Public sector workers in Brighton and Hove went on strike today over changes to their pensions. Some joined a mass protest in London.
They were protesting at having to pay higher pension contributions, work longer before being able to retire and being in line to receive lower pensions when they do retire.
Members going on strike included civil servants and lecturers. They were believed to have gone on strike at the universities and City College Brighton and Hove, the law courts, job centres and tax offices.
They planned to march from Grand Parade to Brighton Town Hall.
Health workers planned to hand out leaflets during a lunchtime protest outside the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.
And off-duty officers and staff from Sussex Police went to a rally in London for a separate protest over cuts imposed by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government.
The Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, Caroline Lucas, told strikers in Brighton: “As vice-president of the Public and Commercial Services group in Parliament, I completely support today’s strike action.
“This government’s drive to slash jobs, slash pay and now slash pensions as well is both socially devastating and economically illiterate.
“The best way to tackle the deficit is to invest in jobs, not to destroy them.
“And the fairest way to do it is to make those responsible for the financial crisis pay the highest price.
“It cannot be right to demand that ordinary workers up and down the country pay more, work longer and get less in their pensions.
“The cynical changes to indexation from RPI (Retail Price Index) to CPI (Consumer Price Index) inflation means pensions fall by up to 20 per cent.
“Equally worrying, this indexation change will also apply to a number of important benefits, including disability living allowance and incapacity benefit.
“That’s why it’s so important that civil servants, lecturers and other public sector workers come together today to defend each other, demand real negotiation with government, and to demand no more cuts.”