‘11th hour’ pension cut prompts wave of strikes

30/6/2011'Picket line at Mount Prison, Bovingdon.
30/6/2011'Picket line at Mount Prison, Bovingdon.

PROTESTERS manned picket lines across Dacorum on Thursday as part of a wave of strike action over public sector pensions.

One protest was held outside The Mount Prison in Bovingdon where staff, who work as instructors and admin staff in the prison, joined government public sector workers from across the country in striking against changes to their pension plans which will see them paying more for a smaller pension and a later retirement age.

Many members of the public sector striking are members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS).

PCS secretary for the eastern area Jagtar Singh Dhindsa, who works at the jail, said: “We believe that the pension changes, along with other cuts, are a political decision rather than a spending necessity.

“We’re asking people to lobby their MPs, and we’ve had a good show of support from other workers who service the prison.

“The post office van and several delivery lorries turned away as they didn’t want to cross the picket line.

“Prison officers aren’t allowed to strike, but the Prison Officers Association held a lunchtime strike meeting in support and we would like to thank them for their support and solidarity.”

The staff have also had their pay frozen for the last two years, which with inflation, they regard as a five per cent pay cut.

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