Monday, October 8, 2012

A Strike Without Notice

Has the puff gone out of the protests against the cuts to the public service?

You may or may not be aware, but there was a Public Service Association strike today. No, really:
From here
I didn't hear a peep. Today I caught a train, walked through the city, and spent most of the day before a court staffed exclusively by public servants - and if one of the other lawyers hadn't said "I thought you lot were striking?" I wouldn't have known anything was going on.

Apparently, there was a march or something?
From the SMH
I certainly heard and saw nothing. And "hundreds" of workers converging on Town Hall is hardly noteworthy.

It seems like the TV coverage was no different:
This was particularly surprising given that, after a little poking around, it became apparent that the IRC had formally ordered that the strike not proceed:
From the SMH
I'm not sure how the success or otherwise of strikes is measured with the PSA. But when this is the best you can do:
Full story here
...perhaps it is time to admit that the battle isn't really getting the masses outraged.

It's pretty clear that the Coalition government (like the Labor government before it) is happy (or resigned) to take the Public Service Association on.

Given that, at the end of the day, the government really does hold the pursestrings, it would seem that the PSA is on a hiding to nothing.

Are these strikes a desperate grab for relevance in a world where people are increasingly skeptical about the benefit of the enormous dues that the PSA demand?
Perhaps. What is clear is that the strike today didn't really excite anyone. And it certainly will not have worried the government.

1 comment:

  1. I was talking to one of the older teachers in my staffroom last year right before the big rally in the city when the whole public service went on strike over the 2.5% salary cap. He pointed out, correctly, that this was something that had been
    legislated for, it wasn't a workplace negotiation. Striking, therefore, would not further the case of public servants affected.

    In the case of teachers, I think this is the reason that the teacher's federation has taken the government on over Local School's Local Decisions. They know that they can't do anything about the 2.5% cap, but they can over Local Schools. And they are itching for a fight with a Liberal Government as much as a Liberal Government is itching for a fight with the public sector unions.