More strikes in Somerset
Strike action this week brings home the state of public sector pay in England. Three unions are going on strike during the course of the week. In every case the complaint of the strikers is that after 10 years of zero or minimal pay rises, their wages had already been cut. Now with inflation running at over 10%, their pay in real terms is being reduced even further.
The unions are asking the public to show their support for their action.
Yesterday we reported on strike at the UKHO in Taunton. These are due to take place tomorrow. Pickets have been organised for the day of action along Admiralty Way.
Today Junior Doctors from Yeovil and Musgrove hospitals were on strike. Taunton and West Somerset Trades Council joined the pickets outside Musgrove. The strike continues tomorrow. A spokesperson for the Trades Council told us that: “After years of real terms pay cuts, they are unable and unwilling to work for as little as £14 an hour.”
Tomorrow (15 March) will also see the National Education Union on strike. Local members are going to London for a major rally to bring the complaints of the strikers to MPs at Westminster. However we understand that picket lines are to be organised at both Heathfield School and Richard Huish College.
In the hope this doesn’t sound like a true blue Tory – I have just heard on R4 the facts on junior doctors’ pay:
– in year 1 of training, yes their basic pay equates to £14ph. But on top of this £29,000pa they receive overtime & other benefits
– by their final year OF TRAINING they could be on £77,000pa.
It would be interesting to hear The Leveller investigate this further. Our NHS is a public sector organisation & there is only so much public money to go round. Why oh why can we who can afford not pay a token fee for GP visits to help fund it? And let’s look at what is spent very carefully rather than treating it as an untouchable shrine and its team members as saints. Some are certainly ‘the best of us’ & treat their jobs as a calling, but we also have to acknowledge that some are just there doing a basic job. Hopefully pay is structured to reward the former (The Leveller?).