With UNISON, Unite and the GMB having rejected their initial three year Pay Offer (1%, 0% and 0.5%) COSLA moved on Friday to impose an even poorer 2 year pay freeze (0.65% and 0%) on local authority workers.
- Cosla gamble on the effect which the pro-public sector cuts hegemony (which has been fostered, first by the last Labour Westminster government and then by the current Condem government) has upon their own employee group as well as the general public. They won’t be blind to the general acceptance (even amongst their own, largely depoliticised employee group) of the ‘shared pain’ messages which have been emanating from all corners.
- Cosla gamble on an assessment of union leadership which places that leadership to the left of their membership. Cosla will also be aware that behind the public anti-cuts campaigns being run by the unions there is no unanimity as to union tactic. In effect Cosla gamble on a lack of strategic planning by the unions. By striking whilst the iron is hot, Cosla gain the ‘upper hand’ … the unions are forced to ‘react’.
- It is in Cosla’s interests to manufacture a confrontation with their employee group now – as opposed to waiting til later… When the severity of the cuts bite the likelihood that public anger and sympathy with both union campaigns and employee action will increase.
Peculiar couple of days.
The lad – who really does need his wings clipped and for whom the clipping of said wings will commence on Sunday evening (when he’s returned from partying at Creamfields*) – went to the Motherwell game on Thursday night with his pals and his Dad (who also had middle and youngest boy with him). Lad slunk off after the miserable game – ostensibly ‘to collect Stuart’s stuff for tomorrow’s journey’ (Stuart was staying in New Lanark for the night) – but in reality he launched himself on a tour of the Lanark pubs (or the only two who allow football colours).
At 1am, when he and Stuart had decided to leave the increasingly menacing atmosphere of ‘Images’ (oh God I have shouted enough to wake the New Lanark dead in the old graveyard at the top of the hill as this pub is the pits aka odious in extremis – replete with pole-dancing upstairs) they were jumped by one of the menacers. Lad anticipated the punch which was aiming for Stuart and stepped in to block it. The punch caught him off balance (or so he says) and down he went – cracking his elbow on the road. Next thing he knew a very large policeman was elevating him by the chest of his shirt and slamming him against a wall.
Lad is full of teenage bravado – but scrape the surface and there’s a well brought up, polite wee boy – one who has respect for policemen and no reason to fear or be suspicious of them.
The short of it? Well, Lad was sent on his way home pronto – where he slunk in and worried the rest of the night about what had happened to Stuart, but was either too drunk or adrenalin-buzzed or plain scared to wake me up to attend to his elbow. And Stuart and the menacer were huckled away to the station, handcuffed and (in Stuart’s case at least) subdued.
Stuart – for the crime of self-defence (a crime witnessed by the policemen and by lots of cctv) – was fined, a nice £40 police fine ‘for engaging in a stand-up fight in the street which amounted to a breach of the peace’.
First I knew of any of this? When my mobile started beeping at 8am…
So started my Friday: shouting and insulting my lad and his pal at 8 oclock in the morning…
I suppose you’d forgive me if I say I thought nothing else could make my morning worse. However I should know better than to jinx my day by making that arrogant assumption.
The baby – who is now 7 years and really not a baby at all (but it comforts me to think of her as such – and occasionally suits her) – decided, at 8.45am that she no longer wished to attend school.
Have you ever tried to get a child who has absolutely decided that she will not move, to move?
Initial tactics: grab and man handle into car; shout and order; remonstrate; lift bodily – didn’t work.
I was starting to despair. The school bell had gone. I was rapidly losing any chance of making the planned 10 oclock meeting. I sat down in the kitchen and sighed, taking stock. Then asked her for a cuddle. When she had calmed I asked her why she didn’t want to go (probably where I should have started all along).
Turns out that the wee soul is being ‘bullied’. She described stepping in to protect another child and, since that incident, the bully had decided my baby was fair game.
I half-jokingly said ‘just deck her, honey, like you deck your brothers’ – and she looked at me horrified, saying ‘Mum that would be a bad thing to do’. Oh God (why do I use that expression when I am an atheist!). She is absolutely right – and only doing as she was raised to do.
Anyway I took her to school and went in to speak to my friend, Margaret (Heidie) – just a quiet word to nip the distress in the bud.
Baby was ok when I got home last night – no more bullying that day.
Just wonder how lad is. Bet his elbow’s still sore.
Annie McS – a woman who had such a strong formative influence on me – died yesterday. Very suddenly. A brain haemorrhage.
Maybe not the best weekend.
A ‘perk’: ‘perquisites which are privileges granted to employees…’
I consider it a perk…this duty to work Scotland-wide…