For me, striking at a time when the country is struggling to get it’s economy back on track is down right selfish. The point of the Unions is that their workers signed a contract which said their pensions would be protected. However, we live in extraordinary times, therefore the menial contract means very little right now. People and companies have to be open to constant change and adaptation, if the economy is to function as smoothly as possible. This is something the private sector seems to understand. Which is also the reason why the private sector always seems to get annoyed at the public sector. The private is the first to feel the effects of any downturn, but just seems to get on with things, no matter how unhappy they might be. This isn’t something that can be said for the public.
These strikes also took place while negotiations were still on going, which to me is quite rude and shows very little respect for the talking/negotiation process. It was always my thinking that measures like this were only taken when every possibility of a positive result are exhausted. However it seems that negotiations with the Government were not exhausted, so more time should have been given.
This is only my brief opinion right now, and will publish a far more elaborate and detailed report as to why these strikes were very much the wrong course of action to take.
>Strikng is the last option.The industrial relations acts introduced by Thatcher are so biased now towards the employer. Blairs New Labour didnt do the working man any favours when they failed to repeal these laws. Camerons government apparently wants to introduce further legislation. Its the 21st century and working conditions are trying to be pushed further backwards.
Happily its not too long before I retire.
>Hi mate, It is never a time to strike, for businesses or members. No one wants to strike, no one wants to lose money by going on strike or put themselves in the firing line for abuse and negative comments from media or the public. As for striking while negotiations are ongoing unless people know what the negotiations are it could be right or wrong to strike. If you had a car up for sale for 5 grand and i offered you a pound would you continue negotiating, or would you walk away? Now put yourself in the public sectors… Read more »
>DGB – your naivety is breathtaking sometimes. Public sector workers are being asked to pay more (roughly 3%) into their pensions, but take a reduction in the final pension they receive. On top of that, the government has offered no negotiation whatsoever – they're saying, in effect, "that's the deal – take it or leave it. Oh, and you'll have to work a couple of extra years to receive your less valuable pension that you're paying more for." And then they have the gall to accuse the unions of refusing to negotiate. Of course, all this follows negotiations in previous… Read more »
>Anon – in comparison to the hits a lot in the private sector have had to take, 3% is very small. The country is skint – the whole country. We're at a point now where everyone is just going to have to put up with some hard living. Taking time of work to shout about how hard it is isn't going to make the slightest bit of difference. You don't see the private sector downing tools whenever tough choices have to be made! I stand by my opinion that they are being selfish. I pose this question to you: how… Read more »
>DGB – you're missing the point. It's not the pension changes per se that has led to strikes, it's the government's refusal to sit down and take part in meaningful negotiations. Even if the gov don't budge on the key details, there are many things that could be discussed (like spreading the change over, say, three years), smaller compromises that could be considered (dropping the change from pension based on final salary rather than the proposed average salary) and assurances that could be made (like the gov downgrading pensions even more next year). However, while the gov continues to try… Read more »