Maryhill locals among those workers on strike at the Western Infirmary.
On the 30th of November Scotland celebrated St Andrew’s day with a huge strike by council workers, civil servants, dinner ladies, teachers, hospital workers, carers and service workers: nearly everyone in the public sector. In plans which will see hard pressed families being forced to work longer, for less, the government is raising the retirement age and making workers pay in more. The average pension for public sector workers is only £5,600 per year. George Osborne however would receive £32,977 per year, until he dies, if he retired tomorrow. The pension scheme for public sector workers, which was negotiated only a few years ago, was actually set to generate a profit for the government. The SNP condemned the move, but did not observe the strike, crossing picket lines. Labour observed the strike in Scotland, but attacked the decision to strike at the UK level, attending Westminster during the strike, prompting confusion and anger among many workers. As Scotland’s main political parties are confused and out of step about how to approach this issue, they are being left behind by dinner ladies, school teachers, cleaners, millions of ordinary people. Glasgow saw protest marches on the day, and rallies which were bigger than any seen in workers disputes in more than a generation. Negotiations continue, as government attempts to force through “final offers” of deep cuts seem, for now, to have become unstuck.