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NATIONAL CIVIL SERVICE STRIKE

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31ST JAN
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I'm not really a believer in the effectiveness of strike action in this day and age (though I shall be there on the picket line and the postman and courier will politely turn back), but negotiations fall apart on a daily basis, and the proposed "modernisation" of the civil service is decimating the workforce on a massive scale. I'm glad it's only a one day strike, and it's a precursor to "more imaginative and inventive" industrial action by PCS. Protect your public services and support the strike. Please.
3rd Jan 2007, 18:04   | tags:,,,,,

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FilbertFox says:

where did the strength of our unions go?

3rd Jan 2007, 22:39

leeched away by that vampire thatcher...

3rd Jan 2007, 23:17

FilbertFox says:

ah yes i remember her well

4th Jan 2007, 13:28

if only we could forget...

4th Jan 2007, 13:51

The unions don't have any real power these days. I agree with your Para, I don't really see what effect this action will have. It will get it in to the news for a day or two lots of conflicting points of view and you will still need to sit around the table and talk.

Thatcher has a lot to answer for

4th Jan 2007, 13:55

hildegard says:

Dunno - the unions had no power at their inception. There was despair & exclusion, there was paternalism & contempt for the poor. We've done it before & what with both police & military increasingly disaffected, I'm actually a tiny bit optimistic about unions...

4th Jan 2007, 14:11

Becoming dispirited is what they want. While the unions have had a lot of their former power stripped from them, we need to keep our unions and to keep them active, what alterantive does the working person have? Hild, you've summed my views up well there. There were 2 2-day strikes last year within the Jobcentre directorate, and even though members couldn't really afford to, both strikes were very well supported and concessions were forced. This strike is the entire DWP, jobcentres, pensions, CSA, HMRC, everyone - and is aimed to be short but hard-hitting, and this can only be achieved with maximum support, and everyone I know in the department is in favour. The cuts planned for public services will affect each and every one of us.

4th Jan 2007, 14:27

hildegard says:

They already do - for example, the promised improvements in processing benefit claims have not arrived, in fact in my area, the time taken to process a claim almost doubled, it's impossible to reach anyone in the call centre. Documents are routinely lost, the computers still crash on a regular basis & people like the CAB or hospital advice workers no longer have direct lines to contact staff who are actually responsible for claims. Imagine that you've got a 30 minute appointment with the CAB to ask for help chasing your claim. The CAB worker can easily spend all of that 30 minutes on hold...
Incompetence & hubris. We're led by a confederacy of dunces.

4th Jan 2007, 14:54

the benefit processing centres don't even have a dedicated contact centre. There is no-one whose job description actually includes answering the phone. If you call the number and actually get a reply it's because someone has done it out of the goodness of their heart. We're given a yearly survey to complete, and one of the questions always relates to how proud we are to work for the DWP, though the phrasing is changed regularly to baffle the unwary. However it's phrased, the majority of employees are thoroughly ashamed of the system they work under.

4th Jan 2007, 15:10

Caine says:

Good luck! I hope it does some good.

4th Jan 2007, 23:41

Rick says:

I hope it works, too. As a US union member, I'll help if I can. When I was on strike, the international support was awesome!, and I'll return the favor anytime.

5th Jan 2007, 03:49

Thanks everyone, the main ingredient of any industrial action is solidarity!

5th Jan 2007, 17:38

MaggieD says:

As a UNISON member and union rep you have my, and our branch members, total support .....

5th Jan 2007, 21:21

that's good to know maggie, many thanks. Management hassle is starting, although I don't think I'm the victim for once - there's a 3 day union negotiating course in cardiff next week, and one of our reps has been told she cannot attend as she does not have enough facility time left - she's the ULR branch coordinator so she actually has up to 70% facility time. I'm fairly certain that when I get into work on monday they'll withdraw my permission too - if not it can only because they're tired of giving me grief!

5th Jan 2007, 21:33

did a poem for the strike last night, a favourite from the pen of Adrian Mitchell -

that feeling
when you go to sit down
and the chair isn't there

- that's Blair.

5th Jan 2007, 21:34

MaggieD says:

Yep, that kinds of sums it up, on one level ....

5th Jan 2007, 22:13

and on another?

6th Jan 2007, 03:46

Viv says:

and today we were visited by a policeman whose SOLE job is to check on gun licences! Cme and had a cup of coffee and a chat went down the cellar to check the cabinet and went off in his petrol guzzling 4 wheel drive. I thought pay, pension equality of labour - does it really need a policeman to do this job. I seethed inwardly as I thought of his early retirement. Contrast that to the job of an inner city policeman! The whole of the public service world seems to be a mess for so many
reasons! And other areas of private industry are a rat race - Beth's employment conditions from the bar work to the Apple Store to her present job have been appalling and pay derogatory!

10th Jan 2007, 20:35