On 30 November last year I published a long blog about why, after 37 years of working life, I was finally going on strike. I’m not going to rehash that argument here because you can read it for yourself. Clicky.
Suffice to say that today I find myself on strike again. It is not done lightly or frivolously or because I just fancied a day off. It’s costing me money for a start, but money well sacrificed to make a point.
I have just had my annual performance and development review. I have either met or exceeded ALL the targets set for me. But I am not rewarded for this – rather I am penalised merely because I am a civil servant.
For decades we’ve heard Tory politicians proclaim that if an employee works hard and performs well they should be rewarded for their efforts. This is so embedded in Tory ideology it could almost have been handed down on stone tablets. Unfortunately, it does not apply to public and civil servants. It hasn’t since 1979, when the rot of ministerial power without responsibility started to set in. The Tories hate us, despite the fact that we do their dirty work for them.
In his budget George Osborne made a huge song and dance about raising tax thresholds to “put money back in people’s pockets”. At the same time as these are implemented Francis Maude and Danny Alexander have hiked my pension contributions so that, at the end of the month, I’m actually worse off. This is coupled with a two-year pay freeze followed by a pay cap of 1% while inflation is running at 3.5%.
There is no rationale behind the government reform of public service pensions. Their own report (Hutton) showed that the costs of the existing system were falling, that it was not “unaffordable” and rejected the notion that civil service pensions were “gold plated”.
You are left with only one reason for it.