We're all too nice and English to discuss money in CPD23. The participants are clever young people, who know full well that the only people who get rich in librarianship are those who have embezelled the book fund. We don't do it for the money.
When I entered the profession, the choice to go into public service was something many of my generation made because we felt it was the right thing to do. We saw contemporaries from school and university earn large sums in the private sector, but consoled ourselves with the thought that, at the end of our working lives, there was a secure pension waiting, one that we had contributed to (I was astonished to discover that army officers make no contribution to their pensions). Pensions are deferred salary.
When Robert Maxwell raided the Mirror pension fund twenty years ago, his criminality was condemned. Now it is government policy. Note, too, that the money they propose to take from public sector pension funds will not be used to strengthen or reform the funds themselves, but will go into the Treasury, where they will spend it on such worthwhile projects as handing it over to the technocrats of the European Central Bank.
For those reasons, I was on strike yesterday, and hope many of those doing CPD23 did likewise. I went to Brighton, to a well-attended march, the biggest I have seen in the town since 1984. There were young and old, members of all the public sector trade unions. More photos on Flickr.
We stood on the Level, in wind and rain, to listen to speakers. One man, supposedly an NHS worker, managed to talk about Egypt and anything but the NHS. Some talked about what should, in their view, happen next, and, perhaps carried away with the spirit of the day, called for many more strikes. I disagree. There is nothing the government would like more, and that is what they expect us to do. Some intelligence needs to be applied to the next steps, and tactics found that cause the government the maximum damage, at the least expenditure of effort from trade unionists.