Yesterday ARC, as part of the FDA took part in the TUC’s day of action on pensions. ARC President Graham Black said that most of ARC’s members supported the strike. This morning numbers were still being collated but it looks as if more than 80% of our members stayed away from work – including large numbers in the Senior Civil Service. ARC is not a militant union. For many people this was the first time they had gone on strike.
They acted in huge numbers because they know that they are being treated unfairly. Our salaries included the pensions package. So cutting pensions is just the same as cutting wages. Everyone has to take a share of the pain in these economic circumstances, but the public sector should not take a disproportionate burden for economic messes others created.
ARC’s campaign to defeat the deficit showed shows that investing in HMRC brings in more funding from those who are evading or avoiding. The Government has not increased its investment, but imposes a tax on public servants instead.
The Government keeps repeating it is negotiating. It has not done so, whether changing from RPI to CPI, or imposing “contribution increases” that are really a tax on public workers. And on top of a 2 or 3 year pay freeze we now face two more years of 1% at best, with no automatic pay progression. Hardly the way to motivate and reward people Francis Maude praises as loyal and dedicated public servants.