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Half of public sector would consider industrial action, survey reveals


Upwards of 100,000 union members and campaigners are expected to join a march and rally in London on Saturday against cuts in public spending and attacks on jobs, services and pensions.

Almost 650 coaches have been hired from towns and cities across the UK as well as 10 chartered trains from areas including Scotland and the north west of England.

A survey by Unison and the Public and Commercial Services union showed that a third of public-sector workers had personal debts of £10,000 or more, revealing the “shocking impact” of the government’s cuts and pay freeze.

The poll of 10,000 workers also revealed that many were cutting spending on food, children’s clothes, healthcare and going out.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “Workers across the public sector are under siege from all sides, from job and service cuts, to pension increases, pay freezes and rising inflation.

“This survey shows the coping strategies that members have been forced to take to make ends meet, and they make grim reading.

“The level of personal debt is frightening. You know that when a family is forced to cut down spending on their children, they have tried everything else first and are pretty desperate.”

Research for recruitment website found that 52% of public-sector workers would consider industrial action over issues including job cuts and pension changes.

Most of the 1,600 workers questioned said any cuts should be targeted at consultants or management.

Have you signed our petition to ensure nurses have a seat on consortia boards? Follow @Aseatontheboard on twitter follow for all the latest campaign news!


Readers' comments (16)

  • AT LAST! some unison and voices to be heard.
    I will be watching this with great interest.
    As said before I am English and trained in UK in the 1980s. and now live and work in Australia where we as nurses are treated much more respect, and have a great union to support us with a 4:1 patient ratios law and every 3 -4 years we have EBA (Enterprise Bargaining Agreements ) between Government and our union. Nurses here are fully involved and have a voice which you do not. Of course things could be better here, but on the whole we are well looked after .
    And although patients here in the acute public health sector do have the usual bed shortage problems, waiting lists etc I think they also have it much much better than UK now
    I have seen so much on here that tells me how much of a crisis there is there within the health sector, so many issues it is a major concern for patients , nursing staff and all healthcare workers.
    I look forward to reading the results of this huge rally that will hopefully AT LEAST start the ball rolling for FAIR changes to both patients and workers there in UK.
    I hope it is a massive turnout!
    Good Luck!.

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  • If we do not take industrial action, this government will walk all over us. We owe it to ourselves and our patients to stand up for ourselves and the NHS. A miserable demoralised workforce is not going to be of much benefit to our patients if we are demotivated by the attitude of the government. I wish I could go to the march, but I'm on nights in Plymouth.

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  • About bloody time! I'll be there!!! Hopefully this is just the start of things!

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  • I would expect you to be there Mike....:)

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  • I think that the government will want us to work for nothing next!!

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  • I thought there would have been more positive comments on here with this, and so much enthusiasm . NT has not put anything on the Home Page, and I have just googled ( I live in Australia ) the Daily Mirror and no mention there either.
    With such a major rally where is the build up for support?

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  • Anonymous | 22-Mar-2011 11:34 am

    I think that the government will want us to
    work for nothing next!!

    a very silly comment. you know that is not true!

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  • why do people choose low profile and poorly paid jobs and then whinge about the pay? for those who are money driven there are plenty of other career choices with more lucrative prospects? it is common knowledge that the coffers of the public sector are not bottomless. instead of complaining about bonuses and other incentives in the private sector seek opportunities there instead of trying to cripple the economy or go into management if you can do a better job than those already there.

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  • Anonymous | 24-Mar-2011 3:16 pm:
    unpleasant and misinformed comment. I am working on being in a position of more influence but it won't be with my nose in a trough or playing gambling with peoples' lives. It is motivated by a social conscience and wanting the best possible for the majority, in particular the vulnerable.
    With regard to 'crippling the economy' conflations please read previous threads on the truth of the current situation.

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  • Anonymous | 24-Mar-2011 4:46 pm

    let's stick to the facts!

    and it for those who hope to stay in a job it is better to study the actual needs of the labour market in order to meet them rather than getting more qualifications and demanding higher pay in posts they do not have to offer.

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