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November, 2011:

The TUC’s Brendan Barber on November 30th


Yesterday the Sun asked the TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber to write 200 words setting out the case for the day of action. They are not in today’s paper. We have been asked to reproduce them here:

This government cancelled the tax on bankers’ bonuses. Instead it has brought in a nurses’, teachers’ and lollipop ladies’ tax.

This is what the increase in pension contributions – around £1,000 a year for a nurse – really means. It is not paying for pensions but going straight to the Treasury to fill the hole left by the bonus tax.

It takes a lot to get Brits to strike. Yet the government has driven millions of its own staff to stop work, including unions that have never gone on strike before such as head-teachers. They are not stupid or manipulated by union leaders, but ordinary decent people doing important jobs taking a stand as a last resort.

We know the strike will cause difficulties today, and we regret that. But it’s proved to be the only language the government understands.

I’ve been leading talks with ministers for months. But they were going nowhere. It’s only when we called a day of action that government started to move. Ministers should listen carefully today to their staff, and get stuck into trying to reach the fair negotiated settlement that unions want.

LSU message of support


We’d like to thank the LSU for their message in support of all public sector workers taking strike action on the 30th November.

Industrial Action – 30th November 2011

Tomorrow’s Day of Action promises to be a great success. It has strong public support and the government is already back-pedalling on its threats.

We’d like to thank all of you that have volunteered to picket tomorrow at the open JMU buildings and are coming to the march and rally.

For those of you coming on the march JMU members are meeting at 11.40 outside Debenhams, Lord St to walk down together to the Pier Head. You can also join us at the Pier Head at 12 o’clock where we will be assembling in Section D, near to the Liver Building. The rally is from 1 o’clock at St George’s plateau.

Tomorrow we need all of you – School Directors, Managers, Lecturers and Researchers – to support your fellow members and workers at JMU and all those in the public sector who do so much for us and our families.

Some of you have told local reps that you would like to take action but cannot afford to do so and therefore will be turning into work.
To you I would say two things:
1) Under the government’s proposals a senior lecturer will be paying £1,400 per year extra in contributions. Will you be able to afford this?
2) By coming into work you are doing what Cameron, Alexander and Gove have asked you to do and, in effect, are supporting the coalition government and its proposals.

Support the Day of Action! Don’t cross picket lines!
Don’t be on the losing side tomorrow!

UNISON members also vote for 30th Nov strike

As expected, UNISON members have also voted to strike on the TUC’s National Day of Action to defend pensions – 30th November 2011. Further details on local arrangements at LJMU will be posted in due course.