Firefighters to join strike by local government workers, teachers and civil servants

Wiltshire Times: Chippenham fire crews striking in June Chippenham fire crews striking in June

Firefighters are the latest public sector workers to join strike action planned for Thursday, July 10, with trade union members across Wiltshire preparing to rally at County Hall.

The long-running dispute over pensions for firefighters will see them join a walk out by local government workers, teachers and civil servants over issues including pay, pensions and workloads.

As part of the action, Unison has organised a rally in front of County Hall, Trowbridge, at 10.30am with members of other trade unions including GMB, PCS and Unite, with Wiltshire braced for a day of disruption.

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) is also striking - the third action carried out by the NUT since last October - over pay, pensions and workloads.

Sue Anderson, Wiltshire Unison branch secretary, said: “Our members are finding it difficult to manage personal finances and many are struggling to survive.

“It is never easy for members to take strike action, and it is always a last resort, but they feel very strongly about this and we are expecting a good turnout at the rally.

“For most Unison members the current pay offer from our employers will leave us with pay worth almost 20 per cent less than in 2010 and our pay and conditions are the worst in the public sector.

“Local government workers are doing far more for far less and working unpaid overtime.

"Members were so disgusted and annoyed by the pay offer that they voted for strike action in our recent industrial action ballot.”

Unison said local government workers have not had a pay rise in three years. The government this year offered them a one per cent rise, but the offer was refused.

Matt Wrack, Fire Brigades Union general secretary, said: “The FBU has wanted to settle our dispute for a long time, but the government at Westminster is simply not listening.

“We are therefore proud to take strike action alongside our colleagues in other unions on July 10.

"The fact that this government has united so many workers to take strike action against them is a testament to the failure of their policies.”

Wiltshire Council said it is not yet in a position to know how many, if any, council facilities will be closed on July 10.

A council spokesman said: “The council is reviewing its contingency plans to protect its essential services on the day, while also minimising disruption for our customers to other services.”

Comments (6)

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8:15pm Wed 2 Jul 14

frankie007 says...

Sue Anderson, may I be the first to welcome your members to the real world.

Unfortunately I shall be in Majorca on the day in question, but please feel free to carry on with your pointless action.
Sue Anderson, may I be the first to welcome your members to the real world. Unfortunately I shall be in Majorca on the day in question, but please feel free to carry on with your pointless action. frankie007
  • Score: 1

9:32pm Wed 2 Jul 14

wiltshireborne says...

Dear Sue,
How do you think this action effects parents when you call your members out of school on strike?
Do you seriously think this has any effect when you say yourself that government is not listening?
One day strike action does nothing but make you appear to be petty and in effective and cause untold trouble and expense for all the parents with children at the schools you close.
The sooner we outlaw trade unions the better. They only seek to serve their own self importance and achieve nothing in the process. Again as you have said, all your strike action has achieved nothing.
Oh, and will the teachers be fined for closing the school and forcing all the children out? I doubt it. Think on that as we approach summer holidays and parents are fined for taking their single child out of school to avoid high prices now that your strike action has cost them a working day.
Dear Sue, How do you think this action effects parents when you call your members out of school on strike? Do you seriously think this has any effect when you say yourself that government is not listening? One day strike action does nothing but make you appear to be petty and in effective and cause untold trouble and expense for all the parents with children at the schools you close. The sooner we outlaw trade unions the better. They only seek to serve their own self importance and achieve nothing in the process. Again as you have said, all your strike action has achieved nothing. Oh, and will the teachers be fined for closing the school and forcing all the children out? I doubt it. Think on that as we approach summer holidays and parents are fined for taking their single child out of school to avoid high prices now that your strike action has cost them a working day. wiltshireborne
  • Score: -1

7:54am Thu 3 Jul 14

Nickthegreek says...

Sue,
When 35,000 of your own members voted against this latest strike action I would suggest “Our members are finding it difficult to manage personal finances and many are struggling to survive....." may need a rethink. But, if closing the schools for a day, reducing available local Govt services including the fire service, is your most imaginative way of making your point, thanks for giving us in the private sector the day off, at a cost to our clients, you know, the ones that pay private sector wages & taxes that, in turn, pay your wages.
Sue, When 35,000 of your own members voted against this latest strike action I would suggest “Our members are finding it difficult to manage personal finances and many are struggling to survive....." may need a rethink. But, if closing the schools for a day, reducing available local Govt services including the fire service, is your most imaginative way of making your point, thanks for giving us in the private sector the day off, at a cost to our clients, you know, the ones that pay private sector wages & taxes that, in turn, pay your wages. Nickthegreek
  • Score: -5

1:35pm Thu 3 Jul 14

kimcrawley says...

A democratic vote on a specific issue is just as valid as the actions of our spiv Council. As for the private sector paying our wages, is that the same group that relies on state subsidies to top up the pay of their employees and avoids billions in corporation tax .
A democratic vote on a specific issue is just as valid as the actions of our spiv Council. As for the private sector paying our wages, is that the same group that relies on state subsidies to top up the pay of their employees and avoids billions in corporation tax . kimcrawley
  • Score: 4

5:50pm Thu 3 Jul 14

Your Mum says...

Strike action is called as a last resort. I'm sure that no-one that goes on strike actually wants to lose a days pay. There have been numerous attempts to settle this dispute with the Government, but the fact is, they will just not meet to discuss the issues.

As for the comment about the Private Sector paying taxes and therefore paying the Public Sector workers - take a look around, everyone who works pays taxes, so your comment is invalid really.

This is not a Public Sector vs. Private Sector argument - the anger should not be directed at the Unions who are striving to get a decent pay deal for their members, but the Government who have imposed the pay freeze and are creating an even bigger rich/poor divide. If the Private Sector could organise and create a trade union, just like the public sectors have done, then I would support the workers.
Strike action is called as a last resort. I'm sure that no-one that goes on strike actually wants to lose a days pay. There have been numerous attempts to settle this dispute with the Government, but the fact is, they will just not meet to discuss the issues. As for the comment about the Private Sector paying taxes and therefore paying the Public Sector workers - take a look around, everyone who works pays taxes, so your comment is invalid really. This is not a Public Sector vs. Private Sector argument - the anger should not be directed at the Unions who are striving to get a decent pay deal for their members, but the Government who have imposed the pay freeze and are creating an even bigger rich/poor divide. If the Private Sector could organise and create a trade union, just like the public sectors have done, then I would support the workers. Your Mum
  • Score: 6

9:08pm Tue 8 Jul 14

brandx says...

Recent research in bothe States and the UK has clearly linked the reduction in pay for most working class and middle class people to the demise of active, effective trade unions.

These unions didn't just automatically decline, that was brought about by anti-trade unions laws in both countries. And of course by attacks on trade unions by the right wing media - just look at the Daily Mail.

If we had more effective unions, with support from more of the public, wages would rise. There would be more money spent and the economy would improve.

Yes, I know the coaltion government will tell us the economy is improving. But who do you think is gaining. Not ordinary people but the rich. " To those who have, more will be given". No wonder the rich, the Tories and the right wing media attack trade unions - and con many of the public in the process. The weaker the unions, the richer the rich.

Funny old world.
Recent research in bothe States and the UK has clearly linked the reduction in pay for most working class and middle class people to the demise of active, effective trade unions. These unions didn't just automatically decline, that was brought about by anti-trade unions laws in both countries. And of course by attacks on trade unions by the right wing media - just look at the Daily Mail. If we had more effective unions, with support from more of the public, wages would rise. There would be more money spent and the economy would improve. Yes, I know the coaltion government will tell us the economy is improving. But who do you think is gaining. Not ordinary people but the rich. " To those who have, more will be given". No wonder the rich, the Tories and the right wing media attack trade unions - and con many of the public in the process. The weaker the unions, the richer the rich. Funny old world. brandx
  • Score: 1

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