Opinions have been divided over the Public sector Pension strikes that took place this 30th of November, with 35.8% out of 1000 respondents showing support and 36.8% disapproving of the strikes. After the walk out of 1.2 million union workers it is clear that relations are strained, but when asked, it appears that support for the cause and attendance of such protests varies dramatically with age. So has standing for what’s right turned into a young person’s game?
The strongest support for the strikes comes from those between the ages of 45 to 54 (25.9%) with around 30.5% of this age group actually taking part in the strike. This is a stark contrast to the beliefs and actions of those between the age of 18 and 24. Individuals within this age group demonstrated the least support for the Pension strikes (9.2%), but surprisingly, were the group that were most likely to attend, with 40.5% taking part in the walkout protests.
In fact, the younger the respondents the more likely it is that they have taken part in a recent protest or strike, with 59.7% being attended by those bellow the age of 34. However, with so many people taking part in protests who do not truly support the cause, how are they coming across to the public and the media?
Those who felt that support had decreased noted the lack of passion for the cause and certain members claimed that the coverage “highlighted how the majority of protesters have been lead like sheep”.
Public and Private sector divide:
On the other hand, the divide between public sector workers and private sector workers was much more pronounced, and their opinions more heated. Generally, 39.06% of public sector workers believed that private sector workers have a better deal, compared to 56.32% those in the private sector who believe people have a better deal if they are working in the public sector.
Overall, 26.95% of public sector workers felt that the media coverage increased support for strikes compared to 9.64% from the private sector.
“It’s made me aware of how little some of these public sector workers earn and they deserve the pensions to remain unchanged. Perhaps the MPs should have their pensions changed as well?”
Whereas, 18.63% of private sector workers felt that the media coverage decreased support for the strikes compared to 16.8% from the public sector.
“They show too many people whinging about poor pay, having to pay more into a pension, having to work longer and receiving less in retirement. In reality public sector pay was increased during the last government to bring it more into line with the private sector. On top of this over the last 4 years they have had annual pay increases around the rate of inflation while the private sector has had pay freezes and pay cuts of up to 10%.”
When asked ‘what one word would you use to describe those taking part in the Pension strikes?’ words such as ‘brave’ and ‘selfish’ stand out to clearly show the divide in opinion.