Walk outs across Cumbria in protest at regional pay moves
Last updated at 11:49, Saturday, 22 September 2012
A strike by public sector workers over cuts and closures has hit government offices in Workington and Carlisle.
Staff at the closure-threatened DVLA branch at Parkhouse, Carlisle, were out all day yesterday.
They were joined at 2pm by workers at the Rural Payments Agency’s (RPA) sites in Carlisle and Workington, and the Animal Health divisional office at Rosehill, Carlisle.
They were taking part in a national stoppage, involving an estimated 12,000 workers in the Environment and Transport departments, organised by the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union.
Around 440 members of staff at the Rural Payments Agency in Workington joined the protest in the afternoon.
Beth Wagg, branch officer for PCS, said: “We’re staging the walk out today to say no to regional pay because we would be one of the areas worst affected by this and we’re saying no to privatisation.
“We’re also coming to the end of a two-year pay freeze and we haven’t had any pay progression.
“We’ve had a one per cent cap on pay rise, which is nowhere near the cost of living, which has risen dramatically over the last three years.
“All we want is to be able to sit around the table and discuss these issues and for our staff members’ voices to be heard.”
Staff held a strikes in November last year and in June over pension changes.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs declined to comment.
In London, PCS members marched to a rally in Old Palace Yard opposite the Houses of Parliament.
Among the issues under dispute are the Department for Transport’s plans to close all 39 DVLA local offices and almost half of the UK’s coastguard stations including Liverpool, which covers Cumbria.
First published at 10:50, Saturday, 22 September 2012
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
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well m,according to my local mp mr cunningham we are obligedf to send money overseas.
you cant half tell its not their money.
Peille, regional pay would be a disaster. It may start with us, but will then carry on to NHS workers, police, fire service etc. And who do you think will come in at the bottom of the heap in regional rates? Yep, us Cumbrians. Because apparently it costs less to live here so we should be paid less. Yet petrol, food, utilities all cost the same. We don't get cheaper rates just because we live here, and we are more likely to need to drive further. So, we will have less to spend in shops, we will be paying less in tax (because, shock horror, we are also tax payers), will struggle to pay our bills and our mortgages. Can you see where this is going? Yep, people becoming homeless and shops going out of business. Do you really think companies will want to invest in an area where average wages are so low? Or build houses when people can't afford mortgages? Take a look around, the evidence is already there. How many units in the towns are empty? How many houses re boarded up? And then there will be the workers who move away from the area so they can earn decent wages. Doctors, nurses, civil servants, police officers all will want to move away because they will get paid more for the same job elsewhere and we will fail to attract more working people to the area. There is already a north outh divide. If we allow this to happen it won't be a divide, it will be a massive canyon and Northern England will become a ghost region full of unemployed people relying on benefits with no prospects because there is no investment. Oh, and there is the resentment. Would you like to work alongside other people working for the same department, doing the same job but in a different region and get paid thousands less? Try thinking before you spout rubbish. No we don't plant things or 'produce' as you say, but we provide vital services. Who do you think run courts to ensure criminals are prosecuted, issue passports and driving licences, pay subsidy to farmers, pay tax credits and benefits, man our borders, register births and deaths, help people find jobs, and many others. We also pay tax and support the economy by spending our wages. Do you really think we don't work hard? I would love to see you handle my job and everything that goes with it. Would you be able to handle a client threatening suicide and then move on to the next client as though nothing had happened? So you need to get real, not us. We already live in the real world.
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