Report From Wednesday’s PCS Strike

Brum against the cuts

 

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BY BIRMINGHAM AGAINST THE CUTS | MARCH 22, 2013 · 3:03 PM

PCS March 20 2013 Office Of The Public GuardianON Wednesday, the PCS Union who represent civil servants, began a series of industrial actions and strikes to defend jobs pay, conditions and pensions from this government’s austerity agenda.
 
In Birmingham pickets were held around the city at government offices and job centres.
 
Turnout rates in the region were at 80%-90% for many places, with over a third of the staff at Selly Oak Jobcentre turning out for the picket line itself. 
 
Pickets were followed by a lunchtime rally at which Sian Ruddick read message of support before introducing the speakers, which started with Phil Murray, a worker at the Selly Oak Jobcentre.
 
This is just the start of a series of actions, with the next strike on the 5th April as the new tax year starts. Wednesday was chosen as it was budget day, with George Osborne revealing plans for new welfare cutssubsidies for buying second homes and deceptions about the budget deficit. 
 
Next to speak was Kit Armstrong from the NUT, who delivered a message of solidarity from teaching unions who will be going on strike in the Summer.

“this government is systematically dismantling our school structure in front of our eyes … [they are] stealing the schools, never mind the milk, and handing them over to their friends in big business.”

Then the regional secretary from the TUC, Rob Jonston spoke

“We’ve said for the past 3, 4 years that austerity is self-defeating and time and time again we’ve been proven right!”

PCS strike March 20 2013 HA picketYesterday, unemployment figures showed a rise nationally and locally.

 
GDP is looking likely to shrink again this quarter, meaning we’re in a triple dip recession – all as part of the worst recovery from recession in over 100 years.
 
Osborne claims that the deficit is down by a third by using one-off payments and bringing forward savings from future years to make it so that the deficit for 2012/3 is £120.9bn – lower than the defict for 2011/12 by just 100 million pounds, and in reality higher, as his austerity policies choke off growth, real wages fall to 2003 levels and part time jobs replace full time jobs.
 
Tom, a local campaigner with UK Uncut and Boycott Workfare spoke about how PCS had worked in solidarity with campaigns, and called for PCS to do more to fight sanctions and welfare reform, warning job centre staff to:

“remember that when universal credit comes in later this year, any part time workers will be facing the same conditionality as unemployed people, so you might find yourself working alongside someone one day, stopping their benefits the next.”

During the debate on the retrospective workfare bill that robbed £130m of sanctions from claimants who were unlawfully sanctioned, Mark Hoban (the minister for unemployment) repeatedly told the house of commons that there were no sanctions targets.

 
 
The PCS must look at this and members must resist – sanctions cause hunger, debt and increased risk of homelessness and are used to divide workers from
claimants.
 
PCS Brum Strike
 
 
The PCS Regional Secretary, Chris Bough finished the rally with a storming speech about the attacks on the civil service, the public sector, our economy and communities and the alternatives that we should be implementing instead of self-defeating austerity.
 
 
 
 
Chris said:
 
“We must challenge the deception that we cannot afford decent public services, we cannot afford decent pay and pensions, we cannot afford real jobs when £120bn is lost every year to tax avoiders and evaders”
 
PCS’s next action is on April 5th. 
 
Join the facebook event and show your support and solidarity
 
 
 
Aspiration
 
 
 
 
Comments
  • […] ← ‘Government invoke Godwin’s law to refuse to meet disabled people’ ~ Latent Existence Report From Wednesday’s PCS Strike → […]

  • GEOFF REYNOLDS March 23, 2013 at 10:10 am

    The decline in living standards in the uk, the introduction to poverty and the statistics to more than prove, suicide rates are spiralling, are the brainchild of one twisted individual, BILL GUNNYEON.

    GUNNYEON is the faceless one who hides behind his position of Chief Medical Officer of the DWP.

    Bolstered by donations from the Insurance Industry, (of which Gunnyeon and his chums are honoured speakers), our government have set out on a path of Welfare Reforms that deny the very poorest in society, especially the disabled.

    Each piece of legislation bears the hallmarks of this modern day “Angel of Death”.
    Every item of denial of benefit carries his endorsement. To him you are just superfluous to a life in this day and age, hence the corrupted, twisted policies that he underwrites……

    History has told us that behind every fanatical leader, there is always a minion lapping at their heels to gain some kind of recognition. They are usually hated by most because they recognise the level of toadying as dangerous.

    Obviously, the aforementioned is more than dangerous. His elevation to the dizzy heights of his title has underpinned his craving to take away life…..

    His dark thoughts from childhood now manifest themselves in legislation, in effect removal by statute.

    What i cannot understand is why he pursued his career on the grounds of helping disabled, yet abuses his position by demonising them…………..

    Maybe he has a psychological problem that has not been detected. I wonder if ATOS software that he helped to build, could identify his problem? I seriously doubt it because its not fit for purpose!

    One things for certain, whatever cuts to whatever benefit, he is the key…….

  • Bill Goldsmith May 21, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    the very phrase “this govt will look after those that choose to work hard” (the to tories are saying this at every opportunity) is said to divide those who are in work and those that are not.
    3 million unemployed scroungers.

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