UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Pensions, public opinion & polling distortions

As talks on public sector pensions between the Con Dem's and a TUC negotiating team resume today, a wider battle for public support is underway: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c73c24ba-a013-11e0-a115-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1QSQw4Zmm

The Liberal Conspiracy blog has exposed the selective use of polls by journalists including a Populus poll, 'largely ignored by the media, showing widespread support amongst the public for unions. Populus found 54% of people agreed that strikes were a legitimate way for unions to protect the pay and conditions of their members. Only 18% of the public disagreed. Since then, more polls have shown support for unions positions but have also been ignored by the media industry.’

Last week ‘ITV reported on a poll by ComRes that more than half of people think union strikes have “no chance of succeeding”. But the broadcaster neglected to mention other key findings. When asked: “Public-sector workers are right to take strike action over maintaining their pension plans” – 48% agreed. 36% disagreed and 16% were unsure.’ http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/06/22/more-polls-show-support-for-union-strikes-but-media-ignores-them/

The supposedly authoritative Economist magazine relies on the same ComRes poll: ‘Then there is public opinion. According to a recent ComRes poll, 63% of Britons think that public-sector workers will not win much sympathy as “everyone has to shoulder the burden of cuts”. Just one in five disagrees. A majority of the public also believes that the strikes have no chance of changing government policy’ http://www.economist.com/node/18867710

The battle of ideas is on. In the lead up to an industrial action ballot it essential that all UNISON members are briefed on the union’s strong case in defence of pension rights and armed with clear facts which enable them to put our case in local communities: http://www.unison.org.uk/acrobat/20120.pdf