This is going to be an unusually serious post for me but I am extremely angry with the current government and feel the need to fight back on behalf of Civil Servants throughout the country.
Firstly, I feel a little explanation is required for my readers across the waters as they may not understand the fury, worry and very real concerns of Civil Servants here in the UK. I will try and keep it factual.
The deficit in the UK needs to be brought under control and the present government has decided that doing this by reducing the Civil Service numbers will be good idea.
Unfortunately for the government they have found that the cost of reducing civil service numbers by such a vast amount will cost too much in redundancy payments, they have therefore decided to alter long standing terms and conditions in order to reduce these payments. Our colleagues in the union that we belong to have fought long and hard to show that this action is against the law, however this has simply resulted in our current government deciding to change the law accordingly.
For those of you reading this who imagine “Civil Servants” to be members of the bowler hat brigade in the corridors of power let me take this opportunity to advise that civil servants fulfil a number of every day roles within your community most of whom you wouldn’t realise until they are gone!..... Civil servants are sitting beside their military colleagues, running citizens advice bureau's, teaching children, taking away bed pans, cleaning corridors, the Police, the Firemen, Prison Officers, advising the unemployed, the list goes on! I find myself wondering who is going to advise us!
These people are carrying out work for a reasonable wage and have worked under fixed terms and conditions throughout their career, bearing in mind negotiations for a number of years have resulted in a reduction in potential wage increases simply because it was felt that civil servants have such good terms that this should be reflected in the wage expected!.... Now it seems that our employers have no honour and think that they can play with our lives as they see fit!....
Meanwhile, they have also decided that the current pension arrangements are also very generous, so they are in the midst of trying to change these too!
On the subject of pensions they are also putting up the retirement age for women to 66 instead of the current age of 60……so a double whammy if you happen to be a female civil servant.
On a personal level after working for this single employer for several decades I learn that I am to lose 50% of the total benefits I was previously entitled to and contributed towards during my working life. To be presented with this intended action now is bordering on theft!.........
I also have the added problem that had I been able to see into the future, I could at least have made extra provision towards my retirement age. Little did I know that a bunch of Robin Hoods were going to come along and change everything that I have worked towards for a large number of years!
There has been much talk about inflated wages and pensions in the press. How galling this is! Most of my colleagues locally are on a wage WELL below UK average earnings and the corresponding pension could hardly be considered generous. Gold plated ~ in their dreams!
So on behalf of all Civil Servants, who after last week are worried about their jobs, their houses, their future. This post is for you. I would also add that I have written to my MP again and would advise all of you do the same.
Feel free to leave your comments and have your say and I will publish them. If you have arrived here and wish to castigate Civil Servants, I think they are getting enough of that from their own employers, so do feel free to head over to one of the tabloid sites instead. Your comment will not be printed here, not fair? Tell us about it, we know ALL about unfair!....... ;(
Observer article 24 Oct 10 _ Thanks to the cuts, we would all be better off in prison!
Chris Bellinger, a UK artist has put up some interesting considerations on his blog:
Cuts, Cuts & More Cuts - Uncertain Times
Cheries Place is a mine of information on this subject with many articles and some important links for Civil servants including local & National PCS Sites.