Whenever strikes are announced there is conflict, but negative feelings are exaggerated if they make the daily grind of the general public more stressful. When this happens all sympathy goes out of the window and it becomes a two-sided battle.
It’s no wonder that the real issues are forgotten among the sniping and media hype.
When the public sector went on strike, it got everyone talking; especially people in the private sector who felt that they hadn’t got it easy either with pay freezes and only a small minority being part of a pension scheme. With increasing media coverage among the whispers and gossiping, the two sectors seemed pitted against each other, with misconceptions and unfair images being thrown around.
Image isn't everything
The public sector was often (unfairly) showcased by the media as being greedy money-grabbers that were only out for themselves, almost to the point of being a farcical cartoon villain. However, our totaljobs public sector survey has shown this to be another public sector myth as we found that 84% of respondents said they would take a small pay cut in order to save a colleague's job. That doesn’t sound like self interest to us!
So, did you think the strikes would accomplish anything? Or do you think it’s about as useful as shouting at the TV during Question Time? Well according to our survey, 79% of you think that nothing will change as a result of strike action. But it doesn’t mean that you don't see the bigger picture with 77% of you telling us that there’s a pressing need to reduce the national debt.
Getting out of debt
While the government has its own battle plan to deal with worrying debt issues, you’ve got your own opinion about how they should be tackling it, and some of them aren’t so different from the ideas being thrown around in Downing Street.
Continuing to highlight that the image of the public sector should be more positive, 32.55% of you think that to reduce the mammoth national debt the government should steer more towards privatising state owned businesses and outsourcing public services. A surprising result given the current concerns of privatisation of the NHS.
Coming in a close second, and an equally surprisingly popular choice, 24.86% of you think that increasing taxes would help.
Proving beyond doubt that the public sector are not only willing to compromise but are also happy to sacrifice their working environments and salary to help a national issue, the other popular options revolved around cutting things within the public sector. This included, reducing the scope of public sector services (12.31%), reducing the public sector wage bill (20.73%) and even cutting public sector jobs (2.31%).
Despite the pension-related matter of the publicised public sector strikes, 7.24% even said that changing pension rights should be used to help reduce national debt.
So far from caring all about the money that it’s sometimes been portrayed as, both the public and the private sector seem to be working on the same page.