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Everyone Out- The Strike Thread


Mr_Danger

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21 minutes ago, Cod Eye said:

By "unfortunately", I mean that it's unfortunate that it has come to this.

Yep, that’s true enough. Sums the country up doesn’t it, laud nurses as heroes and applaud them, a year later they’re greedy workshy ingrates. 

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You’d imagine that the government are scrambling around trying to change strike rules for that very reason. It’s about the last thing left that could threaten an early general election. 
 

Talking of things that sum this country up I heard tale of an ambulance driver complaining within earshot of a colleague that Royal Mail workers are paid more than ambulance drivers and we only deliver parcels and they save lives. Talk about missing the point. Everyone knows NHS workers are top of the pile of vitally important jobs but you’d expect better than the race to the bottom mentality from fellow strikers. No solidarity amongst us van drivers.

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100% behind the current strikes from posties, nurses and rail workers. The misrepresentation of the asks of each had been horrendous, Daily Mail leading the charge as usual.

I work in the public sector and there's an ongoing pay dispute at the moment. I'm finding it a bit tricky to be honest because due to a regrading, people in my role have had an increase of around 20% in two years. Given the financial constraints in Scotland I do wonder if we'd be better settling and allowing more funds to be allocated to nurses. Government funding and powers are finite at Hollyrood so I'm not sure Scot Gov can really do much more without drastically trimming other pots.

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16 hours ago, MungoChutney said:

100% behind the current strikes from posties, nurses and rail workers. The misrepresentation of the asks of each had been horrendous, Daily Mail leading the charge as usual.

I work in the public sector and there's an ongoing pay dispute at the moment. I'm finding it a bit tricky to be honest because due to a regrading, people in my role have had an increase of around 20% in two years. Given the financial constraints in Scotland I do wonder if we'd be better settling and allowing more funds to be allocated to nurses. Government funding and powers are finite at Hollyrood so I'm not sure Scot Gov can really do much more without drastically trimming other pots.

I'm in a funny position too regarding pay/pay rises. I work for the regions Pension Authority(who manage, invest and administer the pensions/funds for all the councils and many private companies(who use the Local Government Pension Scheme), so we're classes as public sector, but because all our operating costs are taken out of the actual pension fund, we can run independently. Normally, its a best of both worlds situation, as we get all the benefits of the public sector(job security, decent pension, their employment rules, etc), but we get paid in line with the private sector. 

We've had a pay dispute for the last year. The authority automatically applied a 4% rise in April, with the proviso that any additional agreement would be backdated to April too. Well, the Union came back to us eventually saying the final offer was for a £3k pay rise across the board. It was great for the lower end of the pay scale, but poor for the top(I'm in the middle). We accepted it in the end for the benefit of the lower scaled staff, even though for me it meant no change in real terms, and those higher up are essentially taking a pay cut.

Luckily, 99% of my colleagues are great and could see that to the lower paid staff and extra £3k a year could be the difference between them freezing over the winter or not.

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I had a bit of a chat with a colleague after that post. In all honesty I've been so immersed in my own job the dispute wasn't really in my periphery. But it sounds like our lower end staff would be really impacted if the current proposal is agreed. Added to that it seems, like others currently striking, part of the issue is how government and bosses have treated the workforce. We absolutely need to be calling this behaviour out because the media definitely will not.

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We've had builders round recently and one of them, let's call him Awful Cunt Who I Hate, really showed his true colours yesterday by slagging off striking nurses and immigrants ("tHeY'rE aLL tHeM mUsLiM aLbAnIaNs mAtE") in the same breath. "iF wE gIvE nUrSeS a pAy rIsE tHeY'lL eArN mOrE tHaN dOcToRs!". And? Good! Let them earn loads for doing what they do. How the fuck does that affect you, you absolute bellend?

He went on a tirade about how it's not fair that nurses could get a 19% payrise, even after I pointed out it's realistically only 5% above inflation, and he gets no more money, despite the fact he's self employed and can charge what he wants. And that's what it's all about isn't it, folk being pitted against each other and thinking "but it's not fair on me" instead of thinking it's not fair for anybody.

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1 hour ago, cobra_gordo said:

the fact he's self employed and can charge what he wants.

I had the same with my Step-Dad, who is a plumber. He was slagging the Posties and nurses off for asking for a "huge" pay rise, and that because he is self employed if he just down tools he'd not get a penny. This was followed 5 minutes later by him telling me he was putting his hourly rate up "a bit" to cover for the spiralling cost of living. Honestly, I had no words...

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Lots of chat about this 'driverless trains' at the moment. As a self-confessed rail buff, let me explain why his is more complicated and how the anti-rail folk (tories) are wrongly using this as a stick to beat the railways with - 

The most frequently referred to example is the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) in London. For the uninitiated, these are the quirky-looking red trains in London where you get to sit at the front and pretend to be the driver - there's no driver's cab at the front of the units, so you get an amazing first-person view of whizzing around the capital. It's maniacally thrilling. 

BUT! Did you know that technically, the trains are not actually driverless? All DLR trains have a 'train dispatcher' on board. The dispatcher essentially travels on the unit and is only really seen in action when the trains stop. They have a fancy little key with them, turn a few nozzles and away the train goes again. But this mysterious figure isn't just a train dispatcher - oh no! They can also manually drive the DLR trains too if required. Just in front of the front-facing seats of the trains, a section of controls can be accessed. If the train runs into issues and needs to be manually driven, Mr. Dispatcher man can take control keep the ship on course. So while the trains themselves don't require a physical driver sat on his arse at the controls for the majority of the time, the train is not driverless, because one is technically always present. Also, the DLR is a self-contained route with low-speed trains and nowhere near as much activity as the main national network. 

Another example referred to is the Thameslink train service - this service is actually quite unique, because it's one of only two ways you can travel by rail through the city of London (the other being the Elizabeth line), as opposed to starting or ending your journey in the capital. In the 'core' section which runs through the centre, the trains have a so-called 'driverless' function, where thanks to modern signalling, the train is powered by computer-based train control in-between the various stops (as a sidenote, this is really impressive from an IT perspective). 

BUT! That does not make the train driverless - while the computer takes over in this core section, the driver doesn't nip to the bog, go for a lie down and put his feet up or spend half an hour scrolling through the UKFF - he has to be physically present in the cab of the train for the whole duration, and continuously acknowledge the system's prompts as if it were an attention-seeking Samoan Tribal Chief.

Also, this computer-based section of the Thameslink route is relatively short - these trains cover distances from as far as Peterborough and Cambridge right the way through to Brighton and other parts of the network, often doing 70 to 100-odd mile trips in one direction, and at speeds of up to 100mph in some parts. They also require two different types of electrical current that needs to be manually changed and applied depending on which part of the network they are on. 

In short, while the case for innovation will always be there, we're nowhere near at the stage where we're ready for 100% driverless trains yet, and won't be for yonks...it won't stop me pretending to be the driver at the front of the DLR either. Although you do get some funny looks when you make fake horn sounds. 

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11 hours ago, Fatty Facesitter said:

Lots of chat about this 'driverless trains' at the moment. As a self-confessed rail buff, let me explain why his is more complicated and how the anti-rail folk (tories) are wrongly using this as a stick to beat the railways with - 

The most frequently referred to example is the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) in London. For the uninitiated, these are the quirky-looking red trains in London where you get to sit at the front and pretend to be the driver - there's no driver's cab at the front of the units, so you get an amazing first-person view of whizzing around the capital. It's maniacally thrilling. 

BUT! Did you know that technically, the trains are not actually driverless? All DLR trains have a 'train dispatcher' on board. The dispatcher essentially travels on the unit and is only really seen in action when the trains stop. They have a fancy little key with them, turn a few nozzles and away the train goes again. But this mysterious figure isn't just a train dispatcher - oh no! They can also manually drive the DLR trains too if required. Just in front of the front-facing seats of the trains, a section of controls can be accessed. If the train runs into issues and needs to be manually driven, Mr. Dispatcher man can take control keep the ship on course. So while the trains themselves don't require a physical driver sat on his arse at the controls for the majority of the time, the train is not driverless, because one is technically always present. Also, the DLR is a self-contained route with low-speed trains and nowhere near as much activity as the main national network. 

Another example referred to is the Thameslink train service - this service is actually quite unique, because it's one of only two ways you can travel by rail through the city of London (the other being the Elizabeth line), as opposed to starting or ending your journey in the capital. In the 'core' section which runs through the centre, the trains have a so-called 'driverless' function, where thanks to modern signalling, the train is powered by computer-based train control in-between the various stops (as a sidenote, this is really impressive from an IT perspective). 

BUT! That does not make the train driverless - while the computer takes over in this core section, the driver doesn't nip to the bog, go for a lie down and put his feet up or spend half an hour scrolling through the UKFF - he has to be physically present in the cab of the train for the whole duration, and continuously acknowledge the system's prompts as if it were an attention-seeking Samoan Tribal Chief.

Also, this computer-based section of the Thameslink route is relatively short - these trains cover distances from as far as Peterborough and Cambridge right the way through to Brighton and other parts of the network, often doing 70 to 100-odd mile trips in one direction, and at speeds of up to 100mph in some parts. They also require two different types of electrical current that needs to be manually changed and applied depending on which part of the network they are on. 

In short, while the case for innovation will always be there, we're nowhere near at the stage where we're ready for 100% driverless trains yet, and won't be for yonks...it won't stop me pretending to be the driver at the front of the DLR either. Although you do get some funny looks when you make fake horn sounds. 

Yeah, but in both of those instances the job might not be as involved as that of an actual driver, and would thus be considered a position for someone less skilled and qualified maybe? Which, of course, would mean less pay. 

In the Tories eyes anyway. 

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4 hours ago, David said:

Yeah, but in both of those instances the job might not be as involved as that of an actual driver, and would thus be considered a position for someone less skilled and qualified maybe? Which, of course, would mean less pay. 

In the Tories eyes anyway. 

On the DLR, the Train Dispatcher is still essentially the captain of the ship. So while you might not pay them as much as a regular train driver on the mainline, there's still a necessity to have them on board and give them a fair shake. Apart from the physical dispatching, they also deal with the public generally during the trips and all of the fun that no doubt entails, and they are the point of contact for the control centre on the network, and vice versa. The need step in for manual operation might not just be down to a system failure - it could also be if there are trespassers on the line for instance. It's not an every-day occurrence for every dispatcher, but they are still essential personnel. 

With the second example of the Thameslink trains, the job of the driver is just as involved as other mainline trains for the routes they serve - if not more so. For most of the route they operate the trains in the usual way. The only computer-based section is for a short distance within the middle of the capital - which again they need to be physically present to acknowledge. If this fails, they need to also manually control the train through that section. Then, they also need to be available to change the electrical currents from overhead wires to third rail power, as they move across the network and vice versa. 

I'm sure one day the technology will exist for complete driverless-through running - we're quite a way off from that though on the UK network at least. The UK network is an extremely complicated and often infuriating place - much of it runs along Victorian infrastructure, different electrical currents, no electrification at all in some cases, and it all costs a silly amount to maintain. 

...Basically what I'm saying is that we should build monorails instead. 

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17 hours ago, Fatty Facesitter said:

...it won't stop me pretending to be the driver at the front of the DLR either. Although you do get some funny looks when you make fake horn sounds. 

Of course, the most satisfying thing is when there's a kid that wants the seat, but you get there first and they have to just sit there and watch you pretending to drive.

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1 hour ago, Fatty Facesitter said:

On the DLR, the Train Dispatcher is still essentially the captain of the ship. So while you might not pay them as much as a regular train driver on the mainline, there's still a necessity to have them on board and give them a fair shake. Apart from the physical dispatching, they also deal with the public generally during the trips and all of the fun that no doubt entails, and they are the point of contact for the control centre on the network, and vice versa. The need step in for manual operation might not just be down to a system failure - it could also be if there are trespassers on the line for instance. It's not an every-day occurrence for every dispatcher, but they are still essential personnel. 

With the second example of the Thameslink trains, the job of the driver is just as involved as other mainline trains for the routes they serve - if not more so. For most of the route they operate the trains in the usual way. The only computer-based section is for a short distance within the middle of the capital - which again they need to be physically present to acknowledge. If this fails, they need to also manually control the train through that section. Then, they also need to be available to change the electrical currents from overhead wires to third rail power, as they move across the network and vice versa. 

I'm sure one day the technology will exist for complete driverless-through running - we're quite a way off from that though on the UK network at least. The UK network is an extremely complicated and often infuriating place - much of it runs along Victorian infrastructure, different electrical currents, no electrification at all in some cases, and it all costs a silly amount to maintain. 

...Basically what I'm saying is that we should build monorails instead. 

I don't know, I hear those things are awfully loud.

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On 1/9/2023 at 9:10 PM, Fatty Facesitter said:

yonks...it won't stop me pretending to be the driver at the front of the DLR either. Although you do get some funny looks when you make fake horn sounds. 

In My Son's Not Rainman he talks about buying a little steering wheel with suction cups on it, then when he and "The Boy", as he calls his son throughout, ride the DLR and get that seat he sticks the wheel onto the window and they pretend to drive it. 

His son actually asked to be called "The Boy" in the book. 

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53% to hit threshold, 91% to go out and strike. Four days of strike action for the NEU, and if you want to leave the NASUWT and join the NEU to strike, you can if you do it by the end of Jan. 

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