PCS news digest 13 January

13 January 2012

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

13 January

Child benefit cuts ‘looked at for fairness’ – BBC website

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said the government is looking at ways to make controversial plans to cut child benefit "fairer".

Green deal suffers setback as loft insulations set to plummet – Guardian

The Guardian reported that the government's flagship green policy to transform the energy efficiency of 14 million homes and create 65,000 jobs appears doomed to fail, with the revelation of its own figures showing the number of lofts being lagged is set to plummet by 93%.


12 January

Walkout over cuts at National Gallery – PCS

Workers at the National Gallery in London are to strike next week over staff cuts that have led to the closure of some galleries, reported the PCS website.

PCS considers legal advice – Morning Star

A union being sidelined in top-level talks about public-sector pensions threatened to up the ante and seek legal advice – as well as keeping more industrial action up its sleeve, reported the Morning Star.

Welfare bill left in tatters after savaging in Lords – Financial Times

The Financial Times reported that ministers have been humiliated in the House of Lords over their plans for sweeping changes to the benefit system, suffering three defeats in a single evening in a concerted rebellion that leaves the government’s welfare bill in tatters.

More RBS sackings to spark union showdown – Independent

Royal Bank of Scotland is set for a showdown with unions as it prepares to unveil thousands of job cuts at a time when the body charged with overseeing the taxpayers' stake is in crisis, according to the Independent.


11 January

Millions hit as pension plans shrink by £3,000 in past four years – Daily Mail

Workers who retire this year can expect their pensions to be £3,000 less than they would have been in 2008

“Civil disobedience all over the place”, if government continues – Union-News

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey has warned on the Union-News website of a campaign of resistance on pensions going “right through the year, into the summer and the Olympics” unless coalition ministers change direction on pensions and other attacks on public services.

Box office feels force of North’s loathing of the Iron Lady – The Independent

The Independent reported that a new film on Margaret Thatcher has pulled in the viewers – and divided the country


10 January

TUC blog shows economic indicators for 2009-11 – Touchstone blog

TUC's  'economic dashboard' shows data including a large increase in number of long-term unemployed

Solidarity with disabled people fighting cuts – PCS

PCS members and supporters are being urged to sign a petition against government attacks on services and benefits for people with disabilities.

London worst for child poverty – BBC

A 'child poverty map' claims London borough Tower Hamlets is the worst area in the UK for child poverty, according to the BBC website.


9 January

More strikes planned at Unilever sites over pensions row – Liverpool Echo

Unilever workers from Merseyside are expected to join others from around the country at their company’s head office in London as they continue to press the company over pensions reforms.

Give workers greater say on pay, urges think tank – Guardian

The Guardian reported that a think tank close to Nick Clegg has challenged David Cameron to give workers a greater say in the running of companies.

The right tries to blame youth unemployment on immigration – again – Institute for Public Policy Research

The Institute for Public Policy Research demolishes MigrationWatch’s assertion that youth unemployment and immigration are more than a coincidence.


8 January

Cut working week to 20 hours, urge economists – Observer

The Observer reported that think tanks the New Economics Foundation claims job sharing and increased leisure are the answer to rising unemployment.

Disabled people listened to on welfare plans? It’s a government sham – The Guardian

Campaigner Sue Marsh warned in the Guardian that the government’s welfare reform bill would be disastrous for sick and disabled people.


7 January

Public sector pensions dispute at ‘pivotal moment’, say Serwotka – Guardian

Mark Serwotka launched a strong attack on union leaders who are contemplating backing the government's pension reform proposals, reported the Guardian.

Union drives through Stagecoach pay barrier – Union-News

More than 400 Unite members working at the Stagecoach bus company in South Yorkshire are to be balloted on an improved pay offer from the company, following seven days of strike action, reported the Union-News website.

Pensions: Keep united and step up the fight – Red Pepper blog

Michael Calderbank reported for Red Pepper from PCS Left Unity's organising conference on the pensions fight.

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