Tuesday 29 Nov 2011
More than two million public sector workers are expected to go on strike on Wednesday in protest at changes to their pensions in the biggest industrial action in Britain for three decades. Thousands of schools will be closed, refuse will remain uncollected and hospitals will have skeleton staffing.
This is an historic week for our union.
From the Shetland Isles to Southampton, nurses, social workers, PCSOs, librarians, dinner ladies, teaching assistants, bin men and paramedics - among many other public sector workers - will be standing shoulder to shoulder and marching, demonstrating, holding rallies, and even painting children’s faces, as millions strike to protect public sector pensions.
And poll after poll shows that our message is getting through to the public, with the latest showing 60% support our day of action.
Our members are not asking for more – they just want the pension benefits they signed up for to stand.
I know there will be many first time strikers - and most people taking action are women, many work in caring roles in our society, so they don’t take action lightly. They don’t want to inconvenience people – this really is the last resort.
We have said to government ministers that we are willing to negotiate anyplace, anytime. But there has been no approach for last minute talks – making strike action a certainty.
So on Wednesday, let's make our voices heard loud and clear, and show ministers that we will not take this pensions tax lying down.