If you want decent public services, if you think fair pay is important and if you oppose plans to weaken local government and school services, then now is the time to take action together. The reality is that we have no choice but to strike tomorrow.
If we do not stand and fight in this dispute, we will not just be giving up an increase for this year. We will be giving up the money we are owed for the years of pay freeze and pay restraint before.
More importantly we will be signalling our surrender on a fair increase for years to come. We’ll be giving a green light to Tories to continue their attacks on our public services, on our wages, on our pensions and on our communities. Already the Tories are indicating that there will be no meaningful rises until they can “balance the books” by 2018. As if we have any faith in them being able to do that.
If we back down now, what message will that send for next year and every year up to 2018 and beyond?
In reality the Tories have a clear intent to drive down public sector pay. Just this week on conservativehome.com Tory peer Lord Flight said “Pay in the public sector, strata by strata, remains too high in comparison with pay in the private sector.” Although his statement is quite wrong, it reveals the real Tory agenda to cut public sector pay relentlessly. And without opposition, they will feel free to do exactly that.
The lowering of the value of our pay is not economic necessity. It’s Tory political dogma. It is their clear intent to make us poorer, to make us pay for the bankers’ financial crisis of 2008 that still chokes our economy. The loss of a day’s pay for taking strike action can be hard. But it is small compared to the sums we will lose in the years to come if we do nothing.
There is another danger. Our very right to strike is being threatened. Tory Minister Francis Maude has said that if they win the 2015 general election the Tories will introduce legislation to ban strikes if less than 50 per cent of union members involved vote Yes. These are rigged rules to serve the wealthy and the powerful. After all, if all votes required a 50% turnout, barely a single MP would be elected.
We must show that we are all united as one, and that a yes vote means we will all strike.
We cannot defend our legal right to strike and get a better deal on pay by talking. It is obvious that the Government is not listening. All they will heed is powerful action. That is why we have to strike together and
make our voices heard.
Make sure you strike, and let all your family and friends know why.
See you on the picket lines, and at the Rally in Piccadilly Gardens from 12.30 – 1.30pm