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Hospital managers are planning to postpone thousands of non-emergency operations next Wednesday, because of the public sector strike over pension changes. Patients across the UK have been sent letters warning them of the disruption. Diagnostic tests and outpatient appointments will also be delayed, but hospitals insist emergency and critical care will not be affected. Managers say they are preparing as they would for Christmas or bank holidays. An estimated 400,000 nurses and healthcare assistants, as well as paramedics, physiotherapists, and support staff like cleaners and administrators have said they will join the action on 30 November over changes to public sector pensions.
Heathrow airport has asked airlines to halve the number of passengers they fly into the airport next week to try to minimise disruption caused by a strike. Its operator BAA warned of "gridlock" and said passengers could face 12-hour delays on Wednesday when immigration officers go on strike over pensions. BAA said it was holding talks with airlines and the UK Border Agency. PM David Cameron said it was clear there would be an impact at ports and airports, but borders would be secure. "At the very least there will be longer queues and people will have to wait longer at borders," his spokesman said. He added the government was still working on contingency plans and gathering information on the impact of the strikes.
The DUP has said the public sector strike on Wednesday could cost the economy an estimated £500m. East Antrim MLA Alastair Ross made the comments after Sinn Fein Education Minister John O'Dowd said he would not cross the picket line during the strike. Mr O'Dowd said he supported the strikers but appreciated the disruption it would cause. Mr Ross said the trade unions' approach would "damage the economy".
An improved offer on public sector pensions could be withdrawn if an agreement is not reached, unions have been warned by the government. Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander, in the Guardian, also urged union leaders to persuade their members to accept the "generous" offer tabled. It comes as more than two million workers are set to strike on Wednesday over changes to public sector pensions. They include teachers, border control staff and some health workers. Unions say proposals which require their members to work longer before collecting their pension and contribute more are unfair. The government says change is needed to keep down the cost to the taxpayer, because people are living longer. Mr Alexander told the Guardian the strike action was "a distraction" to the ongoing negotiation process and "a risk to it" because "part of going on strike will harden opinions on the union side and might make it harder for them to sell a deal to their members".
Originally posted by Freeborn
Not just the BBC mate, all MSM are demonising the strikes.
Originally posted by starchild10
Even some pretty 'left' radio phone in programmes are speaking against it. Very few people have a good word to say about it. Public sector employees will have to finally get off the gravy train. I'll say right now I used to be one. People used to take their annual sick limit almost as routine leave. I've known quite high paid employees sit snoozing all day because there was no work for them. It was practically impossible to get the sack - more so if you were gay or came from an ethic minority. There I said it. No private operation could sustain the practices beloved of the public sector.
People with less than 10 years to go will not be affected. Low earners will not be affected. If they don't like their new pension terms let them go looking for a job in the private sector.edit on 26-11-2011 by starchild10 because: (no reason given)
Originally posted by Firefly_
You see, if these greedy people ..... did what was in the best interest of the people, then none of this would be happening.