Scarboro’ staff join picket line

PUBLIC sector workers in Scarborough joined colleagues up and down the country in a 24-hour day of strike action.

Picket lines formed outside both the Northway Clinic and the town’s Job Centre in Aberdeen Walk as part of the protest.

Members of Nipsa, Unite, the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) and the University and College Union are protesting against Government plans to raise the retirement age for public service workers to 68 – bringing them in line with the state pension age.

The unions say members will have to pay more and work longer for lower pensions. However the Government has said the current arrangements are unfair and unaffordable because people are living longer.

Mark Serwotka, the general secretary of the PCS union said: “We pay more and not a penny goes into anybody’s pension fund. In every major public sector scheme – health, education and the civil service - the majority of trade unions have refused to accept these cuts in their pensions.

“We’re going to have the highest pension age of any western European country.”

“Our members believe that the Government is attacking their pensions as a means of helping reduce the budget deficit, which has been caused by a greedy City elite, that has brought the economy to its knees. This is unfair.”

According to the Police Federation more than 30,000 police officers marched through the centre of London – the biggest demonstration by police officers ever held in England or Wales.

Mark Botham, the chairman of the North Yorkshire Police Federation, said that there were 117 off-duty officers from across the county, including some from the Scarborough area, and it had been a great success. He added: “A deputation of four members were able to meet with Robert Goodwill MP afterwards. The march was incredible and very dignified. People have taken notice of what we are doing today.”