Day of action: Workers rally outside County Hall, Trowbridge

Day of action: Workers rally outside County Hall, Trowbridge

Strikers rally at County Hall, Trowbridge, today. Picture by Trevor Porter

Jennifer Allen and Sue Anderson, of Unison's Wiltshire branch, at County Hall

Firefighters Hamish Daya and Jon Salisbury at County Hall, Trowbridge

Michael Smith, of Unison, at County Hall

First published in News by , Senior reporter for Trowbridge

Striking public sector workers came together for a rally outside County Hall in Trowbridge today, as services across Wiltshire were disrupted by the day of strike action.

Teachers, firefighters and council workers from across Wiltshire joined the picket line to protest over pay, conditions and pensions, with a rally organised by Unison attended by around 70 public sector workers.

Unison said local government workers have not had a pay rise in three years. The Government this year offered them a one per cent rise, but the offer was refused.

Gavin Brooks, regional organiser for Unison South West, said: “A lot of our members are struggling financially and we are hoping that through strike action we can achieve the pay their commitment deserves.

“It’s always a last resort for us and for a lot of our members it is never an easy decision, as they lose pay for the day, but that just shows how strongly they feel about the current situation.

The National Union of Teachers was among those striking over pay and workloads, with primary and secondary schools across the county experiencing disruption.

Teachers at Bradford on Avon’s St Laurence School joined other public sector workers on the day of strike action, with the school closed to Year 9 and 10.

Wiltshire secretary of the NUT Mike Harrison said: “There are a number of reasons our members are striking, including pay, pensions and workloads, but the Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove has refused to meet with us and discuss our concerns.”

Wiltshire Council estimated that up to 3,000 homes went without bin collections yesterday, as refuse workers joined the day of mess strike action.

Libraries and schools were also been closed as staff took to the picket line, while firefighters joined the walkout over a long-running dispute over pensions.

Guy Tadman, watch manager at Trowbridge Fire Station, said: “This dispute has gone on for three years now. No one wants to strike, but we have to do what we can to safeguard the future of the profession.”

Comments (8)

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1:46pm Thu 10 Jul 14

vox sanitatem says...

"Unison said local government workers have not had a pay rise in three years. The Government this year offered them a one per cent rise, but the offer was refused."

So what! I work in manufacturing and haven't had one for 3 years either, any increase these workers get comes from only one place, us getting screwed with higher council taxes!
"Unison said local government workers have not had a pay rise in three years. The Government this year offered them a one per cent rise, but the offer was refused." So what! I work in manufacturing and haven't had one for 3 years either, any increase these workers get comes from only one place, us getting screwed with higher council taxes! vox sanitatem
  • Score: 26

4:51pm Thu 10 Jul 14

mighty mac says...

those poor teachers must be a hard life when you only get 12 weeks holiday a year!!!!
those poor teachers must be a hard life when you only get 12 weeks holiday a year!!!! mighty mac
  • Score: 19

5:13pm Thu 10 Jul 14

the optimist says...

I have every sympathy for any worker on under £8 per hour regardless of whether they work in the public or private sector.

As I see it the problem, in the public sector, is the way they add on service increments and final salary pensions. That means there are people out there who are B useless at doing their job but because they are lucky enough to have a union to protect them from being sacked they just carry on earning ridicules sums of money at the expense of younger more able staff and then they will retire on what is technically unearned money.

If the above schemes can be stopped then all those low paid workers could instantly get a pay rise without adding anything to the pot.

There are a lot of employees out in the real world who have to undergo periodic retraining and assessments to keep their job's. This is done at their own expense. If they fail then its bye-bye until they can demonstrate an improvement in their ability.
I have every sympathy for any worker on under £8 per hour regardless of whether they work in the public or private sector. As I see it the problem, in the public sector, is the way they add on service increments and final salary pensions. That means there are people out there who are B useless at doing their job but because they are lucky enough to have a union to protect them from being sacked they just carry on earning ridicules sums of money at the expense of younger more able staff and then they will retire on what is technically unearned money. If the above schemes can be stopped then all those low paid workers could instantly get a pay rise without adding anything to the pot. There are a lot of employees out in the real world who have to undergo periodic retraining and assessments to keep their job's. This is done at their own expense. If they fail then its bye-bye until they can demonstrate an improvement in their ability. the optimist
  • Score: 3

10:21pm Thu 10 Jul 14

Ruby Flicker says...

I assure you that public sector jobs are no longer secure - there have been hundreds of redundancies in the last few years. Someone has to protest about the harsh cuts being inflicted on public services - these are already affecting the most vulnerable in society. Money was available for an increase in Directors' salaries and Councillors' allowances - funny how it can't be found for those lower down the scale!
I assure you that public sector jobs are no longer secure - there have been hundreds of redundancies in the last few years. Someone has to protest about the harsh cuts being inflicted on public services - these are already affecting the most vulnerable in society. Money was available for an increase in Directors' salaries and Councillors' allowances - funny how it can't be found for those lower down the scale! Ruby Flicker
  • Score: 8

12:37am Fri 11 Jul 14

beetawix says...

mighty mac wrote:
those poor teachers must be a hard life when you only get 12 weeks holiday a year!!!!
There is always someone who comes up with this idiotic idea.
Teachers are not present at school for 12 weeks but it is not all holiday.
There is plenty to be done as indeed there is on many evenings and weekends during the other 40 vweeks that they are at school
[quote][p][bold]mighty mac[/bold] wrote: those poor teachers must be a hard life when you only get 12 weeks holiday a year!!!![/p][/quote]There is always someone who comes up with this idiotic idea. Teachers are not present at school for 12 weeks but it is not all holiday. There is plenty to be done as indeed there is on many evenings and weekends during the other 40 vweeks that they are at school beetawix
  • Score: -6

1:08pm Fri 11 Jul 14

Trowbridge Tracey says...

So if they want a bigger than 1% pay increase, where do they think the money is going to come from?! The cuts will be made in other places to fund the increase. My partner works in Retail and has not had a salary increase in 5 years - its been tough times! They should be grateful they were being offered something. Maybe they should try the private sector for a reality check!
So if they want a bigger than 1% pay increase, where do they think the money is going to come from?! The cuts will be made in other places to fund the increase. My partner works in Retail and has not had a salary increase in 5 years - its been tough times! They should be grateful they were being offered something. Maybe they should try the private sector for a reality check! Trowbridge Tracey
  • Score: 17

5:05pm Sun 13 Jul 14

Elboo1992 says...

I am dismayed by the Private v Public/us v them attitude of some commentators. The fat cats have obviously succeeded in their cynical divide & rule policy. All low waged workers should all be uniting against the plutocracy we seem to be living in.
The truth of the matter is that Teachers are currently doing around 60-70hour weeks and other public sector workers are taking on extra responsibilities as their departments are systematically culled by cuts. Frontline local government staff offer an exemplary service in the face of public anger and frustration. Come on, guys, let's stick together!
I am dismayed by the Private v Public/us v them attitude of some commentators. The fat cats have obviously succeeded in their cynical divide & rule policy. All low waged workers should all be uniting against the plutocracy we seem to be living in. The truth of the matter is that Teachers are currently doing around 60-70hour weeks and other public sector workers are taking on extra responsibilities as their departments are systematically culled by cuts. Frontline local government staff offer an exemplary service in the face of public anger and frustration. Come on, guys, let's stick together! Elboo1992
  • Score: 2

12:48pm Tue 15 Jul 14

Trowbridge Tracey says...

Elboo1992 wrote:
I am dismayed by the Private v Public/us v them attitude of some commentators. The fat cats have obviously succeeded in their cynical divide & rule policy. All low waged workers should all be uniting against the plutocracy we seem to be living in.
The truth of the matter is that Teachers are currently doing around 60-70hour weeks and other public sector workers are taking on extra responsibilities as their departments are systematically culled by cuts. Frontline local government staff offer an exemplary service in the face of public anger and frustration. Come on, guys, let's stick together!
Sadly the truth is that many of the public services have been run inefficiently over a very long period of time. Now they have to make changes to rectify that. Sadly that means it will effect many people. There are so many people that go far and beyond what they are paid to do whether in the public or private sector. Maybe they should spend a lot less money on meaningless surveys, failed computer system changes etc. If it were shareholders' money they were spending they certainly would not be allowed to make the poor judgements that have been made. Mistakes cost and sadly it is the people at the ground level that normally end up paying.
[quote][p][bold]Elboo1992[/bold] wrote: I am dismayed by the Private v Public/us v them attitude of some commentators. The fat cats have obviously succeeded in their cynical divide & rule policy. All low waged workers should all be uniting against the plutocracy we seem to be living in. The truth of the matter is that Teachers are currently doing around 60-70hour weeks and other public sector workers are taking on extra responsibilities as their departments are systematically culled by cuts. Frontline local government staff offer an exemplary service in the face of public anger and frustration. Come on, guys, let's stick together![/p][/quote]Sadly the truth is that many of the public services have been run inefficiently over a very long period of time. Now they have to make changes to rectify that. Sadly that means it will effect many people. There are so many people that go far and beyond what they are paid to do whether in the public or private sector. Maybe they should spend a lot less money on meaningless surveys, failed computer system changes etc. If it were shareholders' money they were spending they certainly would not be allowed to make the poor judgements that have been made. Mistakes cost and sadly it is the people at the ground level that normally end up paying. Trowbridge Tracey
  • Score: -1

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