Public sector workers in Lincoln joined thousands of people across the country who took part on July 10 in a day of industrial action over pay and pensions.Look back over our liveblog here →
Union members and representatives from local councils, schools and public services picketed at various points across Lincoln, including the Lincolnshire County Council offices.
Around 160 workers and supporters gathered at Brayford Wharf North in Lincoln from 11.30 to march through the city centre waving flags and banners and chanting their requests for better pay.
Children’s services worker Helen Clark said: “I’m striking because I feel enough is enough. There comes a point when you have to say no, I don’t accept what you’re doing.
“In 2011 I was made redundant and I was old; this was so there were no more cuts down the line. This has not been the case and I feel the rug is constantly being pulled from under my feet.
“I recently adopted a child, which saves the state about £25,000 a year, and I made that decision based on my pay and conditions at the time. Those conditions are constantly being undermined and now I find myself wondering how I’m going to make ends meet.”
Helen Stokes, Unison Branch Secretary for Lincolnshire, said: “We’ve got so many of our members that are now on poverty pay. We want pay rises that count for at least six years.
“Last year at Lincolnshire County Council we got a 1% rise. Everybody in the private sector is on rises of an average of 2% and more.
“In real terms people are having to access more benefits. It takes more from tax payers, more from the economy and there is less for infrastructure.
“Ive got members now that are working full time with families that are having to access food banks. It’s an absolute disgrace.”
Labour Leader of the City of Lincoln Council, Ric Metcalfe, attended the march and rally, which was concluded with representatives and speakers who called on workers to “support each other”.
Councillor Metcalfe said: “I am here today as a long-serving public services worker and trade unionist, and I have been for 50 years.
“Public sector workers have been attacked by the present government with pay down by 20% and local governments’ budgets cut by a third.
“We have fewer staff, more is expected from workers and for less pay. No wonder so many people are stood here today in protest.”