worse in the private sector that is the benchmark everyone should aim for! When we've all finished our working day we should put our hats on the ground and maybe a rich person will throw a coin in it and make our lives that much better. The facts are that an unregulated free market caused the recession; the same unregulated free market that killed manufacturing and industry in this country and the trade unions are the only one's trying to make sure people get a fair day's pay for a fair day's work. When the Tories tick the box on their To Do list that says 'Finish off the unions in the public sector' we can all kiss employment rights goodbye and go back to the good old days of grovelling to rich bosses for a handout. Wake up Britain!!

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    Thursday, July 10, 2014

  • suffolk Boy Simple if you cant payout on the pension i was promised then simply pay back my twenty years of contributions,if this was in the financial sector the government would be done for mis -selling pensions.

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    Thursday, July 10, 2014

  • Suffolk boy playing the we cant afford it card.Go and find the figures if you want to convince me.Or just get rid of every public service educate your kids at home live in squalor with no rubbish collections and give yourself a huge tax break providing you earn enough in the private sector.Because believe you me you wont.

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    Thursday, July 10, 2014

  • well I do think the pay offer to the Teachers is poor and if it was me I would go use some of the 13 plus weeks holiday a year you get to earn yourself some money

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    love leeds

    Thursday, July 10, 2014

  • As usual little ben gummer is all talk !, just how much has his pay gone up in the last 4 years ?, and I do not even consider him as a 'worker' !, he just lives off the backs of the Hard Working British People !

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    Thursday, July 10, 2014

  • These people would not be missing a day's pay if they did not feel that strike action was the only way to demonstrate their feelings about their continued low pay and changes to their pensions. The MP's are alright Jack, having voted themselves an 11% pay rise and still very generous expenses and a tax-payer subsidised restaurant in the House of Commons. The pigs still have their snouts in the trough and expect others to struggle. Power to the people, and power to the strikers, although I doubt anyone in government cares, let alone listens.

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    Driven Roundabend

    Thursday, July 10, 2014

  • While I don't agree with the strike what really rankles is the 11% MP's are likely to get. Can they really not see that the respect for the establishment in general is not far off total collapse? They have to be seen to be with us, not using us. This strike action is probably part of a growing resentment that's going to gain massive momentum before those in power even spot it.

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    Tamara Knight

    Thursday, July 10, 2014

  • Whilst I sympathise with those in the private sector in the same boat, I am sure you are well aware that there are many in the private sector who do receive decent pay rises, salaries etc - I know at least some of you in the private sector do, as I have friends and family who work in the private sector. Rather than knocking many of us (and it is the rank and file of us suffering) in the public sector, how about saving your comments for all the fat cats and bankers etc - on no, none of us can do that as they are so well protected, but we are an easy target aren't we?

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    Thursday, July 10, 2014

  • @BigGeoff - that's exactly what they ARE doing. Taking action to do something about it. Strange how there's never any problem finding the money to increase MPs wages or those of senior managers, but it's always the people at the bottom of the heap (doing the work that matters) who get screwed.

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    Thursday, July 10, 2014

  • if it was not for the unions this country would be in a bigger mess than it is today .to many smug people today.[ im okay jack ,sod you].

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    Thursday, July 10, 2014

  • Funny how some schools are open. My grandson had a day with us as Sidegate was closed. It's not the best performing school. Wouldn't it be a good idea to have a list of schools who were closed along side of a list of their performance. Don't these union stirrers realise it was their party who put this country in the mess it is. No one benefits under a labour government except wasters and scroungers.

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    Thursday, July 10, 2014

  • If employees in the private sector are not satisfied with their terms and conditions they should take action to do something about it. The ragged trousered philanthropists live on.

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    Thursday, July 10, 2014

  • Public Sector moaners again. Welcome to the real world guys - there isn't the money anymore to provide the gauranteed payrises and massive pension pots you've all been used to. You may even need to slim down some of your departments even further. This is hardly revolutionary to those of us working in the Private Sector - we've had none of these securities for years. And we just get on with it.

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    Suffolk Boy

    Thursday, July 10, 2014

  • Perhaps Harvey should get a job in the private sector and then compare what he receives in both financial remuneration and benefits packages in kind with what he currently receives in public sector. I can pretty much guarantee he would remain in public sector employment.

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    dale craven

    Thursday, July 10, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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