Saturday, 3 December 2011

Let's have Aspiration, Fair Pensions For Everyone

Let's play a bit of spot the difference -
"Oh look at that house, that's lovely! I wish I could have something like that"
"Wow nice car! Better than my old banger! I wish I could have a nice car"
"You've got how much in the bank? How lucky! I wish I could win the lottery or something"
"That's not a bad pension, I wish I could have one something like that"

For the first three, its perfectly acceptable to aspire to having a beautiful house or car, or a healthy bank balance. We wouldn't even begrudge folks the good fortune of a lottery win...but would anyone demand that they give them up because they're more fortunate than the rest?

Until it comes to pensions....then it seems that those who have decent provisions have to give them up because no one else has them.  All of a sudden, it seems to be a social taboo to have a decent pension.  Why??  For ages, successive governments have done all they can to tell us to provide for our old age.
Well I have been.  I've been a civil servant for 23 years now.  I went into this job in 1988 KNOWING that I could earn more money elsewhere, doubling my salary if I went to work for an accountancy firm, for example.  I went into this job KNOWING that the upside was a decent pension at the end of it.  Was I the only person who knew this?  Of course not!  Everyone knows that the upside of Civil Service is the pension you get at the end. 
There was an agreement dating back to 1973, stating that unions would forego large pay rises etc in return for a properly funded pension and compensation scheme.  Well, we've kept up our end of the bargain, NOW YOU KEEP YOURS!!
Yes, we know that our pensions are better than many of those available to the private sector.  But before you make up your mind, ask yourself why is that?  Is it because our pensions have been significantly enhanced in the last 30 years?  NO! In fact, there was significant and widespread reform to civil service pensions as recently as 2005 and 2008.  This is not being advertised though.
The scheme I'm in closed to new entrants WITH THE AGREEMENT OF THE UNIONS.  This was the final salary scheme.  Since then, career averaging schemes have been put in place.  As a result, even the Lord Hutton Report says that the cost of Civil Service Pensions will fall as a percentage of GDP over the next 40 years.
I say to everyone who doesn't have access to a private pension to join our fight.  We want fair pensions for everyone.  You don't achieve that by giving up one of the last decent workplace pensions out there.  I've copied below a link to the PCS leaflet on this and urge everyone to have a look.

A friend of mine told me that if she dared ask for anything like this, she'd be sacked.  That is not right and no employer should ever be allowed to get away with it !  We have to fight this insidious attack on workers' rights.  Everything is loaded in favour of those who enjoy the fruits of everyone else's labours, and it's about time it stopped.  Reinvigoration of the Trade Union movement is necessary now more than ever.  Not so we can go on strike at the drop of a hat, but to do what we do best.....make sure that everyone gets what they're legally entitled to.
Our predecessors fought hard for these laws and if we lose them on our watch, then what do we say to our children when they can't defend themselves in the face of employers who's number 1 priority is profit.
I just can't understand the logic of "i haven't got that, take it off them".  Join with us and stop the rot.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Just saying, that's all

Totally overwhelmed by 268 views of my first blog.  Glad so many people enjoyed it........well, viewed it anyway, enjoyment is a bit of an assumption.  

Something has struck me this week, and it's what the Tories and their little yellow friends remind me of.  
Now, anyone who has seen Despicable Me, just think of David Cameron as Gru and all the LibDems as the minions.  Who'd have thought they'd have successfully predicted our government in that film?!  Of course, being a kids film, that had a happy ending where the bad guy saw the error of his ways and turned into a good guy....not gonna happen to Son of Thatcher though is it! 

But I digress.....

Ever since June 30th, we've had to put up with the politicians bleating on about how only 20% of members voted for Strike Action, yet conveniently ignoring the fact that only 6% voted against it.  What I would like to ask these arrogant idiots is how they explain that despite only 20% of members voting in favour, we had over 90% actually voting with their labour for the day and not turning up for work.  How do you explain that Cameron?  

One person who has been most vocal about wanting 50% of members voting in favour of a strike to make it valid is Boris "(not very) Nice But Dim" Johnson.  Better be careful there Boris!  You were elected on a turnout of 45% !!!  Which means that only 21% of the electorate of London voted for you !!!  Incidentally, the Mayor of London election uses a preferential vote system.....funny how it's good enough for that, it's good enough for the major political parties to use it to elect their leaders, but it's far too confusing for plebs like us is it?  Hypocritical arseholes.

And that brings us to last years general election.
Total number of registered voters?   -   45,609,000
Tories got 10,726,614
Labour got 8,609,527
LibDems got 6,836,824  (these are the actual figures)

So we got a government with a combined number of votes of 17,563,438, or only 38% of the electorate.  38%!!! And that's give you a mandate to strip this country of it's remaining assets, and to destroy our public services?  I don't think so !!!

So next time you here Maude the Fraud or Boris the Idiot harping on about turnouts in elections, and mandates for action, you'll be well within your rights to tell them to WIND THEIR FUCKING NECKS IN !!!

And for those of you who didn't see it, PCS had an open day on 17-11-11 in an office in Middlesbrough.  We spent the day talking to members, non members, anyone who walked in, and 70 people went onto the PCS Pension Calculator.

Those 70 people, me included, are set to lose a grand total of £2,677,451 from our pensions because this unelected mandateless pack of ingrates think that hard working civil servants (and yes, we do work bloody hard!!) have to have a whip round and hand over the equivalent of 135 years of my salary to pay for the deficit.  How is that fair?  Nothing anyone in that office has done contributed to the crash!  Why should we have our pensions plundered to pay for mistakes made by people who aren't being made to pay?  


Look out for details of marches and rallys all over the country on November 30th.  Stand with us, they've already made 3 "final" offers.  They know they're losing the arguments. Keep up the pressure.

Rant over, and goodnight

Sunday, 6 November 2011

So striking is easy is it??

Mr Alexander

You seem to have no idea on how unions work !! You say our leaders are hell bent on striking.  A Union IS it's membership.  A Union cannot go on strike without the will of it's members.  And for you, as a Lib Dem, to attempt to make mileage about the turnout is laughable!! There's your party, with less than 10% of the seats in the house, with neither yourselves or the Tories given a mandate by the electorate, lauding it over the rest of us !! How dare you.

We do not take strikes lightly, we do not say goodbye to a days pay lightly.  Unlike the millionaires in the government, losing a day's pay for me is losing around 15% of my disposable income for a month......15% !!!!! Do you appreciate how much that hurts? I don't think you do !!  Yet you're asking me and many millions of civil servants to put up with that loss every single month to "reform our pensions".

Why not tell the public the truth, Civil Service Pensions were reformed in 2005, and tinkered with after that.  They ARE affordable.  The net cost to the country of Civil Service Pensions is around £4bn a year.
Why not tell the public about the deal in 1973 that meant Civil Servants would take lower pay rises and pay, in return for a properly funded pension and compensation scheme?
Why not tell the public that the government give away around £37bn a year in pension relief to companies providing private pensions?
Why not tell the public that the government give away around £8bn a year in private pension contribution relief to Higher Rate taxpayers?
Why not tell the public that MPs get to choose their own accrual rates?  It's not all about percentages of contributions, is it!
Why not tell the public that the government is happy to allow the richest members of society to exploit legal loopholes to avoid tax amounting to many times the budget of Civil Service Pensions?
Why not tell the public that the government is happy to give away 32% of ALL TAX RELIEF in this country to the top 1% of earners?

Why not?  Because it's easier to savage YOUR OWN EMPLOYEES and keep the rich rich.

Next time you think union members take the decision to strike easily, factor in just how much we are giving up as a percentage of our income and ask yourself, would we do this if we didn't feel so strongly about this?

I'm not holding my breath, there aren't many MPs out there who believe in telling the truth.