Call for public to support our strike

Brighton & Hove Local Government Unison branch has prepared a leaflet to explain to the public why we are going on strike and why we hope they will suppport us:
Dear Colleagues, Friends and Family
We would like to explain why we are taking strike action next Wednesday 10th July.
Like many of you working in the private sector, since the government used taxpayers money to bail out the banks in 2009, we have years of pay freezes, cuts to pensions and job losses. Now we’re taking action because we think enough is enough!
But aren’t public sector workers a privileged elite?
No. Apart from senior management, most public sector workers earn less than the average wage and many rely on tax credits to help us live. Our pay claim for a rise of at least £1 per hour would still only take nearly half a million of us up to the “Living Wage” of £7.65/hour.
But why should taxpayers have to fork out extra for the public sector?
We don’t think ordinary taxpayers, ourselves included, should pay more. Those of us working for councils have found out that our bosses have put $19Billlion in the bank in recent years. We also have watched PFI projects for new schools, hospitals and libraries. Once the companies have been paid their building costs they are set to rake in up to £750Billion extra in charges to taxpayers. And those of us working collecting taxes have been made to stand back and watch an estimates £120Billion a year go uncollected due to fraud, evasion and avoidance by those rich enough to afford accountants and offshore accounts.
There is enough money in this country to give us all a decent pay rise and end austerity.
OK. But what’s your strike got to do with us? Most of us aren’t even in unions.
As well as being the people who empty your bins, clean your schools, teach your children and care for your relatives in need, we are your neighbours, your friends and members of your family. You will benefit if we get the pay rise we deserve – you won’t if that money continues to be hoarded by the top 1% who got us, the 99%, in this financial crisis.
Also, when one group of workers stands up to their bosses and win, it makes other employers more wary of attacking their staff’s pay or conditions. We believe in old fashioned values like solidarity, and if any of you want help at work with pay, conditions or bullying, contact us.
So what can we do to help?
On 10th July, stop and talk to us as you pass our picket lines, or TOOT your car horn to show support. You can also join our rally at noon on the Level. You can donate to our striker’s hardship fund via the addresses below. You can write to newspapers and MPs, and share our union’s message on facebook.

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