Non-motoring > Strikes Miscellaneous
Thread Author: sooty123 Replies: 243

 Strikes - sooty123
I don't think we've had a thread about them all going on at the moment.

www.itv.com/news/topic/strike-action

Bit hard to follow them all, but it seems nearly all areas of the public sector are affected, transport as well.

How does it end, continue until inflation is under control?
 Strikes - Manatee
You'd almost think it was coordinated. In fact, I think what is coordinated is the government's approach to the negotiations.

Interesting listening to Mick Lynch on Today this morning. The rail employers are openly saying to him that they know what's required but the government won't allow it. Meanwhile when there is a rail strike, the government (us) indemnifies the rail companies so they are not financially hurt by the strikes. Everybody loses - workers, travellers, the public finances - except the employers.
 Strikes - CGNorwich
Well if the union has to concede that the government has deeper pockets than they do and they need to accept what is on offer everyone wins apart from the union. I’m tired of Mr Lynch and his cynical tactics. Glad to see the government are standing firm.
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> Well if the union has to concede that the government has deeper pockets than they
>> do and they need to accept what is on offer everyone wins apart from the
>> union. I’m tired of Mr Lynch and his cynical tactics. Glad to see the government
>> are standing firm.

I'm not sure how Mick Lynch is cynical, he's doing his job of speaking up for his membership.

Today's news is an allegation that, at the last minute the terms of the offer were amended to include requiring acceptance of Driver Operated Doors (DOD) on all services. The issue of DOD is known to be an absolute red line for the RMT's members. The Telegraph says this was at the instigation of the Government and not the train operating companies.

At the Select Committee today the Minister was offered the opportunity to deny the allegation. He did not.

The real cynicism here is from Ministers who have repeatedly said 'nowt to do with me squire' while actually pulling the strings.
 Strikes - Zero
>> issue of DOD is known to be an absolute red line for the RMT's members.

But its not. There is some stock on some services that is DOD. Most drivers are ASLEF, who happily went DOD for an increase in money


Having said that, there is some stock, on some services at some stations where DOD is tricky, but the NUR is not using the safety case.
Last edited by: Zero on Wed 7 Dec 22 at 13:27
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> But its not. There is some stock on some services that is DOD. Most drivers
>> are ASLEF, who happily went DOD for an increase in money

I'm quoting what's being reported. As DOD/OMO means fewer guard type jobs then presumably that's why its universal acceptance might be a red line for RMT staff. Pretty sure there have been numerous disputes over introduction going back at least as far as the 317s on the 'Bedpan' line 40years ago.
 Strikes - Zero

>> I'm quoting what's being reported.

And I'm saying its a red herring ( a fake red line ) if its been accepted elsewhere. thats why the TOCs keep pushing it.
 Strikes - Manatee
I'm going to be accused of conspiracy theorising here, but the government - perhaps more accurately the Conservative party - seems to be picking a fight here.

Time will tell. But I think that where we are heading is the Conservatives blaming anybody and everybody for their mess in the desperate hope of turning their election prospects. 18 months of turmoil caused by striking rail workers, NHS staff, postmen and various other quasi public employees who are yet to be threatened with "supply side reforms" and chilled, if not frozen, pay.

"Wreckers" in the unions will by extension indict Labour, the party they fund, and which the Tories will say would just have given in to Red Mick and the others.

It shouldn't work, but it's all they have - not easy to blame Labour when they have been out of power for 13 years while Britain slid down the world league, but they are very well funded and will call on their donors and house newspapers for help.

Fantastic? Did you hear Zahawi the other day saying that striking NHS workers were helping Putin? That didn't come from nowhere. The last few years have shown just how hard it is to overestimate the depth of dishonesty and corruption they are capable of. There are too many examples to ignore.

For all his good intentions, Sunak is weak. Seen his promised ethics adviser yet? Has Braverman gone?
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> Fantastic? Did you hear Zahawi the other day saying that striking NHS workers were helping
>> Putin? That didn't come from nowhere.

It was like an echo from the sixties/seventies when union leaders like Hugh Scanlon and Frank Chapple, who had been Communists in their younger days, were said to be having their strings pulled from Moscow.
Last edited by: Bromptonaut on Wed 7 Dec 22 at 13:47
 Strikes - Manatee

>> Time will tell. But I think that where we are heading is the Conservatives blaming
>> anybody and everybody for their mess in the desperate hope of turning their election prospects.

Incredible as it seems, the Conservatives are now spending money to blame Labour for the strikes.

twitter.com/i/status/1603716768165376000

www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/dec/16/tory-advert-seeks-to-demonise-labour-by-linking-party-with-striking-unions

Neither the RMT or RCN as it happens is even Labour-affiliated but that is beside the point.
 Strikes - smokie
There is a lot of backing for extra money, especially for the nurses. I wonder

1) what Joe Public would say if a 5% tax rise was announced ( - I've made up that figure) to pay for the increased nurses/firefighters etc wages

2) whether the average Joe Public really has any idea what nurses actually earn. (I'm not making comment or judgement on whether it is enough, I just wonder whether folks are "parroting" (to use a hackneyed term) calls for a raise without probably even knowing the base line)
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> 2) whether the average Joe Public really has any idea what nurses actually earn. (I'm
>> not making comment or judgement on whether it is enough, I just wonder whether folks
>> are "parroting" (to use a hackneyed term) calls for a raise without probably even knowing
>> the base line)

One of the tropes around these disputes is that some, particularly train drivers, earn (perhaps) enough to pay higher rate tax.

Is preserving their living standards less important than for those closer to the average wage?
 Strikes - smokie
You could say the same about the fabulously wealthy (but you wouldn't!) ... people live to the standard they are used to, whatever that may be.

FWIW I read the other day (was it here?) that the average train driver salary is £58k. Having just quickly Googled it, there are clearly a lot of guesstimates out there!! Again, I am making no point, just passing on info I've read.
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
Oddly enough, the fabulously wealthy (Beckhams?) will have the means to ensure their appearance fees and sponsorship etc DO keep pace with inflation.
 Strikes - smokie
"Oddly enough, the fabulously wealthy (Beckhams?) will have the means to ensure their appearance fees and sponsorship etc DO keep pace with inflation."

Maybe so, but there are many others and that's avoiding the point. At what precise point ought we be protecting one's income and lifestyle, or expecting them to cut back in some way? How much income is "not enough", "enough" and "too much", and therefore needs improvement/no action/reduction.

Everyone would have a different answer I suspect.
 Strikes - Zero
>> Is preserving their living standards less important than for those closer to the average wage?

Train driver "wage" (the union fought for years to be paid weekly in cash) never used to be that high on the average wage scale. Ironically, its railway privatisation that has pushed drivers up the salary scale.
Last edited by: Zero on Sat 17 Dec 22 at 21:25
 Strikes - Robin O'Reliant
>>
>>
>> Train driver "wage" (the union fought for years to be paid weekly in cash)

>>

There was widespread resistance to being paid directly in to your bank among hourly paid workers when firms started tying to implement it. Even fairly decent one off payments to anyone who changed over was not enough to persuade many of the older employees to do it, one of the principle arguments they used was that the banks would inform the firm how much savings they had so the company would not give cost of living rises.
 Strikes - Zero

>> one of the principle arguments they used was that the banks would inform
>> the firm how much savings they had so the company would not give cost of
>> living rises.

Wives loved the idea of money into bank, stopped the old man spending half of it down the pub on Friday night
 Strikes - bathtub tom
>> One of the tropes around these disputes is that some, particularly train drivers, earn (perhaps)
>> enough to pay higher rate tax.
>>
>> Is preserving their living standards less important than for those closer to the average wage?

WOW! I never thought I'd hear something like that coming from you.
 Strikes - sooty123
, the government (us) indemnifies the rail companies so they are
>> not financially hurt by the strikes.

I can see why, as you say - The rail employers are openly saying to him that they know what's required but the government won't allow it.
 Strikes - sooty123
www.itv.com/news/2022-12-07/train-drivers-vote-overwhelmingly-to-strike-in-long-running-row-over-pay

Aslef vote to continue strike action.
 Strikes - zippy
Banning NHS workers from striking.

That went well for the police and is a route to paying them even less in real terms.

The only fair way to do it would be to ban striking and having a totally independent terms and conditions review panel and a guaranteed pay mechanism like the triple lock for pensions but limited to perhaps a percentage of the national average wage.
 Strikes - Terry
The timing of various strike actions is being coordinated for maximum effect. That folk are unhappy with below inflation increases is entirely understandable.

The UK spends ~ the EU average on public services. Tax is at its highest since the 1970s. The issue is not how much is spent, but how and on what it is spent.

Public sector borrowing has increased largely due to the pandemic. There is a current deficit.

Increasing public expenditure must to be matched by either tax increases or compensating reductions elsewhere - what are they? Simply borrowing more is not a solution.

Inflationary pressures are partly due to Ukraine, sanctions, pandemic fallout. High wage awards in the public sector will quickly result in the traditional wage/price spiral.

The government are right to resist unaffordable wage awards unless accompanied by real efficiency improvements - eg: if rail can sensibly reduce costs through DOD this must be done. The taxpayer (me?) should not be expected to fund selfish inefficiencies.

How it all unfolds is uncertain - the last winter of discontent lead directly to Thatcherism (love it or loathe it). I suspect it hangs a lot on public opinion - will they blame the unions for their personal inconveniences, or the government for failing to resolve them.
 Strikes - Manatee
>>The timing of various strike actions is being coordinated for maximum effect.

Which shows that the unions are all for efficiency!
 Strikes - sooty123
www.itv.com/news/2022-12-07/border-force-staff-to-strike-at-airports-across-uk-over-festive-period

I think anyone planning to fly over Christmas/NY might have to make alternative arrangements. Looks like a lot of disruption.
 Strikes - tyrednemotional
....I understand that, to prevent the mushrooming number of strikes over Christmas, Rishi is planning legislation..........

.....to ban Christmas this year.
 Strikes - Manatee
www.railadvent.co.uk/2022/12/rmt-strike-action-to-go-ahead-after-no-revised-offer-from-rail-delivery-group.html

My bold.

A spokesperson for the RMT Union said “RMT has just heard from the RDG and there will be no revised offer from them on the TOC-side of the dispute and they have been instructed by the Government instead to take on the strike action set out, rather than trying to resolve the dispute through negotiations.

“It is now absolutely clear that the RDG’s attempts to resolve the dispute by making a revised and improved offer have been blocked by the Government.

“The companies know that RMT cannot, and never will, accept the implementation of Driver Only Operation (DOO) as a national principle for operating the railways.

“It is also clear that it is the Government itself, and not the RDG, that insisted that DOO was inserted in to the proposals on Sunday evening as a pre-condition, and the responsibility for the failure to progress proposals towards a resolution lies solely with the Government, who have torpedoed the dispute resolution process.

“The planned Industrial action for RMT Train Operating Company members goes ahead as scheduled as there is no resolution to the dispute and in fact a resolution to the dispute is now further away due to the Government’s late intervention in the negotiating process.”


This would seem to be consistent with the theory that the government wants, or is at least happy for, the disruption to continue.
 Strikes - Terry
With the number of separate public sector strike actions underway, the government know that the first one settled will set the pattern for the rest.

It is no surprise they don't want to agree to a settlement which (a) allows inefficiencies to continue unabated, and (b) with an increase they anyway regard as unaffordable.

I think they would prefer initially to settle with one which (a) has a lower headline cost, possibly spread over 2 or 3 years, and (b) is contingent on changes to working practices etc.
 Strikes - Rudedog
Working to rule in the NHS would cripple it far more than any kind of strike and would get around any future ban on strike action... our Theatre nurses did it a while back to improve their low bank rates two weeks in and it worked.


 Strikes - Robin O'Reliant
The government may well be relying on support for the strikes to fizzle out. The shop where I work is round the corner to the sorting office so we see quite a few posties, and in the last couple of weeks there have been an increasing number of grumbles on how much money they are losing.
 Strikes - Manatee
>> It is no surprise they don't want to agree to a settlement which (a) allows
>> inefficiencies to continue unabated, and (b) with an increase they anyway regard as unaffordable.

It's a theory. But strange if they really have stopped negotiations with an unacceptable pre-condition with a strike imminent.

I'd bet on Lynch to play it well.
 Strikes - Zero

>> “It is now absolutely clear that the RDG’s attempts to resolve the dispute by making
>> a revised and improved offer have been blocked by the Government.
>
A convenient Mick Lynch interpretation not bourn out by any definitive statement.


>> “The companies know that RMT cannot, and never will, accept the implementation of Driver Only
>> Operation (DOO) as a national principle for operating the railways.

Note the "national principle" bit Conveniently phrased to hide the fact it has been accepted in some parts.

>> “It is also clear that it is the Government itself, and not the RDG, that
>> insisted that DOO was inserted in to the proposals on Sunday evening as a pre-condition,

>> and the responsibility for the failure to progress proposals towards a resolution lies solely with
>> the Government, who have torpedoed the dispute resolution process.

Again ML has expanded on the same unproven interpretation to turn this into an an unpopular tory government vs downtroden ( actually very well paid with very good T&Cs) workers

I dont blame him. This stuff is taught at trade union college.
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> Note the "national principle" bit Conveniently phrased to hide the fact it has been accepted
>> in some parts.

There's a helluva difference between its acceptance on specific routes etc with conditions and letting the industry be 'rolled over' to it being universal.
Last edited by: Bromptonaut on Wed 7 Dec 22 at 22:22
 Strikes - Zero
>> >> Note the "national principle" bit Conveniently phrased to hide the fact it has been
>> accepted
>> >> in some parts.
>>
>> There's a helluva difference between its acceptance on specific routes etc with conditions and letting
>> the industry be 'rolled over' to it being universal.

Its NOT a red line if its accepted ANYWHERE, it is simply negotiable, because it already has been.
Last edited by: Zero on Wed 7 Dec 22 at 22:49
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> Its NOT a red line if its accepted ANYWHERE, it is simply negotiable, because it
>> already has been.

AIUI the demand was for it to be accepted ANYWHERE without further negotiation.

That was the red line.
 Strikes - Kevin
>There's a helluva difference between its acceptance on specific routes etc with conditions and
>letting the industry be 'rolled over' to it being universal.

What is the RMT's objection to having it universal except where it might not be practical?
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> What is the RMT's objection to having it universal except where it might not be
>> practical?

Who decides what's practical, never mind whether what's practical is safe?
Last edited by: Bromptonaut on Wed 7 Dec 22 at 23:09
 Strikes - Kevin
Thats's a different question. Are the RMT claiming that it's universally impractical/unsafe?
 Strikes - Zero
>> Thats's a different question. Are the RMT claiming that it's universally impractical/unsafe?

No they cant, because its been agreed in quite a few areas. The tube, DLR, Trams, most of Southern, some of SWR, Elizabeth line, etc etc.
 Strikes - sooty123
So what is ML's unions objection to DOO, safety in some circumstances, more money or both?
 Strikes - Zero
>> So what is ML's unions objection to DOO, safety in some circumstances,

yes

>> more money

yes

+ Job security for a group of workers

+ Bargaining chips.


Back in the days of transition from steam to other motive powers, ASLEF refused to allow single crewing, so a train had to have two in the cab, the fireman now called "second man". Thats now gone. The railway is full of restrictive practices, many esoteric, many union driven, some safety. Its a minefield coming from a system that is over 190 years old. Its a slow process to work those things out of the system. Increased salary for those still needed has been the only tool thats worked, drivers earn on average about £58k pa. - good money in anyones books.
 Strikes - Manatee

>> A convenient Mick Lynch interpretation not bourn out by any definitive statement.
>>
>>

>>
>> Note the "national principle" bit Conveniently phrased to hide the fact it has been accepted
>> in some parts.
>>
>>
>> Again ML has expanded on the same unproven interpretation to turn this into an an
>> unpopular tory government vs downtroden ( actually very well paid with very good T&Cs) workers
>>
>> I dont blame him. This stuff is taught at trade union college.


I agree. He's good. Better possibly than the people hoping to demonise him.
 Strikes - Terry
The issue of who is setting unreasonable preconditions must hang on the question "are DOO trains safe", and are there circumstances (which, when, where) they are unsafe.

It is difficult to find a definitive answer - even conclusions by those who apparently have an independent remit are challenged by the other side.

It is entirely unclear whether the rail unions are in a selfish job protection mode at the taxpayers expense, or the government are being cavalier with safety and possible loss of lives.




 Strikes - Manatee
The government has most likely thrown this in to derail the negotiation if you'll forgive the levity.

It's actually a post-condition from what I understand.
 Strikes - CGNorwich

>> It is entirely unclear whether the rail unions are in a selfish job protection mode
>> at the taxpayers expense, or the government are being cavalier with safety and possible loss
>> of lives.

If you are happy to travel on the London tube network then you have your answer.
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> If you are happy to travel on the London tube network then you have your
>> answer.

Or on other parts of the rail network maybe not....

tinyurl.com/yntewecu

link to Rail Accident Safety Bulletin.
Last edited by: Bromptonaut on Thu 8 Dec 22 at 14:42
 Strikes - Zero

>> Or on other parts of the rail network maybe not....
>>
>> tinyurl.com/yntewecu
>>
>> link to Rail Accident Safety Bulletin.

Plenty of similar incidents on non DOO services.
 Strikes - Terry
I am happy to travel on the underground - although now do so rarely living 175 miles away.

Many of the problems facing UKPLC - low growth, falling standard of living etc - arise from a failure to change. Not helped by management preferring to pass blame rather than initiate progress.

DOO has been in operation for up to 40 years. There is no justification for the union position. The government should insist on change to working practices.

Inconvenient, possibly a real problem for some - but we must not accept or perpetuate these behaviours which put unjustified self interest above the needs of the community.
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> DOO has been in operation for up to 40 years. There is no justification for
>> the union position. The government should insist on change to working practices.

DOO is not a single 'thing'. There has been, down the years, multiple iterations involving fixed cameras to monitor platforms and more recently various types of bodyside camera incorporated into the trains. Hard and permanent factors such as curved platforms and (lack of) platform lighting may also be factors.

I'm not saying it's use cannot be extended, I would expect the next generation of trains on my line (London Northwestern) to allow it's extension here. It was originally planned for the nineties under British Rail but the technology used, fixed cameras and platform monitors were set up for Class 317 stock while another part of BR was ordering Class 321 sets with different sightlines etc from the cab.

It's not a panacea and there are significant costs in its being commissioned.
 Strikes - Zero

>> It's not a panacea and there are significant costs in its being commissioned.

The major benefit of DOO is the easier rostering of train crew leading to fewer cancelations and delays.
 Strikes - Terry
£100bn ++ has been committed to HS2 - a questionable project at best. A very small part of these funds could be diverted to DOO - lack of funds is not an excuse.

DOO has been in operation for 40 years during which time I can only assume it has been proven, and huge steps made in systems, remote cameras, sensors etc.

Putting barriers up to its use sounds like complete procrastination, not justifiable grounds for further delay. The real question is who is responsible for allowing this operating deficiency to be tolerated for so long - it should have been sorted 20 years ago.
 Strikes - CGNorwich
Driverless trains is the way to go
 Strikes - Lygonos
>>Driverless trains is the way to go

Was on one in Copenhagen.

Like clockwork it was.
 Strikes - tyrednemotional
>> >>Driverless trains is the way to go
>>
>> Was on one in Copenhagen.
>>
>> Like clockwork it was.
>>

...built by Hornby....?
 Strikes - Robin O'Reliant
Perhaps they should let Hornby run the railways?

They couldn't be any worse.
 Strikes - Terry
Not only are the railways clinging to the past in the belief that things haven't changes in the last three decades, the same is true of the Royal Mail.

Letter volumes continue to fall, and I estimate that 20% is of use or important. 80% comes trough the letter box on the way to the paper recycling box. Most use online for services - banking, utilities, insurance policies, etc. Letter writing for most is history.

Parcel services are more than adequately provided for by the private sector who provide tracked delivery at a lower cost than RM - although I am aware they sometimes foul up.

There is a social need for a universal service to remote areas. However there is no need for more than two (possibly just one) delivery per week, nor different rates for 1st and 2nd class. Reducing the rubbish that gets pushed through letter boxes would be an environmental plus.

The RM has a proud history - but like rail need to adapt to 2022 - clinging on to past glories is simply not sustainable. The longer the delay in recognising reality, the harder the fall will be.
 Strikes - Bobby
This is the crux of the argument though.
You can always do something cheaper and, sometimes, more efficient.

But the cost of that is zero contracts and low pay to the individuals, with absolutely massive profits to the select few at the top. And with the low pay and zero contracts leads to all the other societal issues that are happening as more and more working people slip into poverty
 Strikes - Zero
>> But the cost of that is zero contracts and low pay to the individuals,

On the other hand, inefficient high cost labour fuels inflation and stifles growth.

Its a tricky one init.
Last edited by: Zero on Fri 9 Dec 22 at 14:50
 Strikes - tyrednemotional
>> Driverless trains is the way to go
>>

...the strike has already delivered that!...
 Strikes - Duncan
Elizabeth Line trains are automated and could be driverless.
 Strikes - tyrednemotional
The DLR is automated and is operated driverless.
 Strikes - Zero
>> The DLR is automated and is operated driverless.

Was built, designed and always has operated that way for 35 years
 Strikes - sooty123
www.itv.com/news/meridian/2022-12-09/troops-training-at-heathrow-and-gatwick-ahead-of-christmas-border-force-strikes

No massive surprise, but i suspect no last minute cancellation.
 Strikes - legacylad
No services running on either the Carlisle or Morecambe lines from Settle/Giggleswick Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday.

Thursday is not a strike day but has a knock on effect.

Northern state they cannot provide any services.

Any vestige of sympathy out the window. Poor beggars who live in the Settle area and work in Skipton and onwards to Leeds are stuffed big time. I know several folks who don’t own cars and they are not happy. Especially with a rural hourly bus service
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> Northern state they cannot provide any services.
>>
>> Any vestige of sympathy out the window. Poor beggars who live in the Settle area
>> and work in Skipton and onwards to Leeds are stuffed big time. I know several
>> folks who don’t own cars and they are not happy. Especially with a rural hourly
>> bus service

As it's Northern stating this is it not possible that the failure to provide is their choice?

Cancel the services rather than pay the hours needed to get rolling stock etc in place?
 Strikes - Zero

>> Cancel the services rather than pay the hours needed to get rolling stock etc in
>> place?

Errr, that requires overtime, and the Union has instructed members not to do overtime.

The union is planning the strike days to cause maximum effect with minimum pay lost to strikes. IE one day strike, two (or three if you plan it right) affect. The way to counter that is to curtail services where they are needed for the most rapid recovery. Railway timetable recovery is a dark art.
 Strikes - zippy
>>Royal Mail Strikes....

I know someone who works in a large regional mail centre (a huge sorting office).

They work shifts and earn about £28k a year because the shifts attract extra pay allowances. Apparently Royal Mail want to remove the extra pay allowances for the shifts and pay a flat rate.

They recon that without these allowances their pay will reduce to about £20k a year.

That's why she is striking.
 Strikes - CGNorwich
The harsh reality is that For most of the public it hardly matters whether RM employees are on strike or not. Makes no difference. Everyone has a multitude of ways to communicate without sending a letter and there ate plenty of parcel delivery cos willing to take over RM business.

Strike is pointless and will only hasten the demise of RM

 Strikes - Zero
RM has only survived and exists because it is required by law to maintain the universal service.

Hand Mail is a dying concept.
 Strikes - smokie
You'd think so but I just had to post a couple of letters which apparently were essential to be snail mail and the letterbox was almost literally overflowing. I could easily have retrieved my letters with a handful more had I been so minded.

But other than that I can't remember the last time I sent anything by post.

Same as writing a cheque.
 Strikes - legacylad
To break that pattern I’m happy to receive a cheque from you :-)
 Strikes - Terry
Returned from Spain last week after 2 weeks away. Probably about 25 bits of post, of which no more than 3 were reasonably important or useful.

The rest - wine offers, life insurance, can we sell your house, bogof pizza etc - were garbage and went directly from letter box to dustbin. A waste of time, energy and money!

Revenues are ~£14bn - £4bn overseas operations, £6bn parcels, £4bn from letters. Parcels is a competitive business with private sector an entirely satisfactory alternative. Letters includes magazines and promotional which get discounted postage rates.

There is a social need for a universal service but one or two days a week only.

I have no problem with posties being paid properly. RM need to reduce staffing to create the headroom to make extra pay affordable. As a private company the government have no role to play in negotiations.
 Strikes - CGNorwich

>>
>> The rest - wine offers, life insurance, can we sell your house, bogof pizza etc
>> - were garbage and went directly from letter box to dustbin. A waste of time,
>> energy and money!
>>


But it isn’t. If it were companies wouldn’t pay for advertising. It’s a very effective form of promotion. If the RM weren’t delivering the stuff someone else would be.
 Strikes - Manatee

>> I have no problem with posties being paid properly. RM need to reduce staffing to
>> create the headroom to make extra pay affordable.

I'd like everyone to have the chance of a decent life too

>>As a private company the government have
>> no role to play in negotiations.

I'm not so sure about that. Left to its own devices, the "market" would have millions more on subsistence wages. Pay is wrapped up with lots of conditions that are more or less legislated or regulated. This includes much that the current government aspires to 'improve' with its so-called supply side reforms.
 Strikes - Terry
Perpetuating inefficiencies in public or regulated enterprises denies resources to other socially important needs. RM is partially "regulated" (universal service, stamp prices?)

A market economy, by contrast, has its own way of dealing with inefficiencies - expressed as survival of the fittest.

The consequences of eliminating inefficiencies may be debatable - eg:

- allows tax cuts, possibly for the very wealthy as well as others
- allows resources to be redeployed to improve other public services - eg: NHS, care etc

The reality is probably a bit of a mix. Timing and circumstances may have some impact. Taxation in the UK is at a 40 year high, unemployment is low. A good time to free up labour, and invest in retraining to fill vacancies.

Failing to change perpetuates inefficiencies to the detriment of all (those directly impacted should be appropriately supported).
 Strikes - Manatee
Problems arise immediately with the definition of efficiency. And effectiveness. Most of us here know how incompetent privatised utilities are when dealing with the smallest administrative problem.

I note that in your possible benefits of eliminating inefficiencies you do not list "improving conditions for employees".

You might think businesses exist only to supply customers' needs and make profit for owners. I don't.

The public sector in providing decent conditions and benefits for employees can raise the level of benefits provided by private sector employers competing for staff. And IMO they should.

Millions of jobs now are frankly rubbish for the employee thanks to the attitude you describe so well.

Employee: Citizens. The ones who do the work. The people the government should exist for.
 Strikes - CGNorwich
www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-63955617

Mr Lynch seems rather touchy over the subject of how much money his members are losing whilst on strike.

Is there a perhaps a growing feeling amongst the RMT members that they should take what's on the table?

 Strikes - Zero
"He accused the BBC of "parroting" the right-wing press."

Now that is why I am anti union. The inherent, almost mandatory, political bias that all union leaders have. They are all fundamentally disinterested with members benefits, but driven by control, power, and ironically for left wing fundamentalists, their own benefits.
 Strikes - CGNorwich
I suspect that for most members they want the best deal possible in cash terms. Effectively they have to decide whether keeping up a strike is going to get them more money than they are losing in wages. The are not interested in political posturing. Ironically their motivation is purely money and not the downfall of the Tory government as Mr Lynch would like.

 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> "He accused the BBC of "parroting" the right-wing press."

Is it the idea of a right wing press or the possibility of the BBC repeating its agenda that bothers you?
 Strikes - Zero
>> >> "He accused the BBC of "parroting" the right-wing press."
>>
>> Is it the idea of a right wing press or the possibility of the BBC
>> repeating its agenda that bothers you?

No its the idea of being a political union. As far as the BBC is concerned, as long as its being attacked by the right and left (which it is) thats fine by me.
Last edited by: Zero on Tue 13 Dec 22 at 15:27
 Strikes - Manatee
Of course it's political.

Unions are one of the most political ideas ever. And they need to be, more than at any time since the 1950s probably.

People need to wake up while they still have some rights.
 Strikes - Zero
>> Of course it's political.
>>
>> Unions are one of the most political ideas ever.

They were, and its why they have been less and less relevant ever since.
>>And they need to be, more
>> than at any time since the 1950s probably.

Why? Its an industrial support about pay, and continuance of restrictive practices.



>> People need to wake up while they still have some rights.

Oh for gods sake, they have the right to strike, and they have the right to seek alternative employment if they dont like the current one. The employer has the right to define roles and compensation, if they get it wrong they dont get employees.

The workers voted in the government, and they have the right to vote them out again 5 years later. You cant have more political rights than that, and plenty of places where that doesn't exist.
 Strikes - CGNorwich
Why do unions have to be aligned to the left? There’s nothing socialist about screwing as much money out of your employer as possible. In fact it seems to be the epitome of capitalism to me.

I don’t think US unions see themselves as socialist.
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> I don’t think US unions see themselves as socialist.

Just shows how foreign the US actually is. Don't think there are many countries in Europe where unions, or at least those of significant size, are not broadly aligned to the left.

In the UK at least union officials are elected by the membership and are usually broadly of the left. The outlier there was Kate Losinska of the CPSA:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kate_Losinska

Not my union as its membership was Clerical rather than Executive grades but I remember some rowdyism around CPSA meetings and stuff being torn from their noticeboards when her campaign was in its pomp.

Unions need to keep plent of clear water between themselves and management. One of the things coming to light in the aftermath of the Post Office Horizon scandal is how far the National Association of Sub Postmasters was up the management's orifice.

 Strikes - Zero
>> >> I don’t think US unions see themselves as socialist.

The US is a country where they see the republicans as moderate, and the democrats as radical left bordering on communism!
As far as unions there go, they have a history of being aligned to the mafia and organised crime. All in all its not valid as an example of left/right union/non union as we understand it in Europe.

 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> Oh for gods sake, they have the right to strike, and they have the right
>> to seek alternative employment if they dont like the current one. The employer has the
>> right to define roles and compensation, if they get it wrong they dont get employees.

The right to strike is very much in the government's cross hairs so far as public transport and parts of the health service (at least) are concerned.

>> The workers voted in the government, and they have the right to vote them out
>> again 5 years later. You cant have more political rights than that, and plenty of
>> places where that doesn't exist.

Politics limited to voting when the system allows is meaningless. Most change is achieved by agitation outside of that process.
 Strikes - Zero

>> Politics limited to voting when the system allows is meaningless. Most change is achieved by
>> agitation outside of that process.

Rubbish, all you get is 5 years of aggravation for everyone else.
 Strikes - Terry
If it doesn't annoy the target group it will have no real impact. Stop Oil, Insulate Britain, Rail strikes etc all need to hurt to get the attention of those who can initiate change.

Protests which inconvenience no-one don't get reported. No one in authority cares - in fact most people won't care. If a tree falls in a forest and there is no one to hear, does it make a sound?

Unions represent their members. They are as principled as employers who look after the interests of senior staff and shareholders. If agreement (the best outcome) is not forthcoming, striking is how unacceptable demands are communicated in the most forceful way.

Employers react accordingly. Both sides know strikes are in the interests of neither party - they are initial negotiating gambits. The resolve of both parties may be measured by the length and depth of action, and the rhetoric used by each side.

Current events bear some comparison with the last winter of discontent which delivered Margaret Thatcher a stonking majority. It is somewhat questionable whether this time they will deliver the outcome the unions would like.
 Strikes - CGNorwich
"If a tree falls in a forest and there is no one to hear, does it make a sound?"

Well:

according to the Birtish philosopher Roy Bhaskar This existence of an unobserved real is integral to his ontology, which contends (in opposition to the various strains of positivism which have dominated both natural and social science in the twentieth century) that 'real structures exist independently of and are often out of phase with the actual patterns of events'. In social science, this has made his approach popular amongst contemporary Marxists — notably Alex Callinicos – who postulate the existence of real social forces and structures which might not always be observable.

So there you have it :-)


 Strikes - Manatee
>>Oh for gods sake, they have the right to strike,

I did say "while they still have some rights".

These rights don't matter when you don't need them. The Conservatives have a track record of legislating to make it harder to strike. When they start talking about supply side reforms they mean reducing employee rights.

The right to strike is absolutely essential to keeping balance in negotiations otherwise pay is simply dictated by employers. Economic theory says that's fine because employers have to compete to the best workers who can go elsewhere, but economic theory also says that if you leave to the market the surplus goes to capital, keeping the worker poor

And the right to find another job isn't much use when they are all s***.

Our generation has had the best of it I think. Defined benefit pensions, subsidised canteens, full pay on the sick, overtime rates and shift allowances, to name but a few things that have been whittled at.

Would you want a son or daughter of yours to be working in a Sports Direct warehouse?

I have always seen the Tories as the party of capital and "one nation Conservatism" now looks as if it was a blip.
 Strikes - sooty123
These rights don't matter when you don't need them. The Conservatives have a track record
>> of legislating to make it harder to strike. When they start talking about supply side
>> reforms they mean reducing employee rights.
>>
>> The right to strike is absolutely essential to keeping balance in negotiations otherwise pay is
>> simply dictated by employers.

I think most people believe that there are areas of employment that the country wouldn't want to strike and their rights to do so are limited or removed. That being so, it leaves us with the question of how do we deal with them and how many people do we put in that group.
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> I think most people believe that there are areas of employment that the country wouldn't
>> want to strike and their rights to do so are limited or removed. That being
>> so, it leaves us with the question of how do we deal with them

There has to be some fair and completely independent means of determining their pay which all sides recognise and respect. The current review body mechanism does not come close to that.
 Strikes - CGNorwich
There has to be some fair and completely independent means of determining their pay which all sides recognise and respect. The current review body mechanism does not come close to that.

People are not really interested in "fairness" whatever that means. They simply what the best deal they can lay their hands on.
 Strikes - sooty123
People are not really interested in "fairness" whatever that means. They simply what the best
>> deal they can lay their hands on.
>>

They being all/both sides of the pay disputes?
 Strikes - sooty123
There has to be some fair and completely independent means of determining their pay which
>> all sides recognise and respect. The current review body mechanism does not come close to
>> that.
>>

Of course the review bodies aren't independent, although well meaning they are just a way for governments to pretend pay is nothing to do with them. Honesty would be nice but is unlikely.

Very few governments would give a blank cheque to these bodies, so I'm not sure what the realistic answer is.
 Strikes - sooty123
www.itv.com/news/2022-12-14/union-with-most-ambulance-workers-pull-out-of-nhs-pay-process

One union have pulled out of the pay negotiation process. I think they won't be the last.
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> One union have pulled out of the pay negotiation process. I think they won't be
>> the last.

Inevitable consequence of the Minister playing the review body card over and over again.
 Strikes - Manatee
>>I think most people believe that there are areas of employment that the country wouldn't want to strike and their rights to do so are limited or removed.

The most obvious being the armed forces.

Imagine Mick Lynch running the Armed Forces and Allied Workers. War is declared. "We need a pay rise or we're going on strike".

I heard a nurse on the wireless today saying he thought it should be illegal for public employees to strike. I agree they shouldn't need to. A government that believed in a decent life for everybody would set an example.
 Strikes - sooty123
>> www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-63955617
>>
>> Mr Lynch seems rather touchy over the subject of how much money his members are
>> losing whilst on strike.
>>

I don't think touchy but he wants to the media to see the issue through his eyes. Sounds a bit frustrated that few in the media share his view point.

The government minister was pretty evasive rather than just say yes.
 Strikes - CGNorwich
"don't think touchy but he wants to the media to see the issue through his eyes. Sounds a bit frustrated that few in the media share his view point."

Not convinced that the majority of union members share his view point. They are interested in money not politics. Its a somewhat pyrrhic victory if the gains are offset by loss of earnings while striking and Mr Lynch is well aware of that. He does not want the loss of earning emphasised.
Last edited by: CGNorwich on Tue 13 Dec 22 at 18:08
 Strikes - sooty123
No I don't think they do care too much about his politics. I don't think he's so much bothered about the loss in earning mentioned but the fact (he feels) there's not enough media attention on the employers and how the function and act more generally.
Last edited by: sooty123 on Tue 13 Dec 22 at 18:12
 Strikes - Terry
"Inevitable consequence of the Minister playing the review body card over and over again".

Why agree to a pay review body then ignore their conclusions. If the remit of the body is wrong this should be debated and corrected - but mid strike action is not the right time to do it.
 Strikes - sooty123
but mid strike action
>> is not the right time to do it.
>>

It's probably the best time to do it.
 Strikes - Rudedog
It didn't stop the Govt pulling out (suspending) the recommendations of the NHS pay review body when it suited them leading to us having a seven year pay freeze!

 Strikes - Manatee
>> but mid strike action
>> >> is not the right time to do it.
>> >>
>>
>> It's probably the best time to do it.

And pay negotiation time is when the conflict arises. It's like finding your heating is defective when the cold weather comes.

I wouldn't want Steve Barclay as a boss. There is no sign that the Government's intentions form part of, or are congruent with, a plan for a functioning and sustainable NHS.

He could argue that when he is up to his arras in alligators is no time to work up the plans for draining the swamp, but that would mean admitting the NHS is in big trouble and there is no plan, except more privatisation.
 Strikes - Terry
Pay negotiations and strikes are about power. Union power is increased when demand and stress is high - large waiting lists, cold weather etc. Entirely understandable.

The rational approach - employers should fix the problem before it starts and create long term certainty. Employers are short-sighted and union power more limited in stable times.

Bother to look and the NHS budget has increased every year since 2010 with lots extra (understandably) during the pandemic. Whether it has increased by enough is a separate debate.

Tories have held power for 30 of the last 43 years. Were the intention to dismantle the NHS it would have happened by now. It has not - most Tories value the NHS, it would be electoral suicide.

The Blair/Brown administration made the greatest contribution to privatisation of the NHS through PFI deals - delivered investment in hospitals (good) buy at high cost which continues (bad).
 Strikes - Manatee
>>Tories have held power for 30 of the last 43 years. Were the intention to dismantle the NHS it would have happened by now. It has not - most Tories value the NHS, it would be electoral suicide.

I wish that were true.

The Tories see health as a huge investment (profit) opportunity, dwarfing all others, for their clients and their answer to every crisis is private suppliers. The PPE debacle is a just a case in point. There is already massive private involvement in the NHS, e.g. my wife has just had NHS cataract operations that were contracted from a private clinic. Many of the people walking around our local hospital are wearing Serco uniforms, and they aren't all cleaners. I haven't figured out what they actually are. Worst case for the Tories is that the NHS is simply privatised piecemeal.

Worst case for the NHS is that by allowing the NHS to collapse, or making it more expensive to run through creeping privatisation, it will only get easier to "prove" that it is unsustainable.

That might well already be the case in its current form, what I most fear for the NHS is that the illogical leap will be made to a private-insurance-based system which is hugely attractive to private capital in every way. We should probably be looking harder at how the French run their system that is believed to cost a similar amount but works better.

 Strikes - sooty123
I wonder if there are any figures on how much we spend on private vs public over say the last 20 years in the nhs?
 Strikes - sooty123
www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/articles/big-election-questions-nhs-privatised-2021

Overall, there is no evidence of a significant increase in spending on private providers or widespread privatisation of services in recent years.


It would appear there is no significant change.
 Strikes - sooty123
We should probably be looking
>> harder at how the French run their system that is believed to cost a similar
>> amount but works better.
>>
>>
>

Don't they have health insurance, pay to go see the GP etc?
 Strikes - Manatee

>> Don't they have health insurance, pay to go see the GP etc?

I'm not up on it but I think you'd be correct to say it is not completely free at the point of use.

It's years since I had cause to use a French GP, and he let me off the charges!
 Strikes - Robin O'Reliant
We ought to stop treating the NHS as a religion and look at how better performing countries fund theirs. It has turned into a complete shambles, but any attempts to modernise it are immediately howled down by all politicians left of centre as selling off to the private sector.

Many of these don't seem to care how badly it runs or how much misery it causes as long as there are votes in using it as a political weapon.
 Strikes - CGNorwich
"We should probably be looking harder at how the French run their system that is believed to cost a similar amount but works better."

I like the French system, By having an element whereby the patient needs to pay upfront it has the benefit of emphasising that health care isntt free and is something to be valued and not abused.

It also make Doctors see patients in a different light when the patient is in part at least directly paying for treatment
 Strikes - sooty123
www.itv.com/news/2022-12-15/more-misery-on-the-rail-network-after-talks-fail-to-resolve-pay-dispute

Includes an upto date calendar of the latest strikes.
 Strikes - bathtub tom
I wonder if any striking rail workers have sat down and worked out how long it would take to recoup their loss of pay, including their loss of pension contributions?
Mick lynch got very annoyed on two radio stations when he was asked about the reduction of support in ballots of the strikers. I bet he's not forgoing any of his £120k income.
I know some workers in my industry were very surprised when they retired to find out their pensions had been reduced as a result of striking many years earlier.
 Strikes - sooty123
>> I wonder if any striking rail workers have sat down and worked out how long
>> it would take to recoup their loss of pay, including their loss of pension contributions?

I doubt it's passed them by.
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> I wonder if any striking rail workers have sat down and worked out how long
>> it would take to recoup their loss of pay, including their loss of pension contributions?
>> Mick lynch got very annoyed on two radio stations when he was asked about the
>> reduction of support in ballots of the strikers. I bet he's not forgoing any of
>> his £120k income.
>> I know some workers in my industry were very surprised when they retired to find
>> out their pensions had been reduced as a result of striking many years earlier.

The usual suspects controlled by our press Oligarchs keep spouting the loss of pay line and at least so far as the Today presenter was concerned her perceived offence was parroting the same line. Richard Madeley was in rant mode himself; I rather think Lynch bettered him.

AIUI Lynch's actual salary is nearer £80,000 than £120,000 and he's donating his pay for the strike days to the union.

How much did people actually lose as a result of strikes relatively early in their career? I assume my Civil Service Pension was similarly affected but I don't think a day or two across accumulated service in excess of 35 years made a big difference.
 Strikes - legacylad
Thank goodness the buses are still running in my part of the world.
An hourly service to Skipton but that’s ok.
Yesterday’s bus was very cold...you wouldn’t want to drive around in that all day.
 Strikes - bathtub tom
>>AIUI Lynch's actual salary is nearer £80,000 than £120,000

I purposely didn't say salary. Agreed his salary is listed at £80k, but he also gets £40k allowances.
 Strikes - Kevin
Wow - "usual suspects" controlled by "press Oligarchs" asking a pretty obvious and natural question.

Why get upset and refuse to answer? What did Lynch expect - a discussion about his holiday plans?
 Strikes - sooty123
news.sky.com/story/politics-latest-cobra-meeting-as-strikes-ramp-up-royal-mail-staff-joining-rail-workers-and-civil-servants-in-walking-out-12593360?postid=5093266#liveblog-body


Another round of strikes announced. Looks like there is no end in sight right now.

The government have said they aren't reviewing the pay bodies or looking into how they work,not surprising but they seem in need of some change.
 Strikes - CGNorwich
Oh the irony!

Ambulance service aren’t on strike tomorrow in the Eastern Region because the postal strike delayed the return of the requisite number of ballot papers required for the strike to be legal.
 Strikes - Zero

>> the return of the requisite number of ballot papers required for the strike to be
>> legal.

Love it.
 Strikes - sooty123
I read an article yesterday that the number of 999 calls for an ambulance had risen 50% since 2010. Seems a very large rise, i wonder what can be done to reduce that.
 Strikes - Terry
No great surprise - a lot comes down to management.

Primary care funding (GPs etc) has fallen making it more difficult to get an appointment so folk default to A&E. The number of GP surgeries are down by ~30% since 2010 - partly due to reduced staffing, and partly due to the benefits of running larger multi disciplinary surgeries.

In 1974 social care was separated from NHS due to reorganisation. This may have seemed a good idea at the time - but for 3 or 4 decades no government has managed to ensure seamless working between two separately managed and funded systems.

Both these contribute to the stresses on A&E and ambulance services.

Solving doctor shortages will take ~ a decade (med school + training) unless recruited from overseas. Fixing social care means fundamental reorganisation + more staff - low unemployment means the number of staff would be difficult to recruit and train from UK alone.

Until these problems (and no doubt others) are fixed, however much pay is increased will make close to no difference to service levels. This does not mean there is no need for a pay increase - just that pay alone will not solve the problems. NHS management and government need to do much more.
Last edited by: Terry on Wed 21 Dec 22 at 11:04
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> In 1974 social care was separated from NHS due to reorganisation. This may have seemed
>> a good idea at the time - but for 3 or 4 decades no government
>> has managed to ensure seamless working between two separately managed and funded systems.

Many other changes since 74 as well. No longer any such thing as a geriatric hospital; those who cannot manage go to a care home. Until the mid-nineties if you couldn't pay you got Income Support with the weekly amount set by whether you needed Nursing or just Care and category of care the home was registered for.

After about 96 that was replaced with the Local Authority doing an assessment. If you needed a Care Home place then you went to a home the LA contracted with as homes being run by the LA was discouraged. Initially it drove costs down but then went down the race to bottom route.

Similarly with domiciliary care. That too went down the race to the bottom route with frazzled carers on min wage and only paid while they're actually with the cl. Even 20 years ago when the Mother Out Law had carers in it was grim.

It needs money to sort it so that both homes and domiciliary care is properly remunerated. Johnson claimed he had a reform to solve the problem but it turned out just to be a rearrange of the financial deckchairs so as to protect inheritances,

Nobody on either side of the political fence has the courage to say it will cost us all more money. It was the Dementia Tax label that did for Theresa May.

>> Until these problems (and no doubt others) are fixed, however much pay is increased will
>> make close to no difference to service levels. This does not mean there is no
>> need for a pay increase - just that pay alone will not solve the problems.
>> NHS management and government need to do much more.

Of course pay alone will not solve the problem but it is very much part of the solution.

The mantra for public sector pay since the eighties has been that it be no more than is needed to recruit, motivate and retain. It's patently clear from every account we've heard during and before the current unrest that there's a recruitment and retention crisis in front line roles in the NHS.

I suspect that if the government was prepared to pay nurses etc a modest addition to the current offer, even perhaps a non-consolidated and non-pensionable one of cost of living increase and a commitment to generous remit to a properly independent review body then they could get folks back to work in days.
 Strikes - CGNorwich
Watching "Ambulance" on the TV you realise how much the system is abused by the public. I would like to see some statistics on how many visits to A& E., GPs and the Ambulance Service are actually justified and necessary.

 Strikes - Zero
Almost entirely due to the difficulty of getting a face to face with the doctor.
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> Almost entirely due to the difficulty of getting a face to face with the doctor.

Another area where politicians need to be honest and manage public expectation properly.
 Strikes - sooty123
I think some of that is linked to the tax on pension pots over a certain amount that osbourne brought in. I wonder how much it brings in vs the cost of many GPs going part time.
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> I think some of that is linked to the tax on pension pots over a
>> certain amount that osbourne brought in. I wonder how much it brings in vs the
>> cost of many GPs going part time.

My daughter's Father in Law was a GP and retired at about 55. One driver was that his wife is a few years older than him but the pension rules were another.

A bit of Googling suggests the issue that arises is around a Lifetime Allowance for the size of your pension 'pot':

www.gov.uk/tax-on-your-private-pension/lifetime-allowance

If the value of your 'pot' exceeds the Lifetime Allowance then you're taxed on the excess at a punitive rate.

For defined benefit schemes the value of the 'pot' is deemed to be 20 times the assumed first year's pension plus any lump sum. So even if your pension only accrues in 80ths rather than 60ths anybody earning amounts in the vicinity of £90-100k is at risk of being caught.

IIRC Judges were excluded. The value of the judicial pension, added to what they'd be likely to have accrued in 25+ years at the Bar, meant it was a significant deterrent to people who would otherwise be quality applicants.
 Strikes - sooty123
I know someone who works on the ambulances, he says they have lots of frequent flyers. Them speaking straight away in paramedic lingo is the biggest giveaway.
I think alot of them lead very chaotic lives and need handholding through life, 999 is a helpline for them to do stuff. God knows where you start.
 Strikes - CGNorwich
I would think it is the same with A & E and indeed GPS. Not sure what the answer is but deterring these people would certainly help in proving quicker care for those with real medical problems.
 Strikes - smokie
2nd para is spot on Sooty.
Last edited by: smokie on Wed 21 Dec 22 at 13:20
 Strikes - CGNorwich
It’s undoubtedly true but using a very expensive and scarce resource to “hand hold” these people is hardly a sensible use of resources
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> It’s undoubtedly true but using a very expensive and scarce resource to “hand hold” these
>> people is hardly a sensible use of resources

But the devil will be in the detail of how you stop it.
 Strikes - CGNorwich
Yes but the important thing is to accept that this a real issue and do something about it. Ambulances are for accidents an emergencies, not to provide mobile counselling for the lonely and those with chaotic lifestyles.
 Strikes - sooty123
I suspect the timescale to 'do something about it' is 10-20 years and lots of money. The same people will consume resources across the public sector.

Although not politically popular so i doubt much will be done.
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> Yes but the important thing is to accept that this a real issue and do
>> something about it. Ambulances are for accidents an emergencies, not to provide mobile counselling for
>> the lonely and those with chaotic lifestyles.

They've tried taking them to court:

www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/health/23-people-taken-court-calling-999169

Cannot find it now but I'm sure I've read a court judgment where somebody was committed to prison for contempt having broken a court order not to call 999 repeatedly.
 Strikes - sooty123
news.sky.com/story/nurses-in-scotland-set-to-strike-in-new-year-after-latest-pay-offer-overwhelmingly-rejected-12772478

Looks like 7.5% wasn't enough. Doesn't say how much they did want.
 Strikes - smokie
From that article

"After negotiations with the government, the deal offered pay rises ranging from £2,205 to £2,751.

"NHS workers would have received an average increase of 7.5% - with a rise of 11.3% for the lowest paid staff."

A fag packet reverse engineer of 7.5% equalling £2205 puts current basic at £29k or thereabouts. Not so bad really, but I expect to be told I'm missing something!! (And I do agree they should be paid a good rate for the job, but quite what that is I can't say as I'm a bit out of touch with salaries).


EDIT after a recount the salary figure should be nearer £31k.
Last edited by: smokie on Wed 21 Dec 22 at 14:49
 Strikes - Bobby
All relative Smokie to what your feelings are and what you value etc etc.

Most will have degrees I am sure, if not all.
Most will work shifts over 7 days.
Most worked all through covid and were exposed badly to the virus.
I don’t think that’s a great salary for what they are doing.

Will we compare them to bankers……
 Strikes - smokie
My daughter is a mental health nurse in the community Bobby, having previously worked in secure hospitals, including Broadmoor for a placement, so I do understand many of the ins and outs of the profession, plus some you probably wouldn't think of!!

So you can rest assured I do value the NHS and its staff :-)
 Strikes - sooty123
www.msg.scot.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/PCSAFC2021-3-Pay-for-Agenda-for-Change-Staff.pdf

Pay scales in scotland.
 Strikes - Bobby
Son is an ambulance technician.

Friday Nightshift - 7-7 shift. Finished at 5 as they had worked 10 hours without a break so sign off with “fatigue”. This is in the rules so instead of making sure they get a 30 min break, the service loses out on 2 hours work

Saturday night - was outside Wishaw General with a patient from 1am till the new shift found a vehicle to come out and relieve them at 9am. So 8 hours doing nothing and earning 2 hours overtime. New shift then spent their time waiting. Due to late clock off couldn’t start next shift until 11 hours had elapsed.

Sunday night - several patients dealt with without hospital needed. Then back at Wishaw for 6 hours wait with another patient.

Every aspect of the system is fundamentally goosed.
 Strikes - Manatee
The objective has always been to run hot. Add to that that it is not joined up. An overload anywhere overloads everything upstream and in the cases of GPs, when the patient can call an ambulance or go to A&E, downstream as well.

I keep hearing it's not a resources thing, it's organisation. Obviously anything can be improved, but there is no slack anywhere. JIT doesn't work for healthcare.

Tangentially, the boss and I were in Morrisons today, feeling a bit flat footed, and decided we would have fish and chips in the cafe (this is what we pensioners call a treat).

After we had filled the teapots and reached the till, we were informed that there would be at least a 20 minute hiatus as there were no clean plates or cutlery and they were trying to "catch up". Three very flustered staff were just not coping. Some customers were giving them a hard time (not I).

It was like a mini case study for the NHS, the difference being that had there been anything like a competent manager in the shop, which there clearly wasn't, they would have had the option of doing the washing up, or closing the cafe until it was in a state to reopen.

The NHS can't do that. The stress the staff must feel in A&E is unimaginable.
 Strikes - Fullchat
The Manager could have gone in or re assigned staff to shift some washing up in the short term. No dynamic problem solving. Restrictive practice.

See where I'm going with this?

Going back to those days of Covid when the 'front line' were working their backsides off and exposing themselves to the virus other areas went into quiet mode. Could they not have back filled the front line and taken some pressure off?

As for the ambulance crews being stacked up at A&E surely there is a case for staffed pre A&E triage whereby the crews can hand over and resume. The system is stagnating itself.

As for the 'frequent flyers' that has always been the case for the emergency services but you know that as soon as they are told to do one will be the time they are genuinely in need. There are also mental conditions with most. And you know what the fallout from that will be egged on by the Ambulance Chasers.
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> As for the ambulance crews being stacked up at A&E surely there is a case
>> for staffed pre A&E triage whereby the crews can hand over and resume. The system
>> is stagnating itself.

AIUI they already do this. I was triaged on arrival at casualty after my hip breaking bike tumble in 2012.

The problem is there's nowhere to put them once triaged as needing a bed....
 Strikes - CGNorwich

>>
>> The problem is there's nowhere to put them once triaged as needing a bed....
>>
Because the beds are occupied by the elderly who can’t be released home or to a care home because no care is available.
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> Because the beds are occupied by the elderly who can’t be released home or to
>> a care home because no care is available.

That. Exactly.
 Strikes - sooty123
>> Going back to those days of Covid when the 'front line' were working their backsides
>> off and exposing themselves to the virus other areas went into quiet mode. Could they
>> not have back filled the front line and taken some pressure off?
>

Other areas, who do you mean, take the pressure off in what sense?
 Strikes - Fullchat
Other areas within the NHS were not seeing patients because of the pandemic. Routine operations were put on the back burner. People were avoiding and being discouraged in attending. I believe cancer diagnosis was one of those areas hence the backlog in a multiple of procedures.
Last edited by: Fullchat on Wed 21 Dec 22 at 23:12
 Strikes - sooty123
I believe many did redeploy to the more patient facing roles. From what i saw anyway, later on they did the vaccination roles.
 Strikes - sooty123
www.itv.com/news/2022-12-22/national-highways-workers-launch-more-strike-action-over-pay

Road workers this time.
 Strikes - Manatee
I see the RCN and ambulance strikes almost as a defence of the NHS. Unless and until they can be properly resourced the NHS is on life support itself.

I just want the government to tell the truth. To say they will not negotiate with nurses because they have accepted the recommendation of the pay review body, when the Treasury effectively gave the body the limit, is disingenuous.

We know it's all Labour's fault because Zahawi said so.

twitter.com/nadhimzahawi/status/1603716768165376000

The government seems to me to be acting provocatively, which might make sense in their twisted world if they think they can succeed in conflating the unions with Labour. It would be a neat trick to blame Labour for their mess when they have been in charge for over 12 years.
 Strikes - Terry
Wes Streeting was honest enough to concede that 19% pay rise is not affordable right now.

Generally the Labour approach has been to avoid "eye contact" - they don't want to suggest pay claims are unaffordable, Sir Kier would prefer MPs don't stand on picket lines, they don't want to be associated with profligacy, they don't want to offend their traditional supporters.

Integrity seems subordinate to their understandable desire to maintain support through to the next election. The Corbyn "sit on hands" strategy whilst Brexit was in the balance continues.

The Pay Review body report exec summary (whole report is 150+ pages) - the pay level is not a given from government, although total NHS spend is. The PRB is specifically asked to balance affordability, retention, recruitment, fairness - inevitably the outcome is a compromise.

The NHS has increased funding compared to pre-pandemic, yet fails to meet expectations. We need to understand the reasons why - I suspect it is not down to medical staff who from personal experience do a very decent and sometimes difficult job:

- clinically qualified staff are 47.5% of total NHS staffing - rest are support - what do they do
- pandemic fallout - many have left the profession due to stress, decided to retire early
- Brexit and difficulty in recruiting and keeping overseas staffing
- continuing failure to integrate NHS and social care
- a lack of GP and practice nurses simply pushes demand into A&E - it is not an economy

Many of these problems and their solution are down to senior NHS management. A simple example - a substantial premium is paid for agency staff. Why can't the NHS set up its own "agency" using their dominant position to provide a better solution - not just pay, but (perhaps) holidays, training to maintain/improve skills, creche, uniforms, pension etc etc.
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> - clinically qualified staff are 47.5% of total NHS staffing - rest are support -
>> what do they do

What does clinically qualified mean?
Last edited by: Bromptonaut on Tue 20 Dec 22 at 17:30
 Strikes - sooty123
I'm guessing they have a role/job title as allied health care professional. I think that's the wording the nhs use to describe someone who treats patients, i guess it's a very broad description though.
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> I'm guessing they have a role/job title as allied health care professional. I think that's
>> the wording the nhs use to describe someone who treats patients, i guess it's a
>> very broad description though.

I wondered if it was Doctors and Nurses. Does it include Health Care Assistants who do a lot of things on the ward like 'observations'?

What about those taking blood and looking after the donors?
 Strikes - sooty123
Not entirely sure where the line is between clinical and admin. No doubt a list somewhere on the NHS site.
 Strikes - Zero
>> I wondered if it was Doctors and Nurses. Does it include Health Care Assistants
>> who do a lot of things on the ward like 'observations'?
>>
>> What about those taking blood and looking after the donors?

HCA's are not in the RCN, Phlebotomists, and radiologists are not in the RCN, many imported nurses (my trust has a lot of Pilipino Nurses) are not in the RCN.

"clinical" generally means those who can prescribe and/or administer drugs, or use needles or other invasive (like tubes) equipment.
Last edited by: Zero on Tue 20 Dec 22 at 20:21
 Strikes - Kevin
>.. administer drugs, or use needles ..

Most of the inmates clientele of our local Spoons can do that.
 Strikes - Zero
>> >.. administer drugs, or use needles ..
>>
>> Most of the inmates clientele of our local Spoons can do that.

Sorry, I forgot to add "safely"
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> HCA's are not in the RCN, Phlebotomists, and radiologists are not in the RCN, many
>> imported nurses (my trust has a lot of Pilipino Nurses) are not in the RCN.
>>
>> "clinical" generally means those who can prescribe and/or administer drugs, or use needles or other
>> invasive (like tubes) equipment.

Wasn't questioning who was/was not in the RCN. I was trying to get into what Terry meant about approx 50% of NHS being clinical with (I think) the inference that non-clinical were all/mostly deadweight.
 Strikes - smokie
Yes I think that was a misguided comment from Terry. My understanding is that although it includes "administrators" and "managers", it also includes healthcare assistants, porters, cleaners maintenance, purchasing, HR, estates etc etc - all the staff needed to keep a hospital (or whatever) running.

Though in the past they have used contractors for some IT work - I knew quite a few who were essentially kept busy by the NHS - but that's not unusual in project work, where projects have a finite lifespan and therefore don't justify a full time head.

 Strikes - Zero
>> Yes I think that was a misguided comment from Terry. My understanding is that although
>> it includes "administrators" and "managers", it also includes healthcare assistants, porters, cleaners maintenance, purchasing, HR,

There are a gazillion roles that are not clinical, as per my definition above, but are direct patient care, like physios, dieticians, physiologists, yes even porters. That the NHS has an overinflated and unconnected admin and support system is a given, that much of the process can be improved is a given, a direct consequence of a very large and complicated service that has and is constantly evolving. At 5he end of the day, most of the cost is direct patient care.
 Strikes - Manatee
>> The Corbyn "sit on hands" strategy whilst Brexit was in the balance continues.

TBH I have felt frustrated that Starmer has explicitly ruled out standing not only on rejoin, but also on the single market, freedom or movement and the customs union. Howsomever...

Starmer has little to gain at this stage from punting these options. Labour members generally are in favour of remain/rejoin, Labour voters not so much - and the Red Wall might still resent it. It would also provide a wedge for Farage and every other Brexit nutter including the ones in the Tory party to drive between Labour and its voters.

More importantly, none of those things could happen in a hurry anyway, so there is no point fighting hard on that front. The reality is that none of those things, especially rejoin, can happen quickly or easily. For a start we have 2 years of stupidity and who knows what before the next election, but also we will not, as an absolute certainty, be able to rejoin on the terms we had previously.

What Labour can do is to align much more closely. Starmer hasn't expressed it in those terms, but the promise to "make things work much more smoothly by agreeing new protocols with the EU in a spirit of cooperation" (I paraphrase) to me almost certainly means a much greater level of alignment.

That's pretty much what we'd have to do to propose rejoining anyway I suspect.
Last edited by: Manatee on Tue 20 Dec 22 at 19:52
 Strikes - Terry
Agree wholly with your view on Brexit - re-joining is not a realistic option.

But it is in both party's interests to improve relationship with EU to overcome the constraints that accompanied Brexit.
 Strikes - Zero
Rejoining is a realistic proposition, but not for at least 25 years, not till the ill informed generation that caused it have gone and the European scars we caused have healed.
Last edited by: Zero on Wed 21 Dec 22 at 07:46
 Strikes - smokie
I think a re-run of the ballot might now produce a different result, although my only mate who voted for is even more entrenched that it was the right thing to do and any pain has been/will be worth it. One of my daughters also voted for but she has since freely admitted she really had no idea what she was voting for. So based on that massive poll I feel the more informed will probably stick with their original vote but there would be a sizeable number who may well change their vote to remain.

Though I suppose that's for a different thread, if we want to discuss it at all... :-)
 Strikes - Terry
Most folk are reluctant to acknowledge they made a mistake (whatever the issue) and will continue to blame the pandemic for the failure of Brexit.

The story is changing a little from freedom and opportunity now, to a long term strategy whose benefits may take a decade to emerge.

As no "success criteria" (growth, employment, balance of payments, tax, etc etc) were ever established for the Brexit "project" we will never know whether it was a good deal.

The best that can now be done is to negotiate to improve the mess that has been made - but agreements will only happen if (a) the benefits are mutual, and (b) the Tory right wingers who promoted this shambles are a distant memory.
 Strikes - CGNorwich
We should align our economic strategy and form a trading area with those countries that are not members, candidates for joining the EU or potential candidates.

That would include the economic powerhouses of Kosovo, Belarus, Andorra, Moldova, North Macedonia and Vatican City.

At least we would have God on our side
 Strikes - Bobby
>> (b) the Tory right wingers who promoted this shambles are a distant memory.

Considering that it is them that is now running the Tory Party, and they are still in fear of what Farage etc will do, I don’t think there is any chance of this happening anytime soon.
 Strikes - Manatee
>> Most folk are reluctant to acknowledge they made a mistake (whatever the issue) and will
>> continue to blame the pandemic for the failure of Brexit.

But a significant number of leavers have changed their minds, almost certainly meaning a minority now think it was a good idea.

>>
>> The story is changing a little from freedom and opportunity now, to a long term
>> strategy whose benefits may take a decade to emerge.

Well it had to - no benefits have been realised apart from the blue passport, which is less useful than the maroon one.

>>
>> As no "success criteria" (growth, employment, balance of payments, tax, etc etc) were ever established
>> for the Brexit "project" we will never know whether it was a good deal.

I think we know the deal is rotten.

>>
>> The best that can now be done is to negotiate to improve the mess that
>> has been made - but agreements will only happen if (a) the benefits are mutual,
>> and (b) the Tory right wingers who promoted this shambles are a distant memory.

The trouble is that negotiations to date have all been in the wrong direction so it's more scrapping than improving. Unless we want to continue the experiment, the best option is probably alignment which is where Starmer fans think/hope he is is heading, notwithstanding the staunch rejection of rejoining. The Tory nutters will froth at the mouth. Were the Conservatives to win the next election without any change in the party they would definitely turn a crisis into a total disaster. I look at Argentina with 90% inflation and see what these barrel scrapings are potentially capable of.
 Strikes - Terry
Trying to re-join would mean another 3-5 years of negotiation to wind up with a worse deal than we had 3 years ago.

Tories won't go for this for a couple of decades - loss of face, acknowledgement they got it wrong etc. By then Farage will be in a care home, other grandees will have retired to their manor houses, and a new younger cadre emerged.

Labour won't either - presenting the public with a deal that is demonstrably worse than we had pre-Brexit would be seen as a cave in and election loser.

Alignment and agreement is probably the right approach. In 10+ years the EU will evolve, the political leaders in the UK and EU change, memories will UK fade - perhaps making membership a politically viable option.
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> Labour won't either - presenting the public with a deal that is demonstrably worse than
>> we had pre-Brexit would be seen as a cave in and election loser.

I've said this before but Labour's position is driven by electoral calculus. Assuming the country as a whole now recognises that leaving was a mistake that still leavers swathes of the country, including the 'Red Wall', where if there were a referendum tomorrow leave would still win.

Given that Labour need to win those seats back anything that allows the Tories to portray Labour as backtracking risks leaving the Lee Andersons and Jonathan Gullis' of this world back in Westminster in 2024.
 Strikes - Manatee
>>Given that Labour need to win those seats back anything that allows the Tories to portray Labour as backtracking risks leaving the Lee Andersons and Jonathan Gullis' of this world back in Westminster in 2024.

The Tories' only hope is to smear Labour. I honestly suspect they are deliberately fomenting conflict with the public service unions with that in mind. Either that or they are truly, hopelessly incompetent. The evidence is that they are already smearing Labour with the strikes.

All Barclay had to do to keep the nurses at work was to engage in meaningful negotiation. So that strike is on him.

I don't know how so many Conservative sympathisers can be so dim as not to connect directly the desperate state of the country and its corrupt politics with the last 12.5 years of Conservative rule.
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> The Tories' only hope is to smear Labour. I honestly suspect they are deliberately fomenting
>> conflict with the public service unions with that in mind.

They also seem determined to play the 'woke' card in respect of the reform of Gender Recognition Certificates in Scotland.
 Strikes - Zero

>> They also seem determined to play the 'woke' card in respect of the reform of
>> Gender Recognition Certificates in Scotland.

There are many on both sides of the divide who think the Gender reforms in Scotland are ill thought through.
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> There are many on both sides of the divide who think the Gender reforms in
>> Scotland are ill thought through.

That may be true but if there were a bar on ill thought through legislation the courts might be a little less busy.

The section of the Scotland Act allowing Westminster to stop an act of the Scottish Parliament was not intended to be a 'referee' provision.
 Strikes - Zero

>> The section of the Scotland Act allowing Westminster to stop an act of the Scottish
>> Parliament was not intended to be a 'referee' provision.

You sure about that? I suspect that may well have been in the back of a few minds when the act was drawn up. (South of the border anyway)
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> You sure about that? I suspect that may well have been in the back of
>> a few minds when the act was drawn up. (South of the border anyway)

Joshua Rozenberg has given us his thoughts:

rozenberg.substack.com/p/scottish-gender-recognition-who-decides?

It seems that the UK government can delay but that the ultimate authority would be a reference to the Supreme Court.

The Scottish Government has maintained that this has no effect on the Equality Act. However in another part of the legal jungle, around gender representation on public bodies, it's been arguing that a transwoman in possession of a Gender Recognition Certificate is a woman (and a transman with such a certificate is a man). That has been decided by the Outer House of the Court of Session in the Government's favour but will presumably be appealed.
 Strikes - Bobby
Ironically, and just from a snapshot of the vibes I am hearing , this could have a hugely detrimental, possibly fatal blow, to the independence surge that is happening just now.

So many people, so many voices, are unhappy with this legislation being passed , primarily by the SNP/Green coalition albeit there was also support from Liberals and some Labour.

SNP = independence but they are the current govt also responsible for health, police and schools. All that are performing poorly but blame can ultimately be directed to UK govt by the SNP for underfunding of overall budgets.

However this Act was totally self inflicted and lots aren't happy. Especially with the issue that the following scenario could happen.

Man rapes woman. Gets charged and remanded. While on remand he decides to transition. Comes back to court and victim's rapist will need to be referred to as She in court. And then when found guilty will be sent to a woman's prison.
 Strikes - Bobby
But this is fairly digressing from Strikes!
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> Man rapes woman. Gets charged and remanded. While on remand he decides to transition. Comes
>> back to court and victim's rapist will need to be referred to as She in
>> court. And then when found guilty will be sent to a woman's prison.

Is that actually possible?

Would the Registrar General for Scotland be obliged to accept an application in the circumstances outlined?

I am concerned as to the motives of some of the opponents who seem not to accept that anybody can transition and would, given the opportunity, wind back the original 2004 legislation.

The term TERF (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist) is heavily weighted but has some resonance I think.
Last edited by: Bromptonaut on Fri 23 Dec 22 at 17:34
 Strikes - Manatee
Am I the only only who struggles even to have an opinion on gender self-identification?

In general I don't mind what people who if they don't do any harm, they can self-identify as a turnip if they want. But I can see that an erstwhile male who is a sexual predator/pervert fraudulently self-identifying as a woman, better to pester/assault people, is a concern - I wouldn't have imagined that anyone would actually do this, but apparently it happens.

It does look as if the SNP has opened a can of worms with this and I wonder at their motivation - is it to do with trans rights or sticking it to Westminster?
 Strikes - Zero
>>
>> It does look as if the SNP has opened a can of worms with this
>> and I wonder at their motivation - is it to do with trans rights or
>> sticking it to Westminster?

if the tories were bright and astute (they aint - thankfully I guess ) they would ask the SNP to call an independence referendum round about now.
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> But I can see that an erstwhile
>> male who is a sexual predator/pervert fraudulently self-identifying as a woman, better to pester/assault people,
>> is a concern - I wouldn't have imagined that anyone would actually do this, but
>> apparently it happens.

It could happen now. In order to get a Gender Recognition Certificate under the current legislation you have to live in your adopted gender for an extended period of time (2 years?).

The question is how should the law deal with the tiny minority who actually are predators playing the system.


>> It does look as if the SNP has opened a can of worms with this
>> and I wonder at their motivation - is it to do with trans rights or
>> sticking it to Westminster?

I suspect it's a genuine trans rights thing. The current process is pitched far too much into the medico-legal arena. Even the Conservatives advocated reform until the Johnson era.
 Strikes - Zero

>> I am concerned as to the motives of some of the opponents who seem not
>> to accept that anybody can transition

Why, most of the population (especially women) would probably agree that a valid physical or physiological condition would need to be confirmed before a legal transition can occur. It shouldn't be a lifestyle choice or a whim. In other words 3 months in a skirt dont cut it.
 Strikes - tyrednemotional
>>
>> It shouldn't>> be a lifestyle choice or a whim. In other words 3 months in a skirt
>> dont cut it.
>>

...otherwise, a good number of Scotsmen would be in a bit of a quandary...
 Strikes - Zero
One has had doubts about them, long before the gender identity issue arose
 Strikes - Robin O'Reliant
>>
>> >>
>>
>> Why, most of the population (especially women) would probably agree that a valid physical or
>> physiological condition would need to be confirmed before a legal transition can occur. It shouldn't
>> be a lifestyle choice or a whim. In other words 3 months in a skirt
>> dont cut it.
>>

If you have a penis you're a man, if you have a vagina you're a woman.

You can call yourself what you like, but the above still holds true.
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> If you have a penis you're a man, if you have a vagina you're a
>> woman.
>>
>> You can call yourself what you like, but the above still holds true.

If only it were that simple.
 Strikes - Zero

>> If only it were that simple.

As Tracey Emin will now attest.....
Last edited by: VxFan on Sat 24 Dec 22 at 21:25
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> As Tracey Emin will now attest.....

Professor Hannah Fry's account of her cancer journey has a similar message.

As do those of some male cancer patients.

Working with Macmillan is an eye opener...
Last edited by: Bromptonaut on Fri 23 Dec 22 at 20:43
 Strikes - Zero

>> Working with Macmillan is an eye opener...

I know, done some.
 Strikes - Kevin
>Is that actually possible?

The Bill was railroaded through deliberately without an amendment which would have stopped the changes applying to sex-offenders.
 Strikes - Zero
>> >> The Tories' only hope is to smear Labour. I honestly suspect they are deliberately
>> fomenting
>> >> conflict with the public service unions with that in mind.

And there in a nutshell is what is wrong with British politics, and the citizens rights to get a progressive sensible governance.

Both sides seem to think the way forward is to smear or slag off the other side, rather than rely on the strength and common sense of the offered manifesto.

Politicians? you wouldn't invent them.
 Strikes - smokie
How did we end up here, in this thread about strikes?

Anyway...

metro.co.uk/2022/12/23/protester-reveals-fake-vagina-after-scotland-passes-gender-reform-bill-17987816/
 Strikes - Manatee
I am very sorry to have given offence if anyone feels offended.

There. A nice Conservative apology:)
 Strikes - Bobby
100% agreed Manatee
 Strikes - sooty123

>> I don't know how so many Conservative sympathisers can be so dim

I'm sure they think highly of you.
 Strikes - Kevin
>The Tories' only hope is to smear Labour.

Labour don't seem to be doing a bad job of that on their own at the moment.
 Strikes - Manatee
The conversion from alignment to membership will have to provide the benefits rationale at the time.
 Strikes - Terry
The PM is right not to get involved in pay negotiations now.

There is no where further to go if agreement cannot be reached. If he makes an appearance it will be when the deal is almost done - one final minor concession to allow the strikers to claim victory, and the PM to be the deal maker. Basic tactics irrespective of political allegiance.

------------

Even if all public sector workers got 20% increases and joyfully went back to work, it would make no difference to service delivery for up to a decade. Improvement needs additional trained staff, investment, changes to processes and reorganisation.

Be very clear what problem you are trying to solve - service quality or (rational) pay demands.

------------

Increases in public spending need to be funded either through increased taxes or cutting other services. Liz and Kwasi tried fiscal stupidity and were rightly removed.

There is a balance to be struck between increasing taxes, impacts on consumer spending, unemployment, growth, and properly rewarding those in the public sector. It is a judgement call - but focussing on one element to the exclusion of the rest is a denial of reality.
 Strikes - Zero
>> The PM is right not to get involved in pay negotiations now.

Not really, it could be said he is their employer.
 Strikes - Terry
An interesting recent article from the Guardian. Spain, Italy, Germany, France and others have problems with waiting times, service delivery, pay, strikes, pandemic fallout etc just like the UK.

www.theguardian.com/society/2022/dec/14/a-ticking-time-bomb-healthcare-under-threat-across-western-europe

Even the relatively better funded Germany has problems, and in high tax, social spending France things may even be worse. Most of western Europe seems to have precisely the same problems and challenges that beset the UK. This does not make the UK problems "ok" - but puts them into context.
 Strikes - Zero
They all suffer from the same problems. The family core to care for the elderly in a family home no longer exists. People are living longer, people with high maintenance medical issues are living longer. Its social and generational across most of the modern world.
 Strikes - sooty123
12ft.io/proxy?q=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.telegraph.co.uk%2Fnews%2F2022%2F12%2F23%2Fairports-running-better-usual-embarrassing-blow-border-force%2F

Seems to have had little impact on the first day.
 Strikes - CGNorwich
Looks like the Government may have effectively called their bluff. Good.
 Strikes - Zero
TBH, I am not surprised.
 Strikes - CGNorwich
No , nor me.
 Strikes - Kevin
Expect the "They're not doing checks properly", "It's a danger to national security", "They could be letting terrorists in" from the Unions and sympathisers.
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
It's been suggested elsewhere that Border Force staff, or at least some of them, have a culture of aggressive and often unnecessary challenge similar to their US cousins and that is one cause of extended handling times at the barrier.
 Strikes - CGNorwich
They certainly appear to work at a glacial pace and seem to often be a hindrance to a smooth flow of passengers.
 Strikes - sooty123
>> They certainly appear to work at a glacial pace and seem to often be a
>> hindrance to a smooth flow of passengers.
>>

For travel i can't say i use border force 'posts', but those that do alot say the same thing. Painfully slow at times i believe.
 Strikes - smokie
For those Twitterati who like Pam Ayers...

twitter.com/PamAyres/status/1605210233705570306/photo/1
 Strikes - Runfer D'Hills
>> It's been suggested elsewhere that Border Force staff, or at least some of them, have
>> a culture of aggressive and often unnecessary challenge similar to their US cousins and that
>> is one cause of extended handling times at the barrier.

NS Sherlock?

;-)
 Strikes - sherlock47
I think I can sympathise with that view!
 Strikes - Crankcase
I put an explanation of the delays at the modern airport on my Flickr page.

www.flickr.com/photos/192886434@N08/52560906737
 Strikes - Zero
>> It's been suggested elsewhere that Border Force staff, or at least some of them, have
>> a culture of aggressive and often unnecessary challenge similar to their US cousins

I think that is a taught technique designed to fluster and catch out those under suspicion.

>>and that
>> is one cause of extended handling times at the barrier.

You know, they even designed the EGates to be just as slow and difficult as the officers.
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
Military have no power to detain crims as long as they have the right papers:

www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/dec/24/uk-border-force-strike-armed-forces-cannot-detain-people-emails-reveal
 Strikes - sooty123
Doesn't really say if it's affected much, the 400 from other departments may well be doing the detaining and investigation.
 Strikes - Fursty Ferret
>> >> It's been suggested elsewhere that Border Force staff, or at least some of them,
>> have
>> >> a culture of aggressive and often unnecessary challenge similar to their US cousins
>>
>> I think that is a taught technique designed to fluster and catch out those under
>> suspicion.
>>

No, in my opinion you need to have that personality trait when you apply for the job. Having said that I've never come across a Border Force officer who's even close to being on a par with the level of aggression doled out by a US Border and Customs guy.

The only thing I've learnt from them is how to use the word "Sir" in the most condescending and offensive way possible, which is to be fair a practical skill.
 Strikes - sooty123
www.itv.com/news/2022-11-23/when-are-all-the-strikes-set-to-be-held-across-the-country

Upto date list of strikes.
 Strikes - Kevin
Last night Olga Skabeeva, the presenter of a Russian political talk show called 60 Minutes, revealed an alarming statistic about the rail strikes.

Apparently every brothel in Britain has lost between £30,000 and £70,000 so far this January because punters can't travel.

They don't tell you that in The Mirror do they?
 Strikes - smokie
SWMBO related that story to me on Wed. It's been reported that a Ukrainian official responded with

‘She knows a thing or two about prostitution and prices’

which made me chuckle
 Strikes - sooty123
Now firefighters

news.sky.com/story/firefighters-to-strike-for-first-time-since-2003-after-real-terms-earnings-drop-by-12-12799004
 Strikes - zippy
Miss Z'b current beau is a teacher and is going on strike this week I think and the BMA are voting re industrial action.
 Strikes - henry k
www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-64456279

MPs have backed plans aimed at enforcing minimum service levels for some sectors during strikes.

Under the bill, some employees, including in the rail industry and emergency services, would be required to work during industrial action - and could be sacked if they refuse.

The bill passed by 315 votes to 246 but will face further scrutiny in the House of Lords before it becomes law.
 Strikes - Rudedog
Yeah right... which MP will stand up and say that they were the ones that sacked a load of nurses for striking?

There currently are no national minimum staffing levels in theatres because they couldn't be enforced and would often be breached... love to see what they come up with.

Last edited by: Rudedog on Tue 31 Jan 23 at 21:08
 Strikes - CGNorwich
"and could be sacked if they refuse."

They could without any new legislation. Going on strike almost certainly amounts to breach of your contract of employment and can result in dismissal.
 Strikes - Lygonos
Stick rather than carrot approach is going to sort the problem of massively under-recruited nursing and medical posts out.

Not.
 Strikes - CGNorwich
Unfortunately we don’t have enough carrots.
 Strikes - Lygonos
We use carrots inefficiently - paying 2 carrots to an agency to provide 1 carrot of work where a carrot is missing.
 Strikes - Terry
Why doesn't the NHS run its own "agencies".

When staff are required priority would be given to those registered with NHS agency.

NHS agency may also be able to provide benefits that other agencies don't - on-going training, pension contributions, creche facilities, flexible working hours, paid holidays etc.

It would avoid paying extortionate amounts for agency fees, overheads and profit. Would not completely eliminate the private sector but go some way to trim them back. May even encourage some staff who have left the NHS to come back with flexible working arrangements.
 Strikes - sooty123
>> Why doesn't the NHS run its own "agencies".
>>
>>

I believe some trusts do already.
 Strikes - tyrednemotional
>> Unfortunately we don’t have enough carrots.
>>

...we have plenty of carrots; unfortunately a small proportion of the population have cornered the market and are sitting on an over-abundance of them, some even off-shoring them to avoid the carrot duty.
 Strikes - Zero
some even off-shoring them to avoid
>> the carrot duty.

Time to jump on the crypto stick bandwagon then.
 Strikes - Bromptonaut
>> They could without any new legislation. Going on strike almost certainly amounts to breach of
>> your contract of employment and can result in dismissal.

There are some protections against dismissal where there is properly organised industrial action:

www.gov.uk/industrial-action-strikes/your-employment-rights-during-industrial-action
 Strikes - CGNorwich
Yes indeed and I suspect the new legislation will see to withdraw that protection from dismissal for essential services unless a degree of emergency cover is provided, a provision that surely should have been included in the original legislation.
 Strikes - Lygonos
Emergency cover is provided - stop reading the Daily Heil.
 Strikes - CGNorwich
From the Guardian

“Hundreds of troops could return to Northern Ireland as cover for striking firefighters, the Guardian can disclose.

The head of the region’s fire service has said the army will be formally requested to provide cover unless unions agree to do so for “high risk calls”. The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has refused to do so without an increased pay offer.”
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