Friday 11 July 2014

Friday, July 11, 2014 Posted by Hari No comments Labels: , , , , , , , , ,
Posted by Hari on Friday, July 11, 2014 with No comments | Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Chris, KJ and Fee do the sums...

SOURCE BBC NEWS: Public sector strikes hit schools and services around the UK
Hundreds of thousands of people have taken part in rallies and marches across the UK as part of a day of strike action by public service unions. Teachers, firefighters and council workers joined the strike, which follows disputes with the government over pay, pensions and cuts. Thousands of pupils were affected as some 6,000 schools in England closed, the Department for Education said. The Cabinet Office described the action as "irresponsible". But Trades Union Congress (TUC) general secretary Frances O'Grady said workers had gone on strike "to say enough is enough". The GMB and Unison unions said more than one million people had taken part in the strikes. But Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said fewer than 500,000 had participated. And a government spokesman said "most" public sector workers had reported for work and "nearly all key public services" were delivered as normal.

SOURCE BBC NEWS: David Cameron promises to tighten strike ballot laws
The PM told MPs the "time had come" to set thresholds in union strike ballots. More than a million public sector workers are set to join Thursday’s strike. They include council staff, teachers, firefighters and civil servants on a range of disputes, including pay, pensions, jobs and spending cuts. Ministers froze public sector pay in 2010, and brought in a pay cap of 1% in 2012 which remains in place. Under the current law, a strike can take place if it is backed by a majority of those balloted. The Prime Minister said: "I think the time has come for looking at setting thresholds in strike ballots... The [NUT] strike ballot took place in 2012, based on a 27% turnout.” But Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS union, accused the prime minister of "complete and utter hypocrisy". "Ever since David Cameron came into government, and before him Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, I offered to sit down with them - all of the time, every time we raised it - and said 'We want to work with you to get higher turnouts in ballots' ...And if we work together and we use online voting, internet voting, supervised voting in the workplace - we know that these turnouts will dramatically increase. They never, ever wanted to discuss it" he said. 


Graphs at a glance: Government spending on education, health and other services are being cut to pre-1948 levels


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