Strike! – Is it wrong for to fight for your pension? #N30

I’ve been reading how so many people find it wrong that people working in the Public Sector are striking due to changes in their pensions. I work partly in the public sector and I am affected by the changes if only a little. I have friends that are and have been working in their jobs for many years putting money into their pensions. This is not the state pensions, this is something more.

Strike Action - 30 Nov 2011

I see people arguing that they shouldn’t be disrupting the public services and should just go with it. Would you have a problem if you were buying a car or a house or something else and you had paid for months, even years to an agreed outcome… you will get that item at the end of it all and while you have been paying your part in, someone decides to change the terms. Its not that you won’t get something at the end of it all, just that you won’t quite get what you were expecting and a few other things… It will take you longer to get it and the price has changed… Would you be happy with that? I know I wouldn’t and generally in UK Law that would break all sorts of terms of the contract.

Think of a holiday, you’ve been paying to go on this holiday all year, you know that on the 30th November that you will be going on an all inclusive holiday and everything is pre paid for, your not going to need anything more because you’ve already paid for it. Then someone changes the “contract”, you no longer get to go on holiday on the 30th November, now you have to wait til January, you have to pay more each month as the price has changed and its no longer all inclusive, you have to pay for stuff now as the value has changed… Would you be happy with that?

Is it wrong that schools are closed and people are off work as people strike, is it creating issues? If it didn’t cause any issues, would it even be noticed?

A day lost of education for children or anyone learning… yet last year, and even next year there is an extra bank holiday due to the Royal Wedding last year and next year the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – these also lose an extra day for education but thats fine as everyone gets a day off… we still lose a day but its not about peoples unhappyness so thats OK.

Regarding pensions in general, I started mine in my early 20’s and I’m only in my early 30’s now but always put something aside and that is seperate to the state pension that we all have to pay into (if we work). In all my part time jobs, I have a pension in them – I pay something into it if only a little. These changes don’t directly effect me immediately as I am on a relatively low wage for those jobs but I will have to work years more than I joined up for.

I can remember times in the 80s when my parents were on strike and it was a hard time then. House interest rates were huge often having a number one or two before the current rates. Wages were a lot worse and people were suffering. People are still suffering although life has changed a lot since then.

Often the government and a lot of people don’t see the Public sector makes any money so they are not important but take a day like the 30th November 2011 where there is a strike against pensions and people are not working, there are quotes of costs lost… if the public sector doesn’t do money… how does it lose money by not providing their service? The services they provide, allow the private sector to work and without them it does cost so in reality they do provide some actual cost.

I have lots of views on these things but can’t explain them all. There are so many complication involved its hard to explain them and so I leave it as this. These are my personal views but that doesn’t mean they are wrong.

ICAs – One Down

I’ve had an ICA (In Course Assessment) due in this week (Thursday) and it was an essay based question of 1500 words. I’ve had the assignment for a while and I have had loads of notes but to convert into an essay with discussion about the topic, that is something I’ve had real difficulty with. Piles of notes, references, and the question itself in front of me – I could answer it if in my normal circumstances in less than 200 words including references for why but to fill 1500, thats a new challenge.

My home is now a lot tidier than it has been, all washing is done and I’ve written so many ideas down that it will keep me busy for years. Why ideas comes to you about things totally different to what you want when you don’t want them is an annoyance but I needed to write them down as otherwise I tend to forget or keep remembering and can not get back to what I need to do.

Came to the end, I had 1464 words – so glad thats done, next one due in January (or December if you want a draft handed in first) and glad to leave it for a while. I’m going to continue with the reading though, I’ve discovered how to read a lot more and write notes as I go along that have been helpful. I’m faster at reading already – good job really, 10 pages here and there really doesn’t cut it on a Law degree – you need to read faster, there is so much of it.

Good idea: Get presentation folders. I’ve not needed them in years so when I went to get some to hand in assignment, I found I didn’t have any – off to Tesco, glad they are 24 hour stores round here, it ensured I had them quickly and on time.

Time management in past is something I’ve been quite useless at. I can provide a great projection and design plan of how to move forward, planning times and dates for everything to be done but to put it in action – that doesn’t usually go quite to plan. I’m glad I made one for the assignment – I thought I had loads of time to do it but as I worked through the plan, I realised I had not. I now have references, and notes that I should write up somewhere for future projects but not done yet.

I think my time plans are starting to make sense now, I’m starting to realise how long it takes to do things and I am meeting deadlines instead of an ideal plan deadline.

Always busy but happy

Its always going to be a while between updates now a days on here. I am a lot more busier that I ever used to be. As mentioned in a previous post, I’m now a student again and this time I’m working through all I’m given to get the best possible result I can – this however is taking a lot of time. I think more time on studies than first time round, and that was full time.

We have been given an In Course Assignment (ICA) about Contract Law, its due in during the next week and I’ve found it hard. I’ve got my points of view, and even lots of references to show where I got to my point of view but how to write it, thats the bit I’m struggling with. I’ve written reports for years but not really essays then I thought about this… is this a style of essay, if not best grammer and all but the ability to write and try to communicate my views to the reader. I must be doing something right, as people still seem to read this when I put it out.

I’ve found myself having more time for study than I thought I could manage, and I’m feeling like I’m not getting through all the reading but what I have read seems relevent most of the time, and can recall the points made in class. Mixing a few thoughts on paper with the references to reading had helped with the assignment points and hope it will help when it comes to revision times next may.

Many evenings after work, I can be found in the Library at university, somewhere with large desks that I can lay out lots of books and read through and have room to move. I don’t really have the space at home – there is tables, and desks but then there is not peace and lack of distraction. I didn’t think I’d enjoy just sitting in a library, reading and writing – I think that I’m doing something right.

I thought I would never attempt Law study – “its hard”, “there is lots of reading”, “You will have no free time” is what some people have said to me. They missed the part out about how enjoyable, and challenging it would be, the many new friends I would make and how happy it could make me feel. I never considered myself “smart” enough to do this or many things in life. I’ve always struggled with lots of things except IT stuff – that just sort of made sense but in general, I’ve had to work hard at anything that has given me a great joy.

My general weeks now consist of days of work between 2 or more jobs, lots of study time, university, some trampolining, and this past week I’ve started ice skating lessons – just the very basics. Its something I’ve wanted to do for years and I bought some hockey ice skates a few years ago and used them once. I found through reading online that there was some free classes for adults for people in Stockton on Tees so I signed up. I can’t stop yet, but can get some speed up forwards and backwards – if I want to or not.

I hope to continue my trampolining, return to dancing, get better at ice skating – I just want to know enough I can enjoy time out with friends without falling over so much. I also want the Law degree, although thats 4 to 5 years away as well as a happy life. The last part seems to be going well at the moment.

The only thing that is really lacking is time to eat properly. I am still having meals but its more sandwiches or quick fixes and I enjoy my food. I enjoy mixing raw ingredients together into a mixed stir fry or some thing more. I am missing the fresher foods and its one thing I need to re-manage when I find time to do so… Weekends seem a good time for fresh mixes of food, but it should be every day shame I’m often out 15 hours at a time some days.