In Birmingham, around 150 Unite, PCS and UCU members went from their picket lines to a small demonstration led by Unite health workers at the QE Hospital, which was followed by an indoor rally, with speakers from the unions involved in Birmingham, and the Midlands TUC.
Videos of the rally are available to watch here
Sian Ruddick, PCS, chair of meeting
Today is important, we’re proving to the government that we haven’t gone away, we are fighting and we will continue to fight them until we win
Lee Baron, Midlands TUC
[CWU members] will have refused to cross the picket lines that so many of your members were on this morning, when we do that, we break the law, we’re not allowed to do it. But we work on a fairly simple principle – that we’d rather break that law than break your picket lines any day of the week
Frank Keogh, Chair of Unite Health Sector
We don’t think this is fair for our health sector workers … to pay more, work longer and get less
It’s about patient services, it’s about making sure we can still recruit and retain the best people in the health sector to deliver patient services to our communities
Kathy Taylor, President Elect UCU
The facts are that our pension scheme is healthy, it’s sustainable. Public sector pension costs are going down. The actual facts are that this government was not carrying out reform, this governments intention is to actually bring the whole public service pension down. Their intention is to rob us of our members money in order to compensate for the financial irresponsiblity and the bankers chaos that we are facing.
Dave Bean, Vice President PCS
It’s also about privatisation. The treasury minister, Danny Alexander, told parliament that he was cutting our pensions to make them substantially more affordable to alternative providers … that is why they are attacking our pensions to make them cheaper for private industry to come and take our jobs off us.
Emma, Disabled People Against Cuts
We’re fighting at the moment against a huge onslaught of cuts against disabled people. By the age of 65, one in two of you will be covered by the disability discrimination act … we’re hoping that by standing with the public service unions and by standing with you in all of this that you’ll come and support us in return next time we are fighting against another swinging cut to our disability living allowance, to our health care, our social care and so on and so forth
I’m bringing solidarity from the National Union of Teachers … your strike today is keeping the struggle against what the tories are doing over pensions and public services in general alive