PCS news digest 17 February

17 February 2012

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

17 February

Housing benefit cap forces families to leave central London or be homeless – Guardian

As primary schools struggle to cope with the disruption caused to children, a council officer declares: 'To live in Westminster is a privilege, not a right', reported the Guardian.

New proposals put forward to regulate bailiffs - Independent

The way in which bailiffs are regulated will be overhauled in a bid to clamp down on bad practices, a justice minister has said.

Action needed now to stop gang violence in London courts – PCS website

PCS is warning that someone will die if action isn't taken immediately to stop gang violence in and around courts.

16 February

1.1million women thrown on dole – Daily Mirror

Women are bearing the brunt of Tory policies which have created the worst unemployment crisis for 16 years, reported the Daily Mirror.

Government hypocrisy exposed by pay figures – PCS website

The Daily Mirror reported that yesterday’s grim official figures showed that jobless numbers shot up by 48,000 to 2.67 million in December – the highest since John Major was in power in 1995.

15 February

RMT demands Network Rail investigation into strike-breaking operation at St Pancras Eurostar cleaning company – RMT website

Rail union RMT has demanded an urgent Network Rail investigation into claims passed to the union by staff that the company at the heart of the St Pancras/Eurostar dispute is allegedly planning to utilise an “in-house” agency to break the strike.

Department of Health apologises over tax deals ‘misunderstanding’ – Guardian

Andrew Lansley faces questions after leaked emails reveal at least 25 senior staff have salaries paid to companies, reported the Guardian.

14 February

DVLA staff protest over plans to close UK offices – BBC website

Transport staff held protests in England and Wales over plans to close dozens of Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) offices, reported the BBC.

University funding body must cut staff as budget shrinks – Wales Online

PCS is opposing cuts at the body charged with funding Wales’ universities which could cut a fifth of its staff despite saving more than £200,000 last year, Wales Online revealed.

Jobless total hits 16-year high – Morning Star

Britain's dole queue began snaking ominously towards the three million mark as the number out of work hit a 16-year high at 2.67 million, reported the Morning Star.

13 February

Bonuses in public sector under review – BBC news website

Public sector bonuses are to face new restrictions amid anger over pay levels at taxpayer-subsidised organisations, reported the BBC website.

Rise in private sector redundancy intentions contributes to worst employment prospects since the recession – CIPD

The main finding of the latest Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) quarterly labour market outlook survey found that the first quarter of 2012 will be the most difficult quarter for the jobs market since the recession, as the number of private sector firms surveyed planning to make redundancies increases.

Two more unions look to join 28 March action – PCS website

College lecturers and firefighters look set to join PCS and the National Union of Teachers for a proposed national strike against pensions on Wednesday 28 March, reported the PCS website.

12 February

Poll shows 62% don’t trust coalition to handle the NHS - UnionNews

A YouGov poll commissioned by UNISON suggested a majority of the public does not trust the government to handle the NHS, reported the UnionNews website

Tax credit changes to hit poorest – Morning Star

Parents in low-income jobs are set to lose thousands of pounds a year because of a change in tax credit rules, reported the Morning Star.

The firm that hijacked the NHS – Mail on Sunday

Investigation reveals extent of international management consultant’s role in Lansley’s health reforms, according to the Mail on Sunday.

11 February

UCU joins balloting for strike over pensions “heads” – UnionNews

Members of UCU in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme will be asked if they are prepared to take further strike action in the continuing row over government changes to their pensions, reported the UnionNews website.

An ‘excess of democracy’: what two generations of radicals can learn from each other – Red Pepper

The ability of the Occupy movement to create platforms outside our closed political system to force open a debate on inequality, the taboo at the heart of the financial crisis, is impressive, writes Hilary Wainwright for Red Pepper magazine. 

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