Skip to content

UK unions go on strike over cuts to public sector pensions

BBC News

Row over public sector pension causes large nationwide strikes as thousands of UK schools close so that their teachers can fight the government over pension changes.

But the government said action by civil servants had “minimal” impact with fewer than 100,000 on strike at midday.

The Public and Commerical Services union said it was the best supported strike it had ever held, with 200,000 civil servants striking.

Jobcentres, border controls and passport offices were also affected by the industrial action.

Thousands of schools were closed across England and Wales as teachers from three unions walked out.

The government says the proposed pension changes are “fair to taxpayers” and other unions are continuing with negotiations.

It condemned the strike, as did the opposition, although Labour leader Ed Miliband accused ministers of mishandling negotiations with the unions.

A Downing Street spokeswoman said: “Our border controls are in place and Jobcentres and pension offices are open for business.

“Indicative figures from every government department show that as of 12 noon today, over 75% of civil servants were not on strike. Just fewer than 100,000 civil servants were on strike – around one-fifth of the workforce.

“This shows that less than half of PCS members decided to take strike action today.”

Mark Serwotka, leader of the Public and Commercial Services union, said up to four million workers could strike in the autumn if the bitter row is not resolved.

He also said 85% of his members had been on strike, MPs had refused to cross picket lines and staff in Downing Street had taken action.

“The government has been rumbled, and ministers are either badly briefed – or they are lying,” he said.

The action by the National Union of Teachers (NUT), the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and the University and College Union (UCU) affected England and Wales.

The unions say the proposals would mean more work and contributions for a reduced pension.

School closures

At least 12,000 schools in England and Wales are known to have been closed or partly closed. Unions say the total is even higher.

Department for Education data suggests that 11,114 of the 21,500 state schools in England were hit by the walkouts – the department based its calculations on data from 80% of schools.

It said in total, 5,679 schools were shut, and another 4,999 were partially closed. Some 201 academies and city technology colleges were also shut, while 235 remained partially open.

In Wales, according to local authority figures, more than 1,000 out of 1,800 schools were either closed or partially closed.

The NUT estimated 85% of schools in England and Wales were affected.

Kevin Courtney, the union’s deputy general secretary, said the union realised the action was “very disruptive for parents,” and said that “we do regret that”.

He added: “We had hoped to reach a settlement before the industrial action, but the government isn’t serious about talks.”

The PCS also includes police support and border staff and some UK Border Agency staff walked out from 1800 BST on Wednesday.

However, airports and ports reported few difficulties.

‘Reckless’ government

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS, said his members were left with no choice but to take action as the government was not prepared to “compromise on any of the central issues of the strike”.

“While they are talking, they are not negotiating,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

The walkouts by the PCS, which has around 260,000 members, were staged across the UK.

Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said:

“What today has shown is that the vast majority of hard-working public sector employees do not support today’s premature strike…

“Reform of public sector pensions is inevitable, but we will ensure that public sector pensions will still be among the very best, with a guaranteed pension which very few private sector staff now enjoy. But they will be paid later because people live longer.”

Writing on Twitter, Mr Miliband said:

“These strikes are wrong at a time when negotiations are going on. People have been let down by both sides – the Govt has acted recklessly”.

Some striking workers spoke of their “anger” at Mr Miliband’s refusal to back their walkout. PCS union members on the picket line outside the House of Commons said the party should stand up for their rights.

Iain Watson who is the political correspondent for the BBC writes today that:

“Long running and often bitter disputes often end with a clear winner. But the apparent success of a one day strike is often determined as much by spin, as by the numbers who take to the streets.

The unions see today as a show of strength – the government want to suggest it was really a sign of weakness. Hence the claim that most civil servants went to work, essential services weren’t disrupted, and that the borders remained secure.

The unions, on the other hand have been arguing that while perhaps only a handful of courts closed, some cases had to be postponed – and while a small number of job centres shut, far more weren’t able to provide a full service to their customers.

There seems little doubt, though, that the disruption to parents and school children alike was extensive – with a majority of schools in England closed, or partially closed.

Today was only the opening salvo in a longer running battle – one which will take place largely behind closed doors, in detailed negotiations, rather than on the streets.

Many of the unions who will sit round the table with government ministers next week weren’t on strike today. If they feel the government isn’t flexible enough in these talks, much more widespread disruption is possible in the autumn.”


View the original article at

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Posted in Government, Protests & Civil Disobedience.

Tagged with , , , .

One Response

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Continuing the Discussion

  1. UK Government tries to divide and conquer the public. Don’t be diverted from the real targets of our misery – the banksters! « Dark Politics linked to this post on June 30, 2011

    […] am in agreement with those who are striking today in the UK over the governments proposal to cut their pensions, extend the age in which you can […]

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.

Support #altnews & keep Dark Politricks alive

Remember I told you over 5 years ago that they would be trying to shut down sites and YouTube channels that are not promoting the "Official" view. Well it's all happening now big time. Peoples Channels get no money from YouTube any more and Google is being fishy with their AdSense giving money for some clicks but not others. The time is here, it's not "Obama's Internet Cut Off Switch" it's "Trumps Sell Everyones Internet Dirty Laundry Garage Sale". This site must be on some list at GCHQ/NSA as my AdSense revenue which I rely on has gone down by a third. Either people are not helping out by visiting sponsors sanymore or I am being blackballed like many YouTube sites.

It's not just Google/YouTube defunding altenative chanels (mine was shut), but Facebook is also removing content, shutting pages, profiles and groups and removing funds from #altnews that way as well. I was recently kicked off FB and had a page "unpublished" with no reason given. If you don't know already all Facebooks Private Messages and Secret Groups are still analysed and checked for words related to drugs, sex, war etc against their own TOS. Personally I know there are undercover Irish police moving from group to group cloning peoples accounts and getting people booted. Worse than that I know some people in prison now for the content they had on their "secret private group". Use Telegrams secret chat mode to chat on, or if you prefer Wickr. If you really need to, buy a dumb phone with nothing for the NSA/GCHQ to hack into. Ensure it has no GPS tracking on it and that the battery can be removed. These are usually built for old people to get used to technology storing only a set of numbers to call. However they have no games, applications to install or other ways people can exploit the computer tracking device you carry round with you most of the day - your smart phone. If you are paranoid ensure that you can remove the battery when travelling around and do so to prevent GPS tracking or phone mast triangulation. Even with your phone in Flight mode or turned off, it can be turned on remotely and any features like front or back cameras, microphones and keylogging software can be installed to trace you.

So if your not supporting this site already which brings you news from the Left to the Right (really the same war mongering rubbish) then I could REALLY do with some..

Even if it's just £5 or tick the monthly subscription box and throw a few pound my way each month, it will be much appreciated. Read on to find out why.


Any support to keep this site would be appreciated. You could set up a monthly subscription for £2 like some people do or you could pay a one off donation as a gift.
I am not asking you to pay me for other people's articles, this is a clearing house as well as place to put my own views out into the world. I am asking for help to write more articles like my recent false flag gas attack to get WWIII started in Syria, and Trump away from Putin. Hopefully a few missiles won't mean a WikiLeaks release of that infamous video Trump apparently made in a Russian bedroom with Prostitutes. Also please note that this article was written just an hour after the papers came out, and I always come back and update them.

If you want to read JUST my own articles then use the top menu I have written hundreds of articles for this site and I host numerous amounts of material that has seen me the victim of hacks, DOS plus I have been kicked off multiple hosting companies, free blogging sites, and I have even had threats to cease and desist from the US armed forces. Therefore I have to pay for my own server which is NOT cheap. The more people who read these article on this site the more it costs me so some support would be much appreciated.

I have backups of removed reports shown, then taken down after pressure, that show collusion between nations and the media. I have the full redacted 28/29 pages from the 9.11 commission on the site which seems to have been forgotten about as we help Saudi Arabia bomb Yemeni kids hiding in the rubble with white phosphorus, an illegal weaapon. One that the Israeli's even used when they bombed the UN compound in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. We complain about Syrian troops (US Controlled ISIS) using chemical weapons to kill "beautiful babies". I suppose all those babies we kill in Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Syria are just not beautiful enough for Trumps beautiful baby ratio. Plus we kill about 100 times as many as ISIS or the Syrian army have managed by a factor of about 1000 to 1.

I also have a backup of the FOX News series that looked into Israeli connections to 9.11. Obviously FOX removed that as soon as AIPAC, ADL and the rest of the Hasbra brigade protested.

I also have a copy of the the original Liberal Democrats Freedom Bill which was quickly and quietly removed from their site once they enacted and replaced with some watered down rubbish instead once they got into power. No change to police tactics, protesting or our unfair extradition treaty with the USA but we did get a stop to being clamped on private land instead of the mny great ideas in the original.

So ANY support to keep this site running would be much appreciated! I don't have much money after leaving my job and it is a choice between shutting the server or selling the domain or paying a lot of money just so I can show this material.

Material like the FSB Bombings that put Putin in power or the Google no 1 spot when you search for protecting yourself from UK Police with "how to give a no comment interview". If you see any adverts that interest you then please visit them as it helps me without you even needing to give me any money. A few clicks per visit is all it takes to help keep the servers running and tag any tweets with alternative news from the mainstream with the #altnews hashtag I created to keep it alive!

However if you don't want to use the very obvious and cost free ways (to you) to help the site and keep me writing for it then please consider making a small donation. Especially if you have a few quid sitting in your PayPal account doing nothing useful. Why not do a monthly subscription for less money instead. Will you really notice £5 a month?