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    Public sector pensions

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    Technician
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    Public sector pensions

    Post by Technician on Fri 17 Jun 2011, 8:10 am

    I know this will cause some consternation, but are the pension proposals for public sector workers a rip off ?

    I come from perhaps a biased perspective, I am one of the public sector that has retired. However should the pensions be alterd, and what is it that we cannot afford ?.

    Perhaps you feel, if you are a public sector worker that the proposals by the coalition are a step too far, and that you are prepared to take industrial action to protect your rights. Whatever, it does look like trouble is looming.

    Lets consider the following.

    People who enter the job market ( public or private ) should know what they are getting into. If they contribute to a scheme, then they need to be well aware what the proposed benefits may be.( and those benefits if contributed to need to be FULLY HONOURED). I enterd the Public sector 40 years ago, and knew the it was a final salary scheme.

    I feel no guilt at the end of that time taking my full pension. I paid all my taxes and contributions, worked hard to better myself and tried to contribute to the best of my abilities.

    During that time period 'private' companied infiltrated both the TPS ( teachers pension and NHS pension schemes ) to try and sell private pension plans. Some people left final salary and enterd the private system ( now, much to their regret). However they had a choice, just as I had a choice to leave, or indeed work in the private sector.

    Let us now consider the banks and the insurance companies who consitently impose hight up front charges and continue to pay bonuses and fat cat salaries. These are the people who administer private schemes which are exposed to the vagaries of the stock market; ie you takes your choice. Is it any wonder they don't perform ?. They are in it to simply make money.

    Let us then consider the government who says we cannot afford the funding ( but who bailed out these bandit banks with our money, and continue to do so, ie, Greece again !!). Who pour billions into 'foreign aid' ( ie, contributions to 'Taliban saturated' Pakistan ), and preside over the lowest state pension in the Western world.

    Let us then consider the monumental waste of mony poured into 'wars' the get us knowhere ( funny how the government always finds money for wars is it not? ), and the reluctance to reform MP's own pension contributions, oh, and the monumental pension tax grab by 'no boom andd bust under labour' Gordon Brown. This at a stroke caused major damage to a reasonably secure pension system and turned it into a basket case.

    No one says that reform is not needed, but in my view such messing with the contributions of many dedicated workers is paramount to an under handed tax grab.

    It is not their fault that the banks are greedy, or that Gordon and his labour cronies raided the pension funds. In one way people would be more tollerant if they could see a fairer sytem.

    Its fine being asked to contribute more and work for longer, but in time of austerity and incresing living costs; with freezez in pay just how do you expect Joe Bloggs to do it?. Where does the extra money come to 'put away for retirement' as we are not saving; but even if we try the banks present us with crap interest rates.

    I support the public sector workers in this. Don't compare them with private sector workers, remeber we all have a choice, and we should all know what we are getting ourselves into. The government need to honour its pledges.

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    papa_umau
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    Re: Public sector pensions

    Post by papa_umau on Fri 17 Jun 2011, 12:02 pm

    Extremely well said technician !

    While we don't often agree on many of each-other's thoughts I think we both agree on these ideas.

    I too am a retired civil servant and when I went into the civil service at age 22 part of the reason for me leaving my trade, ( I am a time-served joiner ), to go into the civil service at the lowest grade was so that I would not need to worry about surviving when my time for retirement came around. The decison I made at that time was a good one and now I am retired and with my tiny state pension and my final-salary-based occupational pension, I am fairly comfortable, ( as every pensioner should be in their retirement ).

    I get sick and tired of government after government whingeing about "pensions not being affordable" when we have worked all out lives and paid our taxes and contributed to the economy over this long period. They should not be blaming us for living long enough to earn a pension, they should be ensuring that our pensions are protected so that we are not thrown into poverty after a lifetime of work. This is a basic human-rights requirement !

    The greedy and selfish fat-cats at the top of the tree, ( and I also include the top civil servants, all captains of industry and senior politicians in this "tree" ), seem to be keen on protecting their blood-money but when it comes to giving the rest of their workers a happy and civilised retirement....THEY CANNOT AFFORD IT ! Mad

    Of course this is a piece of nonsense as - as you rightly point out - the money IS there if the correct prority is put on it.

    With this basic unfairness in British politics it is not surprising that people like us get ANGRY about the situation !

    The present encumbent government are going to find themselves in a summer of discontent when more than two million public-sector workers soon go on strike. If they do not quickly catch on we may see this one subject bringing down this unholy coalition.


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    Angie baby
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    Re: Public sector pensions

    Post by Angie baby on Sat 18 Jun 2011, 12:59 pm

    Being a primary school teacher I too am in the public sector and the recent plans to hammer us is causing all kinds of strife in the education sector.

    My particular union are expecting to ballot us soon for industrial action and I hate the idea as my reason for working is to ensure that the children in my charge get the best education that I can give them. If we are on strike this will be bound to hit the education standards of the kids that depend on us.

    Because we do such a vital job we should not be forced to take to the streets to get decent treatment as far as wages, working conditions and pensions are concerned. That is why I believe that all education in Britain should be financed by the state and should be guaranteed to be kept at a good standard.

    If you pay people with nuts all you get is monkeys doing the work. That is not good enough for me or the parents of my charges, I bet.
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    papa_umau
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    Re: Public sector pensions

    Post by papa_umau on Sun 19 Jun 2011, 2:01 pm

    Great comment Angie and so true !

    I think that the Tory attack on the public services is going to be the reason for their demise if all of the industrial actions that are planned come off.

    Many of us remember the famous "Winter of discontent" when the Labour government of James Callaghan attempted to hammer the public services during the winter of 1978-79 in order to bring down inflation.

    If a Labour government can not have success with these kinds of methods what chance do we think that a weak Tory/Liberal democrat coalition will have ?

    Might I suggest....A "snowball's chance in hell" ?


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    Hell's Granny
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    Re: Public sector pensions

    Post by Hell's Granny on Sun 19 Jun 2011, 4:10 pm

    I once was a nurse, until the nursing Powers that Be decided that nurse training should be delivered by Universities, and no longer the 'hands on' training that had been good enough for generations.

    When they did that, they also abolished, at a stroke, a complete tier of qualified nurses, the Enrolled Nurses, the practical bedside nurse, thus putting many of us (trained expensively at Government expense) on the scrapheap. Despite promising that the Enrolled Nurses would be protected, 'There will Always be a place for the Enrolled Nurse', within 3 months, there were no longer any vacancies advertised for them.

    Some of us managed to reclaim our pensions from the pot, others didn't,(I wonder where that money went to?)

    Nowadays, people are dying in hospitals through lack of practical care, short staffing, etc., and the rot goes on, not just in pension provision, but in the services themselves, Caring AND Educational services.

    The rot goes right to the roots of our society.
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    papa_umau
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    Re: Public sector pensions

    Post by papa_umau on Mon 20 Jun 2011, 11:43 am

    HG....Have they not just moved the status of the enrolled nurse onto the status of the ward auxilliary where they get these menial tasks done "on the cheap" ?


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    zathrus
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    Re: Public sector pensions

    Post by zathrus on Thu 23 Jun 2011, 11:51 am

    papa_umau wrote:Great comment Angie and so true !

    I think that the Tory attack on the public services is going to be the reason for their demise if all of the industrial actions that are planned come off.

    Many of us remember the famous "Winter of discontent" when the Labour government of James Callaghan attempted to hammer the public services during the winter of 1978-79 in order to bring down inflation.

    If a Labour government can not have success with these kinds of methods what chance do we think that a weak Tory/Liberal democrat coalition will have ?

    Might I suggest....A "snowball's chance in hell" ?

    Yeah Paps, it is certainly looking as if we are going to see a lot of industrial action from a lot of unions in the weeks to come. Even Virgin Atlantic's pilots are talking about striking too.

    Mind you when we see just how many times Cameron's coalition has u-turned recently I don't think he has the bottle to take on the unions in such large numbers.

    It is going to be interestting to see how this develops !
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    Re: Public sector pensions

    Post by Hell's Granny on Fri 24 Jun 2011, 11:31 am

    papa_umau wrote:HG....Have they not just moved the status of the enrolled nurse onto the status of the ward auxilliary where they get these menial tasks done "on the cheap" ?

    No Papa,

    The Auxiliary nurse was basically what the Health care Assistant is now, minimal training, always under supervision.

    Enrolled Nurses were Fully qualified Practical Nurses, we were the Bedside Carers, working unsupervised, think of Registered Nurses as the Officers, and Enrolled Nurses as NCO's, and you get fairly near the truth.

    Health Care assistants are neither fish nor fowl, which is why there are so many complaints about personal care in hospitals today.

    Also Registered Nurses today do only one year on the practical skill of nursing, instead of the in-depth mainly practical training of the old system. Registered Nurses are trained to manage wards, not care for patients.

    Cheers, HG
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    papa_umau
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    Re: Public sector pensions

    Post by papa_umau on Fri 24 Jun 2011, 1:07 pm

    Thanks for that clarification HG !

    Even although the old auxilliary nurses are still there - just with a name change - there is no doubt that they, ( the new managers ), have not replaced many of the "enrolled" nurses with fully-qualified "registered" nurses. By doing this they have saved a fortune in wages and they have seriously diminished the care that is received on the wards.

    Another powerful post that has been diminished - in my opinion - was the post of Matron whereby all of the nurses and auxilliaries that used to be under "her" are no longer as well supervised as they used to be. Now they just over-use the term "clinical manager" and stick them in offices well-away from any patients.

    I am not the kind of person that resists good modernisation actions but when these actions are always driven by the saving of money and nothing else they are very seldom good enough to maintain the levels of care that we have all come to expect in the NHS.

    The ones that ARE left looking after the patients are strung out with shortness of time and stress and because they are so thin on the ground they obviously cannot do the job that they once used to do.


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