Labour Research February 2015

Councils of despair - Coalition cuts mean that local authorities are struggling due to huge financial pressure with devastating consequences for local services and jobs; Pensions - A variety of changes are taking place to pension provision. Bryn Davies, director of Union Pension Services, explains what these are as well as the main issues relating to them; Pay and living standards - Pay and living standards will figure large in the election. What are the facts behind the fall in real wages since the recession?


NHS workers prepare to step up action over pay (389 words)

Thousands of NHS workers were set for a third wave of strike action over the government’s refusal to implement a “miserly” 1% pay rise as ...
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Building union hails victory (249 words)

News that the Welsh government will stop workers being wrongly made to work via umbrella companies has been hailed as a “massive victory” by ...
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Industrial news (251 words)

In Northern Ireland, water company NI Water has been involved in a dispute which, say unions, involve making “detrimental changes to the current ...
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Government must intervene to support oil industry jobs (310 words)

The announcement by energy giant BP that it is to cut 200 jobs and 100 contractor roles in the North Sea has been described as a “devastating ...
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Under-employment lingers (226 words)

The number of people who are under-employed will not return to pre-recession levels for more than eight years if current trends continue, according ...
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Stores swing jobs axe (237 words)

A succession of cost-cutting announcements by major supermarket groups as a result of disappointing sales has left workers nervous about the future. ...
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Inflation measures under review (231 words)

Both the two main measures of inflation hit lows in December, but their use may end as official measures. ...
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Joblessness falls again (70 words)

Unemployment fell again in the three months to November, with numbers down by 58,000 to 1.9 million. The unemployment rate was down to 5.8% — the ...
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (419 words)

Inflation +1.6%, Average Earnings +1.8% ...
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Union news

Conservatives’ proposed strike ballot threshold would not hold up for MPs (427 words)

Only two per cent of current MPs would have been legitimately elected if the threshold for strike ballots being proposed by the Tories applied to MPs. ...
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PCS takes measures to shore up union (429 words)

Radical measures are being taken by the PCS civil service union to help it withstand what it calls an “unprecedented assault” on it by the ...
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European news

Discussions re-start after wave of strikes in Belgium (401 words)

Employers and unions in Belgium are once again in negotiations on pay and other issues after a series of strikes that paralysed the country in ...
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Change assists investment boost (257 words)

The European Commission has set out the rules governing its €315 billion (about £250 billion) investment plan, which is intended to boost the ...
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Cypriot unions oppose airline closure (109 words)

Unions in Cyprus have protested against the closure of Cyprus Airways which ceased operations on 9 January with the loss of 560 jobs. ...
Open access

Strikes planned over Polish post office cuts (144 words)

The state-owned Polish post office, Poczta Polska, plans significant job cuts and major changes in its pay structures this year and unions have ...
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Councils face meltdown (2,132 words)

Local councillors will be voting on their 2015-16 budgets this month against a backdrop of what one union official has described as “meltdown”. ...
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What’s happening to pension provision? (2,547 words)

This is one of the busiest times ever for the UK’s pension system. Bryn Davies, director and actuary at Union Pension Services, offers Labour ...
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Living standards: the facts behind the headlines (1,718 words)

Pay and living standards will be central to the general election campaign, with the parties trading statistics on the earnings squeeze and the cost ...
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Law Matters

New regulations limit claims (514 words)

New regulations have been rushed through by the government to limit a worker’s basic right to recover their unpaid wages. These are the Deduction ...
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Outsourced workers win (173 words)

Construction workers’ union UCATT marked the start of 2015 with a victory for 200 outsourced workers, dismissed without warning in September 2010 ...
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Enforcing NMW: TUC publishes new plan (224 words)

The TUC has published a new report on national minimum wage (NMW) enforcement, Keeping up the pressure — what more needs to be done?, setting out a ...
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Law Queries

Employer collapse (294 words)

Q. My employer has collapsed and I’ve been told I’m to lose my job. What are my rights? ...
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Partner of disbled worker (494 words)

Q. My wife has been diagnosed with cancer. Am I entitled to time off to look after her? ...
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Law Back-up

Will audits impact on UK’s gender pay gap? (898 words)

October 2014 saw the launch of compulsory equal pay audits. But are these audits likely to have any impact at all on the UK’s gender pay gap, which ...
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Health & Safety Matters

Health unions blast crisis in A&E units (317 words)

The NHS is now “on the brink of disaster”, said Dave Prentis, general secretary of the UNISON public services union last month. Prentis was ...
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Media workers’ deaths (227 words)

Over 100 journalists and media staff were killed during their duties in 2014 — an increase of 13% compared with the previous year — according to ...
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Cowboy tankers could be driven out (241 words)

Those putting cowboy fuel tankers on the road will be deterred by a new Petroleum Driver Passport (PDP) covering more than 6,000 fuel tanker drivers ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

Don’t slip up when it comes to this hazard (837 words)

Winter weather, including ice and snow, brings an increased risk of slips and trips — one of the commonest reasons for workplace injury. Back-up ...
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Equality news

Survey benchmarks workplace diversity (341 words)

Black and minority ethnic (BME) employees are more likely to make a formal complaint in the workplace than white employees, according to the results ...
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New parents’ dilemmas (302 words)

Over three-quarters (77%) of new mothers say household finance was the main factor influencing their decision to return to work, according to ...
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Metropolitan Police must improve (154 words)

A new London Assembly report says the Metropolitan Police must do more to ensure its workforce better reflects the capital it serves. ...
Open access

Access to work (96 words)

The TUC has welcomed a report published by the Work and Pensions Committee that calls for funding and training improvements for the Access to Work ...
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Workplace Back-up

TUC gives guidance on health assessments (870 words)

The TUC has recently issued guidance for union representatives on Fit for Work assessments, a new government service involving a referral for an ...
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Will Thorne (177 words)

My life’s battles ...
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Massacre (194 words)

The life and death of the Paris Commune of 1871 ...
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e-views (419 words)

Anyone who uses the World Wide Web will be familiar with the “404 Page Not Found” message which appears when you visit a webpage that doesn’t ...
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News from LRD

LRD Annual General Meeting (94 words)

The 2015 annual general meeting of the Labour Research Department (LRD) will be held on Monday 18 May, 2015 from 2.00pm at Jerwood Space, Union ...
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