PCS news digest 6 January

6 January 2012

This weekly news digest is a summary of news, campaign articles, media releases and reports from the past week

6 January

Britain needs £32 billion High Speed Two go-ahead now, say rail union leaders – Guardian

Trade union leaders have given rare backing to the government by urging the approval of plans for a £32bn high speed rail network, reported the Guardian.

PM’s tax tinkering ‘doesn’t scratch the surface’ – Morning Star

Britain's  government bosses went tilting at windmills when they tried to sound tough over tax dodging - but fell flat on their faces, reported the Morning Star.

5 January

Health union knocks back pension deal – PCS

Unite – Britain’s biggest union – has rejected the government’s proposals for the health service pension scheme, as reported on the PCS website.

1.9 billion hours of extra work – Daily Mirror

An article in the Daily Mirror said workers desperate to keep their jobs are putting in so much unpaid overtime an extra million full-time posts could be created, according to a new report.

City braced for backlash as bonus season arrives – Guardian

One of the most controversial annual bonus rounds ever is about to get under way in the City. The size of payouts at a time of rising unemployment and pay restraint in the wider economy will spark a fresh wave of protest about high pay in the financial industry, despite protestations from bankers that bonus pools are down markedly on 2010.

Millions still face pensions robbery Serwotka tells BBC

In an extended BBC interview, PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka says millions of public servants still face the prospect of paying more and working longer for a worse pension.

4 January

Child poverty set to soar, says IFS study

Out-of-touch economic overlords will be shunting an incredible half a million more children below the poverty line within three years, the Institute for Fiscal Studies found.

South Yorks bus drivers strike amid First signs of progress – Union-News

The UnionNews website reported that hundreds of Unite bus drivers working for Stagecoach in South Yorkshire were on their seventh day of strike action over pay.

3 January

We cannot give in to defeatism – Morning Star

PCS head Mark Serwotka made a rallying call in the Morning Star to leading trade unionists: Don’t give up

Tax officials under fire for crackdown on small firms – Guardian

Tax officials have been accused by business leaders and Tory MPs of harassing small firms while taking a soft approach to the tax liabilities of major companies.


2 January

2012: a chance to fight and win on public sector pensions – Guardian Comment is Free

With the public sector pensions dispute at a pivotal point, the first few weeks of 2012 will be critical in framing the future of widespread opposition to this government's cruel and unnecessary programme of austerity, wrote PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka on the Guardian website.

Passengers threaten a day of action over fares – Daily Telegraph

The Daily Telegraph reported that angry rail commuters are threatening to jam the Treasury switchboard in protest over rapidly rising fare rises.

1 January

Don’t feed the world? How food aid can do more harm than good – Red Pepper

While the media again reports 'famine in the horn of Africa' caused by 'drought', Rasna Warah writing for Red Pepper magazine looks at the real reasons why people are going hungry

31 December

Executive pay ‘got out of line’, says IoD chief – Financial Times

Executive pay and the lack of women on company boards need to be tackled to put right some of the UK’s “key failings”, a business leader has said in the Financial Times.

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