Unions pledge to stand together on day of protest

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UNIONS from different parts of the public sector have vowed to stand together on a day of protest.

The People’s Assembly is a national campaign against the government’s programme of austerity, cuts and privatisation.

Last night the Portsmouth branch met in the Central Library and unanimously agreed it would take part in strike action on July 10 – along with other branches in the country.

Jon Woods, the president of Portsmouth Trades Council, chaired the meeting.

He said: ‘We really want to show a united front in the action we take on July 10.

‘Would people picket civic office buildings from different unions?

‘I propose we have a rally at midday in Guildhall Square, that we march beforehand and that we also organise a strike committee. After July 10 we want to be ready for the next stage of action.’

Around 40 people attended the meeting and all agreed with the proposals put forward.

Amanda Martin, Portsmouth’s National Union of Teachers representative, said: ‘We no longer have the secure jobs that we joined our profession for in the first place.

‘Teachers are tired from the pressure and interference from the government.

‘Action will be taking place on July 10, and that will be with other unions.

‘Pension contributions have gone up, the age we have to work until has gone up, but wages are going down.

‘Fifty per cent of teachers leave in the first five years, and that’s not on.

‘We are asking for a reversal on changes to pensions and on performance-related pay.’

And Alan Dennis, of the Public and Commercial Services Union, called on everyone to stand together.

He said: ‘We need to have some hope that things are going to get better.

‘July 10 can give us the opportunity to get our message out there and say we have had enough and that we are going to stand up for ourselves.

‘We need to regalvanise the working class in this country and the unions.

‘The crisis we face has been created by friends of this government, yet those people are richer.

‘Public services need to be run for the public and not for profit.’

The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport said it will also be backing action on July 10.