Ilford Job Centre

A pair of union members are manning a defiant picket line this morning, but their action has failed to stop Ilford Job Centre from opening as normal.

Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union members Tasneem Kiani and Shazia Amir waved banners and tried to dissuade colleagues from entering the building in High Road, Ilford this morning but blamed the small turnout on members staying home to look after their children as 42 schools are closed in the borough.

The pair claim that a “large number” of members stayed at home, forcing the centre to close the top floor of the centre, which ran a skeleton service throughout the day.

Ms Kiani said: “Despite the fact the numbers look low, lots of parents are off work and a lot of our members are parents. But not many people have turned up to work.”

Across the country members of the PCS are staging a walkout today in a row over proposed changes to their pension which will see public sector workers contributing more for a lower pension pay out.

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Ms Amir added: “We are not highly paid in the civil service, and the only thing that sold the job was the good pension scheme.

“They want to make us work until we are 68 to get our pensions.”

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Elsewhere, a large group of Redbridge teachers met at the Olive Branch Cafe, Wanstead, before traveling up to Westminster to protest against pensions.

Prime Minister David Cameron justified the changes, saying: “The reason we can’t go on as we are is because as the baby boomers retire – and thankfully live longer – the pension system is in danger of going broke.”

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