PCS news digest 30 March

30 March 2012

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

30 March

George Galloway wins Bradford West by-election – Telegraph

Respect party leader welcomes “anti-austerity” vote as Galloway proclaims “the Bradford spring”.

Fuel strike threat – BBC online

Petrol sales soar as government and hauliers meet to discuss strike threat by tanker drivers in Unite union.

Pro-choice activists fight ‘unholy alliance’ – Morning Star

Protest against anti-abortion extremists.

29 March

Teachers threaten further walk-outs in pension row – Telegraph

The National Union of Teachers could stage fresh walk-outs next term – including a series of focused regional protests – as part of a long-standing campaign against Government changes to public sector retirement funds, reported the Daily Telegraph.

Teachers and lecturers stage 24-hour strike in pensions dispute – Independent

About 6,000 people - double initial predictions - joined the strike, organised by the National Union of Teachers and University and College Union, with about two thirds of schools in London being affected through closure or reduced classes, reported the Independent.

Bradford judge demands firm explains after it failed to provide interpreter in case – Telegraph and Argus

A leading Bradford judge is demanding answers after calling a new system’s failure to provide a translator for a vulnerable woman in a violence and sex abuse trial “a disgrace”, reported the Telegraph and Argus.

28 March

Sporting hero backs sacked union rep – PCS website

A footballing legend from the north east of England has urged his fans to support the campaign for a sacked PCS rep.

Unite urges MoD members to reject pensions proposals – Union-News

Unite members in the Ministry of Defence and government departments have started voting in a consultative ballot on public sector pensions, reported the Union-News website.

Greggs calls on Osborn to scrap hot pasty VAT – BBC

Last week's budget added VAT on warm meat pies and other hot food, and food chain Greggs has led criticism of the pasty tax, reported the BBC website.

27 March

Merseyside museums at risk of major cuts – Guardian

Cuts in central government funding may force the organisation responsible for the new Museum of Liverpool, the Walker Art Gallery and several other museums and galleries on Merseyside, to reduce staff numbers by up to one in four, close some display galleries and introduce charges for special exhibition, reported the Guardian.

Golf club surprise for Tory grandees – PCS

Members of PCS and other unions demonstrated outside the Conservative Party annual meeting in the Nottinghamshire constituency of justice secretary Kenneth Clarke.

26 March

Government contractors look to India for DWP IT developer roles – Computer World UK

The Department for Work and Pensions has been accused of reneging on a commitment to keep jobs in the UK, reported Computer World UK.

Outsourcing drive gathers pace but pitfalls are exposed – Financial Times

Private sector suppliers to government are scrambling to win billions of pounds of work from changes to the benefit system as the coalition presses ahead with its next big outsourcing drive in the wake of the welfare reform bill, passed just over two weeks ago, reported the Financial Times.

25 March

Tories are destroying the life chances of a generation – Union-News

A podcast on the Union-News website described how government attacks are hitting the nation’s youth hard.

Top Tory resigns over ‘£250,000 for access to Cameron’ boast – Independent on Sunday

A Conservative Party treasurer has been forced to resign after being filmed offering secret meetings with the prime minister in return for annual donations of £250,000, reported the Independent on Sunday. 

24 March

Minister criticised by union – ThisIsSouthWales 

The ThisIsSouthWales website reported how PCS representing DVLA workers in Swansea has accused transport minister Mike Penning of misleading MPs over plans to close the agency's regional offices.

Office closures justified with ‘false claims’ – Morning Star

Civil service union PCS leader Mark Serwotka called on transport minister Mike Penning to correct a "catalogue of false claims" he made in parliament to justify office closure plans, reported the Morning Star.

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