Bromley public sector pension strike
Public sector workers were picketing from the early hours this morning to fight against proposed changes to their pensions.
Libraries, schools and hospitals were all affected in the mass walk-out.
The dispute is over plans to make workers pay more into pension pots to receive less and work for longer.
At one of the main pickets, at Bromley Civic Centre in Stockwell Close, Unite local government rep Kathy Smith said: “This is all so unnecessary. This is not about us living longer and there not being enough in the pension fund. This is about the government stealing directly from us.”
Scores of members from different unions including Unison and Unite were at the Civic Centre.
Other pickets were held at the Princess Royal Hospital in Farnborough and Orpington College in High Street.
Art technician Sally Tsoukaris, who works at Langley Park School for Girls in Beckenham, said: “It’s really unfair to use people’s pensions as a way of paying for things that have gone wrong in the economy.
“We don’t do these jobs for money. There are many people across England who are cared for by people affected by these charges. Our pensions are not gold-plated at all.”
Bromley Cuts Concern member Arthur Shaw added: “I’m here to support these people who are fighting for their pensions. I am not affected, I work in the private sector but they are trying to put the public and private sectors against each other. It will be us next. Nobody wants a race to the bottom.”
The workers warned there would be more action if the government did not back down.
Mother-of-two and Central Library assistant Joanne Flanagan, 50, said there were no plans to give up the fight.
“This will carry on,” she said. “This isn’t just about out jobs and pensions, it’s about our futures and our children’s futures and we’re prepared to fight until the end for that.