Strike 1: UK civil servants cripple country
A public services strike called for by the United Kingdom’s Trades Union Congress (TUC), has taken effect on Wednesday, the largest work stoppage of its kind in more than 30 years. The strike targets public schools, the health sector, UK court systems and transportation systems as well. More than 2 million workers are expected to participate, in rallies and picket lines all across the country.
At the heart of the issue are cuts to public sector pension programs asking workers to contribute 3% more of their own money into the system, raising the retirement age to the age of 66 by the year 2020 and to amend pensions to be based on the average of a career rather than the final salary. Unions are strongly against the proposed reforms which the TUC argues would make workers pay more and work longer for fewer benefits.
These changes in the pensions will mean a lot to public sector workers, public sector teacher Preeti Pancsar told RT.
“I’ll have to work till my late 60s, early 70s. And also I won’t be able to afford holidays and such things. The changes will make we will pay more and work longer, and get less at the end of it,” she said.
The government’s constantly saying that there is no money, and that is the reason for these pension changes. But at the same time they are bailing out countries in the eurozone, when Britain is not even a member of the eurozone.
Sinrit Birk, another public sector teacher, said it is good to help other countries, but one needs to sort out one’s own country first.
“I think it is unfair to take money from the pensions when there are so many ways they can do it and help the eurozone, if it’s what they want to do,” she stated.