Public sector workers strike over pensions

Published: 10 May 2012 10:2513 comments

PUBLIC sector workers across Reading are joining their colleagues around the country on strike today over the Government's proposed changes to their pension schemes.

Jobcentre Plus employee Patrick Barnard, who was on the picket line this morning alongside fellow Public and Commercial Services Union members, said public sector staff are being made to pay for bankers' mistakes

Jobcentre Plus employee Patrick Barnard, who was on the picket line this morning alongside fellow Public and Commercial Services Union members, said public sector staff are being made to pay for bankers' mistakes

Lecturers from the University College Union manned picket lines at Reading College this morning, causing disruption for students. The college said it has drafted in substitute lecturers.

At Reading Crown Court, where members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) walked out, only one court is operating.

PCS members at Reading Tax Office in Watlington Street and Rural Payments Agency in King's Road are also taking industrial action, as are 75% of workers at Jobcentre Plus, where reduced services are running.

Patrick Barnard, who has worked at the Jobcentre as a disability employment advisor for five years, said: "They are raising our retirement age to 68, asking us to pay double our contributions and then giving us less at the end of it all. What caused this mess? The banks. And who bailed out the banks? The Government, but who is paying for it? Tax payers and public sector workers.

"Why should we pay for it. We're striking for private sector tax payers as much as for ourselves. They should take more from bankers and chief executives of public companies, who are still receiving big bonuses."

Members of Unite, including district nurses, psychologist and laboratory staff, from Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust are also taking industrial action but the Royal Berkshire Hospital is not experiencing disruption.

Unite members are also planning a rally outside the RBH's London Road entrance at 5.30pm before marching to the union's office in Southampton Street for a meeting on pensions and NHS reform.

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  • Dancefloor Horatio
    Unregistered User
    May 10, 12:01
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    I was wondering why the local Wetherspoon's establishments were busier than usual...

    Recommend?   Yes 91     No 3

  • Kung Fu Council
    Unregistered User
    May 10, 12:05
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    Will those of us that actually work for a living (and don't have the luxury of a public sector pension with perks) notice any difference? That'll be a resounding "no" then.

    Recommend?   Yes 95     No 2

  • Get A Real Job
    Unregistered User
    May 10, 12:25
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    "Reading Tax Office in Watlington Street and Rural Payments Agency in King's Road are also taking industrial action...".

    That confirms it KFC, we really will notice no difference.

    Recommend?   Yes 75     No 1

  • NotJohn
    Unregistered User
    May 10, 12:47
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    The typical public sector pension is much smaller than reported in the majority of the media.

    Imagine if your employer decided to cut your wages while increasing his own - that is what happening.

    Recommend?   Yes 3     No 66

  • BarbaraC
    Unregistered User
    May 10, 13:30
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    These workers who are part of unions should be paid based on performance and anyone not up to scratch should be fired. That would get rid of some of the dead wood and save tax payers a few bob!

    Recommend?   Yes 71     No 1

  • Matthews Navy Attire
    Unregistered User
    May 10, 13:40
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    Steady on Barb, there would be no public sector workers left in Reading under that regime. Yo ho ho.

    Recommend?   Yes 72     No 4

  • Bushes Bernal
    Unregistered User
    May 10, 13:59
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    As a public sector worker I'd like to state that I, at least, do not spend the majority of my working day eating pies and posting inane comments on local news websites. Er...

    Recommend?   Yes 56     No 6

  • Ed Millitwit
    Unregistered User
    May 10, 15:28
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    @Bushes Bernal: Get back to your paper shuffling Mr/Ms/Miss/Mrs/Dr/Rev/Lord Bernal!

    Recommend?   Yes 28     No 3

  • Bushes Bernal
    Unregistered User
    May 10, 15:31
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    What can I say Ed, they offer moi a nice hourly rate in doing very little. All on your taxpayer penny too a-ha!

    Recommend?   Yes 2     No 44

  • OddNoJob
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    May 10, 16:15
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    Public Sector workers should be paid for the actual work they do and the results they get. Mind you could they live on 20p a month?

    Recommend?   Yes 25     No 1

  • Fed-up
    Unregistered User
    May 10, 17:24
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    Since Public Sector Pensions were first devised, people are living a lot longer after retirement. Given that a pension is just a savings account that has got to last from the date of retirement until death, what do the unions expect to happen when people start living longer without contributing more?

    As much as I deplore bankers, the fact people live longer and therefore need bigger pension pots to retire on can't really be laid at their door. Even if there had been no banking crisis, we would still have had this conundrum. The proposed solution seems a good one, even if the thought of having to do a little more work upsets people.

    Recommend?   Yes 7     No 1

  • Katesgrove Shaggy
    Unregistered User
    May 10, 17:56
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    Fed-up, are you so sure captain that those there public sector workers will live longer? A steady diet of chips in curry sauce for lunch and Back of Beyond beer after/during/before work isn't exactly conductive to the long stretch now is it?

    Recommend?   Yes 12     No 0

  • dickemery
    Unregistered User
    May 11, 03:12
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    what good for the hard worker of great britain should be good enough for the pen pushers of great britain same retirement age would be even better their pension are unbelieveable and guarantee l,m self employed only get paid for what l produce no pension guarantee not fair is it ?

    Recommend?   Yes 9     No 0