Tag Archives: 30th Nov

30th November Photos – Demo & Rally

On Wednesday 30th November, 15,000 people assembled in Birmingham and marched through the city centre to the NIA. The council tried to stop it, by asking for £10,000 to march, but the unions and the people refused to pay, and marched anyway.
The demonstration, against changes to pensions which will see public sector workers work longer and pay more to get less in order to fund the deficit, against the cuts which the pension changes form part of, and for the alternative to the austerity economics of this coalition government.
We have already had a report from Stirchley and Cotteridge Against the Cuts, and some pictures from pickets around Birmingham. This post has photos of 30th November demonstration and rally. We still want more photos, especially of picket lines and any unions’ that we have missed at the demo.
Email them to BirminghamAgainstTheCuts@gmail.com







On the March

More Unions









Even More Unions!

People & Placards

The Rally

With thanks to our contributors:
Geoff Dexter
Liz Jolly Sherborne
Becca Kirkpatrick
Vez Kirkpatrick
Christopher Smith from West Midlands Pensioners Convention
Fiona Raychell


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30th November Photos – Pickets

30th November saw 2,000,000 on strike, with 15,000 marching in Birmingham
From 4am, pickets formed outside workplaces around Birmingham, and here are pictures of a few of them – if you have pictures of your line and want to add one here, email it to us at BirminghamAgainstTheCuts@Gmail.com

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Stirchley and Cotteridge Against the Cuts N30 Report

Stirchley and Cotteridge against the Cuts did a tour of the main picket lines in our area this morning; Lifford Refuse Depot, Lifford House, The Blood Service and the Cotteridge Church Centre, before joing the main march in town. At each location, there was a constant honking of horns to show support. There was barely any negativity from passers-by. There was a good, confident and determined mood on the picket lines. We got the feeling that although the government is not crumbling just yet, our side is beginning to get its act together. The ConDems had better watch out.
We will continue trying to unite workplace/union struggles with local public service and community issues; unity of service providers and consumers in struggle is the best way to end divisions fostered by the government, and is also the best way to win. Our current focus is ensuring that Charles House stays open, but when any further union action comes up in future, we will be there as well.


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Latest ConDem Dirty Trick for N30

The latest trick to attack the pension strike has been pulled by Birmingham City Council who yesterday told the TUC they would charge £10,000 for the march through Birmingham City Centre.
The march for the Lib Dem conference just 6 weeks ago cost a few hundred pounds.

We cannot let them stop us from marching, it is our democratic right to do so, and this sneaky ploy should be seen for what it is – fear. Fear of the public sector rising up against this government, fear of the amount of support the strike has got from the general public, fear that the movement against austerity only grows stronger and stronger.

They do not want to see tens of thousands marching through our streets against this government. We have to make sure that is what they see now. Spread the word – the march is still on, 11:30, Lionel Street Car Park.

The unions have also said they will march in defiance of the council’s demands.

And we now have a new chant for tomorrow:

10K? No Way! We will march, We won’t Pay!


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Tomorrow: All Out! Strike for Pensions Justice!

Tomorrow is set to be a historic day, with one of the largest strikes in the history of the UK, as millions of public sector workers strike to defend their pensions, rejecting an offer by the government which would see them pay more, work longer and get less in order to pay off the deficit.

Almost every public sector union is taking part in this co-ordinated action, and there are plenty of things happening in Birmingham. This strike is not just about pensions, it is also about cuts, and defending the whole idea of a public sector providing services on the basis of need.

From 4am there will be pickets at refuse collection depots around the city, with other workplace pickets running from 7am. Some confirmations of pickets have been received, and are listed here, but you should expect them at almost every council and government workplace.
Parents should have heard from schools as to whether they will close, but with almost every teaching union, including the NAHT head teachers union, on strike we expect to see all schools closed.

At 9am the first local demo, organised by Stirchley and Cotteridge Against the Cuts, gathers in Cotteridge. It will proceed to join the Selly Oak rally, and then the main TUC demo.

10am sees 4 local rallies around Birmingham:
Selly Oak – at the University South Gates, by the New Bristol Road (the newly opened bypass)
Handsworth – By Handsworth Library, Soho Road
Erdington – Six Ways
East Birmingham Heartlands Hospital

These rallies will feed to the main TUC march which assembles from 11:30am at Lionel Street Car Park, and should proceed through the city centre. We have had uncomfirmed reports that Birmingham City Council want to charge us £10,000 to walk through our city! We hope that the TUC do not bow to pressure and pay up, and that we march through the city in defiance of this blatant attempt to prevent us expressing our democratic rights.
The march proceeds to a rally at the NIA which beings at 1:30pm – doors to the NIA open at 12:30pm. The rally has many speakers from the union movement:
CHAIR: Lee Barron, CWU Midlands Regional Secretary & Midlands TUC Chair
Brendan Barber, TUC General Secretary
Kevin Courtney, NUT Deputy General Secretary
Janice Godrich, PCS President
Karen Jennings, Unison Assistant General Secretary
Martin Johnson, ATL Deputy General Secretary
Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary
Barry Lovejoy, UCU Head of Further Education
Joe Morgan, GMB West Midlands Regional Secretary
Tony Woodley, UNITE Executive Officer

Tomorrow is set up to be a great day – all it needs now is you!
Remember that you can sign up to a union on the day and still strike, so at work today, or on the picket lines tomorrow, make sure anyone who isn’t unionised knows this, joins up and comes out tomorrow.

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Wednesday’s Strike Is About More Than Pensions and Cuts

On Wednesday, 3,000,000 public sector workers from 30 unions will be on strike, seeing the biggest walkout since the General Strike of 1926.
You can get details of local rallies and the main TUC march here – please let us know if your workplace has a picket and we’ll add it to the list – and take a photo on the day and send it to BirminghamAgainstTheCuts@Gmail.com.

The dispute in the strike is about pensions. But that is not all it is about. Unions cannot legally strike over cuts, it must be a specific dispute with their employer.

The pensions changes are part of the cuts. The Hutton Report (the definitive pensions report) told us that public sector pensions are sustainable. The extra money paid each month, the money saved by making people retire later and get less in their retirement, will not go to the pension funds, they go towards paying off the deficit.

So this strike is about cuts, but it’s also about more than that. A prime motive for making public sector pension schemes worse is to make the public sector organisations more attractive to private companies.
This government is hell-bent on cutting back the public sector, because of an unflexible ideology that states that private sector is always better than public sector, that the private sector generates wealth whilst the public sector consumes it, that it is right that 1% of people have 25% of the wealth, and that 10% of people have 90% of the wealth.
We can see the start of this in the NHS with the reform bill and loss-making Circle Health taking over the running of a hospital.
We can see this in the Higher Education White Paper, which will open Universities up to for-profit companies.
We can see this in Free Schools and Academies- Free Schools are already private organisations, funded publicly. Academies break up the collective system of education, making individual schools an easier prospect for profit seeking companies, as they can cherry pick the most financially viable schools, whilst others (no doubt those in more deprived areas) are left to rot through underfunding.
Outsourcing has been a way of life for much of the rest of the public sector for many years, but this government would happily outsource everything, except perhaps the police and army (although I’m not even sure about that).

That’s why this Wednesday’s strike action is about so much more than pensions. It is about the idea that the public sector, through collective purchasing, nationwide delivery and the lack of a profit motive, can provide some things in a better way, with better outcomes, than the private, profit-seeking sector ever could.
So everyone should be out on Wednesday, public sector, private sector, retired and out of work, to defend the idea of a society which provides services on the basis of need not wealth, through organisations that are for people, not profit.

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Report and Videos from our Public Meeting on 24th November

Last night a succesful meeting was held at the Council House, building for the public sector pension strike on 30th November.

For the first time, we’ve recorded the speakers, so that you can see their whole speech. Unfortunately during James Anthony’s speech, my memory card ran out of space and I had to grab someone else’s phone to finish the recording, so a bit is missing from his. Let us know if you like this, or prefer the older style of report with a few quotes and pictures.

The first speaker was a Venezualan union leader. Egle Sanchez delivered a message of solidarity, speaking about how Chavez’s government is one for the people, and explaining that there had been 40% pay rises for public sector workers this year.

Afterwards, Joe Morgan, the regional secretary for GMB talked about the pensions issue specifically:

Sian Ruddick from PCS spoke about pensions and the strike in the civil service:

After these first speakers, there was some time for people from the floor to speak, and the meeting heard from the Save Charles House campaign, Mary Pearson and Stuart Richardson

Christine Blower, General Secretary for NUT went through the strike in numbers, some interesting facts in here

Sarah Barton, from Hands off Bournville School spoke about the threat to the public education system of academies, and their succesful campaign

Then back to the floor for more speakers, hearing from Graeme Horne, Charles Reagan and Charlie Friel

The penultimate speaker was Paul Mackney, former general secretary of UCU, who talked about the disparity of wealth in the UK, alongside pensions issues.

The final platform speaker was James Anthony, from Queen Elizabeth Hospital Unison branch. Unfortunately, during his speech my memory card filled up, so there is a bit of a gap in his speech.

There was enough time for some final speakers from the floor, and we heard from Bob Whitehead, Geoff Dexter and GMB rep from Connexions (whose name I didn’t catch – please let me know 🙂 )
Again technical issues meant that this got cut in two, and a bit of Geoff’s contribution was lost.

A good meeting, with much information about the public sector strikes, the videos are well worth watching.
Photos from Geoff Dexter

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All Out on 30th November!

Yesterday, UNITE and NAPO (probation officers) declared they had won the vote to strike, and today the last teaching union balloting, NASUWT also declared their result – 82% on a 44% turnout – a clear indication from members that they want to take industrial action over changes to their pension schemes that will see people working longer, paying more and getting less, in order to reduce a deficit created by the bankers.

With NASUWT declared, all the major unions will be on strike, with over 3,000,000 public sector workers out on 30th November, this will be the largest strike since the general strike, and will see large parts of government shut down for the day.
This result also pretty much guarantees that every school will be closed on the day, as all the main unions, incluing the head teachers union NAHT have voted to strike. Parents should be told by their schools shortly whether the school will be open.
To see all the results click on this image:

There are many things happening on the day – if you know your workplace will have a picket, please let us know by commenting on this post or emailing us at BirminghamAgainstTheCuts@Gmail.com so we can list it. If you are on a picket, please take a photo and send it to us at the same email address, it would be great to comprehensively document this strike.

Following picket lines, there are local rallies planned in Cotteridge, Selly Oak/Edgbaston, Handsworth and East Birmingham.
The TUC are planning a March, but details are not finalised. Assembly will likely be from sometime around 11am or 12noon at Lionel Street Car Park, with a march through the city centre to an indoor rally at the NIA.
The doors of the NIA will be open from 12:30, and the rally is expected to start at 1:30.

Full details are available on our Pickets, Rallies and Demonstrations page:

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4 More Unions Vote YES to Strike on 30th November

4 more unions announced positive ballot results for strike action over pensions today – FDA and Prospect, who both represent civil servants, The Chartered Society of Physiotherapists and the Society of Radiographers.

FDA represent senior civil servants, and they voted 81% in favour on a 54% turnout – a huge mandate, and another one that, like the NAHT vote last week, shows how much anger there is at the governments plans to make people work longer, pay more and get less.
Prospect members voted 75% in favour on a 52% turnout. This means that all 3 civil service unions will be on strike on 30th November, as PCS still have a live ballot that saw them strike on the 30th June.

Meanwhile, the Society of Radiographers got a stomping result with 83% of members voting in favour of action on a 58% turnout.
The most resounding result of the day though goes to the Physiotherpaists, with 86% voting yes on a huge 66% turnout.

30th November is shaping up to be a huge day, and you can keep up date with things in Birmingham on our special 30th November pages, including the arguments for the strike, the ballot results and events & pickets happening on the day.
We need your help with this – please let us know if your workplace will have a picket.

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30th November Strike Ballot results rolling in

Over the past few days, more unions have announced a yes vote for strike against changes to pension schemes that will see public sector workers paying more and working longer to get less.

Today, the NAHT, which represents head teachers, announced their ballot result, with 76% voting yes on a 54% turnout. This will be the first strike in the 114 year history of the union, showing how serious the impact of pension changes will be. With NAHT representing heads in many primary and secondary schools, this ballot result ensures that there will be widespread school closures. We would encourage pupils to join teachers on picket lines or at rallies and demonstrations around the country, in order to help link up education struggles against school budget cuts, privatisation, the scrapping of EMA and the attacks on pensions.

Earlier this week, NISPSA (Northern Ireland public servants union) and EIS (Scottish Teachers Union) also announced positive ballot results.

Further results are to be announced over the next two weeks – if you have recieved a ballot paper, we urge you to vote yes and return it as soon as possible.

We are gathering together as much information as possible on our 30th November Strike pages, including a page which lists ballots and results.
We need your help with these pages – please let us know if your workplace will have a picket, tell us why you are striking, or why you support the strikes if you are not a public sector worker.

On 30th November, join the biggest strike since the general strike of 1926, and contribute towards the struggle against austerity.

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