Sunday, October 30, 2011

SERTUC Regional Council motion: Response to Government Economic Policies

This is a picture of me addressing the recent SERTUC (South East Regional TUC) Council meeting.

(Yes, I must remember to stick my head up from my speech notes when speaking).

Motion 1 was about the "Response to Government Economic Policies". It was quite a good motion which I spoke in favour of but I felt that it needed to be emphasised what November 30 should really be about.

"President, Council....Winning the Ballot with a big majority and a big turnout then making strike action on November 30th a success, is indeed the 1st important counter attack against this Government's policies.

But as a member of the Local Government Pension Scheme for 20 years and currently facing a bleak pension future. If we win the ballot then the strike action on November 30 is first and foremost an industrial issue. It is an industrial dispute around the fundamental threat to a basic term and condition for all workers. The right to a safe and secure future in retirement.

And we must continue to remind the public that this is a last resort industrial dispute brought about by the abject failure by this Government to negotiate.

The focus on November 30 should be the picket line. Winning the dispute with effective pickets on every single town hall and public building. Leafleting the public, talking to them about our cause, supporting hospital workers at their lunch time protests, then maximising turnout at rallies and lobbies.

Also as someone who now works for a private organisation that does not offer its new employees a safe and secure defined benefit pension. As part of this fight back we must never forget the 2/3 of employers in the private sector that do not pay a penny towards the pensions of their staff nor the horrific figure that 50% of all private sector workers have no pension provision whatsoever.

However, despite the impression given by the Daily Hates and the Tax Evaders Alliance, don’t forget that as well as the 6 million in public service pension schemes that there are still 2.4 million private sector workers who are still accruing service in private defined benefit schemes. They know if the public service defined benefit schemes collapse - so will theirs.

Council, the message to all workers, public and private sector, must be quite clear, that on 30 November we will be striking to defend safe and secure pensions for all".

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