Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 May 2015

Lawyers man picket lines outside CPS

Public sector workers on the picket line at Altnagelvin Hospital on Wednesday morning. Picture Martin McKeown.
Public sector workers on the picket line at Altnagelvin Hospital on Wednesday morning. Picture Martin McKeown.
Public sector workers on the picket line at Altnagelvin Hospital on Wednesday morning. Picture Martin McKeown.
Public sector workers on the picket line at Altnagelvin Hospital on Wednesday morning. Picture Martin McKeown.
Public sector workers on the picket line at Altnagelvin Hospital on Wednesday morning. Picture Martin McKeown.
One day strike gets under way in Belfast ...a normally busy Europa Bus Station lies empty
DOne day strike gets under way in Belfast ... normally busy Europa Bus Station lies empty with just one woman waiting to travel to Dublin
One day strike gets under way in Belfast as striking workers, picket outside Government Buildings.
One day strike gets under way in Belfast as striking workers, picket outside Government Buildings, Belfast
One day strike gets under way in Belfast as striking workers, picket outside Government Buildings, Belfast
One day strike gets under way in Belfast as striking workers, picket outside Government Buildings, Belfast
Pacemaker Press Belfast 29-11-2011:Paul Hartin pictured at Nipsa union HQ getting ready for strike action tomorrow. Members of one of the main public sector unions, the Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (Nipsa), will go on strike on 30 November. The union's general secretary Brian Campfield said the industrial action reflected anger over attacks on pensions, pay and jobs.Picture by: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 29-11-2011:Paul Hartin pictured at Nipsa union HQ getting ready for strike action tomorrow. Members of one of the main public sector unions, the Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (Nipsa), will go on strike on 30 November. The union's general secretary Brian Campfield said the industrial action reflected anger over attacks on pensions, pay and jobs.Picture by: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 29-11-2011:Nipsa union members pictured getting ready for strike action tomorrow. Members of one of the main public sector unions, the Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (Nipsa), will go on strike on 30 November. The union's general secretary Brian Campfield said the industrial action reflected anger over attacks on pensions, pay and jobs.Picture by: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 29-11-2011:Lisle-Anne Scott pictured at Nipsa union HQ getting ready for strike action tomorrow. Members of one of the main public sector unions, the Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (Nipsa), will go on strike on 30 November. The union's general secretary Brian Campfield said the industrial action reflected anger over attacks on pensions, pay and jobs.Picture by: Arthur Allison.
Press Eye, Belfast, Northern Ireland - 29th November 2011 - Members from the union Unison prepare at their Belfast offices for tomorrows country wide strikes.Photograph: Stephen Hamilton Presseye.com
Press Eye, Belfast, Northern Ireland - 30th November 2011 - Members of the Nipsa unions join the strikes at Antrim road Belfast.Photograph: Stephen Hamilton Presseye.com
Press Eye, Belfast, Northern Ireland - 30th November 2011 - Members of the Nipsa unions join the strikes at Antrim road Belfast.Photograph: Stephen Hamilton Presseye.com
Press Eye, Belfast, Northern Ireland - 30th November 2011 - Members of the Unite and Nipsa unions join together at Antrim road Belfast.Photograph: Stephen Hamilton Presseye.com

The picket line outside the offices of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in Manchester city centre includes a number of lawyers.



The handful of strikers outside Sunlight House in Quay Street said the average annual pay of a CPS solicitor was £30,000 rising to £50,000.

But many lower pay grade civil servants in the CPS would get average annual pensions of £5,600 after 40 years' service - which they likened to "benefit money".

Gordon Thompson, 51, from Manchester, a senior CPS solicitor and convener for the First Division Association, which represents lawyers and senior civil servants, said: "This is my first strike and my first time marching for jobs in my life.

"We have made a choice in our careers - we chose to go into public service and work for less than in the private sector. One of the reasons was the pensions were generally better.

"Now they are taking that away.

"I'm disgusted, quite frankly, and disappointed at being short- changed by this Government."

Joy Lewis, 25, from Manchester, a paralegal for the CPS and member of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS), said: "We say there is an alternative to public sector cuts by tackling the amount of tax avoidance and tax evasion. Address the tax loopholes.

"It should not be a race to the bottom. Private and public sector workers should get decent pensions.

"The Government is making the people who did not cause this crisis suffer. They should be looking at the bankers and their bonuses who caused this crisis.

"The Government is making a choice. We appreciate there is a problem with finance, but the Government is making a choice - it is choosing to take it from public sector workers, that is what it is choosing to do, from people who have small pensions."

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