Taunton prepares for massive public sector strike

This is The West Country: Taunton prepares for massive public sector strike Taunton prepares for massive public sector strike

A MASSIVE public sector strike tomorrow (Thursday, July 10) has been condemned by Taunton Deane MP Jeremy Browne.

Local authority bosses aim to protect vulnerable people with carers, social workers, refuse collectors, librarians and street cleaners among hundreds of workers walking out.

Unions say members are underpaid, but Mr Browne believes industrial action will only cause inconvenience as the UK battles to recover from recession and government debt.

Mr Browne added: “People in the public and private sector have had to contribute to getting our economy back on track.

“We’re starting to see some progress with the economy growing and unemployment falling.

“It would be a terrible mistake to give up now and go back to dangerous levels of borrowing.

“Nobody is claiming that times are easy, but I don’t think a strike will alter the fundamental economic reality.

“It will only cause inconvenience for hard-pressed parents and other people who rely on our public service and fund them through their taxes.”

UNISON members taking the day off work are manning a stall in High Street, Taunton, and collecting donations for Taunton Foodbank.

Kris Ross-Osborne, the union’s Somerset assistant branch secretary, claimed five years of pay freezes and below inflation increases have hit local government workers.

He added: “We believe public services are important and worth fighting for.

“We’re clear that if we want to preserve them in the future, then the staff that provide them deserve fair pay for the work they do.

UNITE representative at County Hall Nigel Behan said local government is “a low wage employer” and is demanding a £1 an hour increase.

He said: “By taking industrial action, you’re saying you’re fed up with receiving real pay cuts and are prepared to fight to get a better pay deal.”

A Taunton and West Somerset Trades Council spokeswoman said further cuts planned at County Hall would result in “huge further job losses, continuing salary cuts and major losses of service provision”.

She added: “Striking public sector workers are going to use the day to engage with the public, drawing attention to the impact of growing poverty in Taunton.”

Somerset County Council and Taunton Deane Council say they have contingency plans to minimise disruption to the public and will do everything to protect vulnerable people.

A Local Government Association spokesman said it has offered to increase most employees’ pay by 1%, with the lowest paid offered over 4%.

He added: “This strike won’t change the pay offer we’ve made, but it will mean those who take part lose a day's pay.”

Firefighters and members of the NUT teachers union are also on strike tomorrow.

Comments (13)

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4:23pm Wed 9 Jul 14

SocialistParty-SomersetBranch says...

The Somerset branch of the Socialist Party is proud to continue offering full and unequivocal support and solidarity to Somerset NUT members and all other trade unionists in your struggle to defend your pay and other conditions of service, as part of the wider struggle to defend our vital public services.


End low pay!

Fight until we win!

The TUC must seize this opportunity and the massive potential it presents. Public and private sector workers alike have waited long enough to unite and fight. The opportunity for a 24-hour general strike could be just a few months away.

For more information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
The Somerset branch of the Socialist Party is proud to continue offering full and unequivocal support and solidarity to Somerset NUT members and all other trade unionists in your struggle to defend your pay and other conditions of service, as part of the wider struggle to defend our vital public services. End low pay! Fight until we win! The TUC must seize this opportunity and the massive potential it presents. Public and private sector workers alike have waited long enough to unite and fight. The opportunity for a 24-hour general strike could be just a few months away. For more information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o rg.uk SocialistParty-SomersetBranch
  • Score: 1

4:26pm Wed 9 Jul 14

SocialistParty-SomersetBranch says...

Solidarity with all the public sector trade unionists taking coordinated united strike action against austerity on July 10!

End low pay!

Fight until we win!


The coordinated action over local government pay on 10 July will bring up to 1.5 million workers out on strike from across public sector unions. The 1% 'offer', following a three year earnings freeze, is a pay cut not a pay award.

Typical local government full-time hourly earnings are the same now as in the early 1990s. Part-time hourly wages have fallen to 2002 levels. 8% of full-time and 38% of part-time local government workers earn less than the living wage.

Meanwhile living costs soar through the roof: food bills up by 16%, electricity and gas by up to a staggering 57%. These price rises mean nearly a 20% fall in real wages with pay-day loans and food banks plugging the gaps for the army of working poor. 'Recovery'? Not for us!

Strike against austerity

But this strike and the mood that has led to the coordinated action is also about a whole lot more. We are battling a wholesale jobs massacre as local government is dismantled, jobs are slashed and public services sold off to private profiteers.

If our jobs have so far escaped the axe, we face increased workloads and pressure, and increasingly brutal disciplinary and sickness procedures in stealth job cutting by managers.

Enough is enough

Workers are reaching the point where they feel pushed to the limit by this demolition government of millionaires hell-bent on the destruction of public services.

Those of us who are school support workers in Unison and GMB have gained a massive boost in being able to strike alongside our teaching colleagues. Joint picket lines at school gates, refuse depots, libraries and council offices will, at last, give local government workers a feeling of our own strength.

Not a one-day battle

This fight will not be won on 10 July alone. In building for the ballots the message was clear from union members: this is no time for token one-day action. We demand a determined and escalating battle that delivers us a victory and a first mighty blow to the austerity agenda.

In the planned further action in September, the unions must use every weapon in their armoury. Our members in academy schools, who are not part of the July action, must be given the chance to fight, as should the army of health workers in their pay dispute as our NHS is dismantled and privatised.

The TUC must seize this opportunity and the massive potential it presents. Public and private sector workers alike have waited long enough to unite and fight. The opportunity for a 24-hour general strike could be just a few months away.

Things could move rapidly through 10 July and beyond as a mood of confidence and angry determination ignites among workers and union leaderships must not be allowed to lag behind and dampen the flames.

10 July is the beginning of a fight we must win!

For more information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
Solidarity with all the public sector trade unionists taking coordinated united strike action against austerity on July 10! End low pay! Fight until we win! The coordinated action over local government pay on 10 July will bring up to 1.5 million workers out on strike from across public sector unions. The 1% 'offer', following a three year earnings freeze, is a pay cut not a pay award. Typical local government full-time hourly earnings are the same now as in the early 1990s. Part-time hourly wages have fallen to 2002 levels. 8% of full-time and 38% of part-time local government workers earn less than the living wage. Meanwhile living costs soar through the roof: food bills up by 16%, electricity and gas by up to a staggering 57%. These price rises mean nearly a 20% fall in real wages with pay-day loans and food banks plugging the gaps for the army of working poor. 'Recovery'? Not for us! Strike against austerity But this strike and the mood that has led to the coordinated action is also about a whole lot more. We are battling a wholesale jobs massacre as local government is dismantled, jobs are slashed and public services sold off to private profiteers. If our jobs have so far escaped the axe, we face increased workloads and pressure, and increasingly brutal disciplinary and sickness procedures in stealth job cutting by managers. Enough is enough Workers are reaching the point where they feel pushed to the limit by this demolition government of millionaires hell-bent on the destruction of public services. Those of us who are school support workers in Unison and GMB have gained a massive boost in being able to strike alongside our teaching colleagues. Joint picket lines at school gates, refuse depots, libraries and council offices will, at last, give local government workers a feeling of our own strength. Not a one-day battle This fight will not be won on 10 July alone. In building for the ballots the message was clear from union members: this is no time for token one-day action. We demand a determined and escalating battle that delivers us a victory and a first mighty blow to the austerity agenda. In the planned further action in September, the unions must use every weapon in their armoury. Our members in academy schools, who are not part of the July action, must be given the chance to fight, as should the army of health workers in their pay dispute as our NHS is dismantled and privatised. The TUC must seize this opportunity and the massive potential it presents. Public and private sector workers alike have waited long enough to unite and fight. The opportunity for a 24-hour general strike could be just a few months away. Things could move rapidly through 10 July and beyond as a mood of confidence and angry determination ignites among workers and union leaderships must not be allowed to lag behind and dampen the flames. 10 July is the beginning of a fight we must win! For more information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o rg.uk SocialistParty-SomersetBranch
  • Score: 0

4:59pm Wed 9 Jul 14

souwesterly says...

Oh ye Gods - the soapbox ranters are back!
Trust the Soc Party to get yacking.....

Let them all have a day off - most are so inept and useless that we probably won't miss them anyway.
Oh ye Gods - the soapbox ranters are back! Trust the Soc Party to get yacking..... Let them all have a day off - most are so inept and useless that we probably won't miss them anyway. souwesterly
  • Score: -5

7:14pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Tell_it_as_it_is says...

Good for our MP Jeremy Browne - Condemns the strike at Councils while pocketing an11% pay rise!

http://www.bbc.co.uk
/news/uk-politics-25
344188

Does anyone know that when the PM & the UK Coalition Government promised £250 for the low/moderate paid that everyone else got that EXCEPT Local Government.

So Mr Browne - As a Minister in that that coalition Government, you made a promise to protect the low/moderate paid and the Local Government Association couldn't fund it because you wouldn't ring fence the money.

When Somerset Trade Unions went to Westminster to meet Somerset MPs to ask for protection of the low/moderate paid, you couldn't even be bothered to turn up!

Time AGAIN for a video single to go with the broken promises to Students when TREBLING their loans: "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm so, so sorry".

Since 2010, a little over 2,000 jobs have gone at Somerset County Council alone - some 33% of the workforce.

Come 2015, yours may be next......
Good for our MP Jeremy Browne - Condemns the strike at Councils while pocketing an11% pay rise! http://www.bbc.co.uk /news/uk-politics-25 344188 Does anyone know that when the PM & the UK Coalition Government promised £250 for the low/moderate paid that everyone else got that EXCEPT Local Government. So Mr Browne - As a Minister in that that coalition Government, you made a promise to protect the low/moderate paid and the Local Government Association couldn't fund it because you wouldn't ring fence the money. When Somerset Trade Unions went to Westminster to meet Somerset MPs to ask for protection of the low/moderate paid, you couldn't even be bothered to turn up! Time AGAIN for a video single to go with the broken promises to Students when TREBLING their loans: "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm so, so sorry". Since 2010, a little over 2,000 jobs have gone at Somerset County Council alone - some 33% of the workforce. Come 2015, yours may be next...... Tell_it_as_it_is
  • Score: 12

7:38pm Wed 9 Jul 14

SocialistParty-SomersetBranch says...

Cameron and Browne and their Tory chums can shout that "we're all in this together" until they're even bluer in the face - but nobody believes them.

The Tory summer bash said it all. Guests included the world's haves and have yachts! Russian oligarchs rubbed shoulders with hedge fund managers. They, alongside Greek shipping tycoons and others from the world of the pampered, elite schmoozed with Tory government ministers.

Filthy rich individuals forked out £160,000 to play the "ultimate game of tennis" with Cameron and Tory London Mayor Boris Johnson; £40,000 for a bottle of champagne signed by milk snatcher Margaret Thatcher; and double that for a day's shooting in Oxfordshire!

For the mere millionaires a table could be booked, presumably on the fringe of the event, for £12,000. They could then bid for a jar of honey - going for a sweet £15,000, otherwise known as a year's pay for many workers.

Beyond the glister, attacks on the working class and middle class are relentless.

Our wages have stagnated, our benefits are sanctioned, but most importantly our patience is running out! Now is the time for fighting back!

Up and down the country a wealth of industrial disputes are erupting: Tyneside Safety Glass workers fighting ruthless bosses who offered a 0% pay 'rise'; Doncaster Care UK staff demanding a living wage; occupational therapists in Greenwich striking against bullying bosses; and an indefinite strike in Lambeth College.

The billionaires think they can hang on to their luxurious lifestyles by trampling on workers and paying into the coffers of pro-capitalist parties. But those same donors will tremble when workers take decisive action against austerity.

The 10 July public sector coordinated action should mark the start of mass working class action against all cuts, especially with public and private sector workers acting together in a 24-hour general strike.

For more information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
Cameron and Browne and their Tory chums can shout that "we're all in this together" until they're even bluer in the face - but nobody believes them. The Tory summer bash said it all. Guests included the world's haves and have yachts! Russian oligarchs rubbed shoulders with hedge fund managers. They, alongside Greek shipping tycoons and others from the world of the pampered, elite schmoozed with Tory government ministers. Filthy rich individuals forked out £160,000 to play the "ultimate game of tennis" with Cameron and Tory London Mayor Boris Johnson; £40,000 for a bottle of champagne signed by milk snatcher Margaret Thatcher; and double that for a day's shooting in Oxfordshire! For the mere millionaires a table could be booked, presumably on the fringe of the event, for £12,000. They could then bid for a jar of honey - going for a sweet £15,000, otherwise known as a year's pay for many workers. Beyond the glister, attacks on the working class and middle class are relentless. Our wages have stagnated, our benefits are sanctioned, but most importantly our patience is running out! Now is the time for fighting back! Up and down the country a wealth of industrial disputes are erupting: Tyneside Safety Glass workers fighting ruthless bosses who offered a 0% pay 'rise'; Doncaster Care UK staff demanding a living wage; occupational therapists in Greenwich striking against bullying bosses; and an indefinite strike in Lambeth College. The billionaires think they can hang on to their luxurious lifestyles by trampling on workers and paying into the coffers of pro-capitalist parties. But those same donors will tremble when workers take decisive action against austerity. The 10 July public sector coordinated action should mark the start of mass working class action against all cuts, especially with public and private sector workers acting together in a 24-hour general strike. For more information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o rg.uk SocialistParty-SomersetBranch
  • Score: 3

8:50am Thu 10 Jul 14

SocialistParty-SomersetBranch says...

End Low Pay!

Fight 'til we win!

Leaflet for 10th July strike

Visit the link below for pdf of leaflet:


http://www.socialist
party.org.uk/txt/326
.pdf
End Low Pay! Fight 'til we win! Leaflet for 10th July strike Visit the link below for pdf of leaflet: http://www.socialist party.org.uk/txt/326 .pdf SocialistParty-SomersetBranch
  • Score: -2

10:30am Thu 10 Jul 14

Mi_Coc says...

Good news is barely 20% voted for strike action and some of votes were held as two years ago.

Its a militant minority!
Good news is barely 20% voted for strike action and some of votes were held as two years ago. Its a militant minority! Mi_Coc
  • Score: -10

2:32pm Thu 10 Jul 14

Freespeech?. says...

Sack them all.
Sack them all. Freespeech?.
  • Score: -4

4:08pm Thu 10 Jul 14

Somerset_BTGOG says...

The Get Back to Work Party - SomersetBranch

Says get back to work.

Stop moaning.

and know your place in life!
The Get Back to Work Party - SomersetBranch Says get back to work. Stop moaning. and know your place in life! Somerset_BTGOG
  • Score: -3

1:13am Fri 11 Jul 14

ladybird14 says...

GET THEM OUT AND GIVE PEOPLE THE JOBS THAT WILL WORK SO EITHER GET ON WITH IT OR GET OUT I BETTER YOU WILL NOT DO ANY OF YOUR STRIKES IN THE NEXT 6 WEEKS!!
GET THEM OUT AND GIVE PEOPLE THE JOBS THAT WILL WORK SO EITHER GET ON WITH IT OR GET OUT I BETTER YOU WILL NOT DO ANY OF YOUR STRIKES IN THE NEXT 6 WEEKS!! ladybird14
  • Score: 0

7:21pm Fri 11 Jul 14

Guy Smiley says...

Didn't notice any disruption.

Not exactly MAJOR was it?!
Didn't notice any disruption. Not exactly MAJOR was it?! Guy Smiley
  • Score: 4

5:30pm Sat 12 Jul 14

KevinTurvey says...

"Public" is now an officially dirty word. Wake up Unison and Unite- there is no NUM to make the pips squeak. Oligarchs have all main parties in their pocket. Foreign governments own our utilities. Flag-waving is not an option either. Seismic shifts seem inevitable.
"Public" is now an officially dirty word. Wake up Unison and Unite- there is no NUM to make the pips squeak. Oligarchs have all main parties in their pocket. Foreign governments own our utilities. Flag-waving is not an option either. Seismic shifts seem inevitable. KevinTurvey
  • Score: 3

12:25pm Mon 14 Jul 14

duckface08 says...

Have people forgotten that a large percentage of public sector employees are in receipt of ANNUAL INCREMENTS a pay rise under another name, I wonder how many private sector workers have the same perk?
Have people forgotten that a large percentage of public sector employees are in receipt of ANNUAL INCREMENTS a pay rise under another name, I wonder how many private sector workers have the same perk? duckface08
  • Score: 2
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