PCS news digest 9 December

9 December 2011

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

9 December

Goldman Sachs whistleblower threatened with the sack – Guardian

A solicitor at HM Revenue and Customs who turned whistleblower to disclose that senior managers had quietly let off Goldman Sachs from paying millions of pounds in tax penalties is facing disciplinary procedures and possible prosecution for speaking out.

Unilever – a family business? No, a pensions bully – UnionNews

Lord Leverhulme – Unilever’s founder – fought more than a century ago to enhance workers’ pension rights. The actions of the current board spit in the face of everything their founder stood for, says Jennie Formby for the UnionNews website.


8 December

Union leaders call for new body to monitor low pay – Daily Record

Union chiefs backed Labour calls for a “living wage unit” to monitor low pay, reported the Daily Record.

Block on pensions talks exposes ministers’ hypocrisy – PCS

The largest civil service union is challenging ministers to explain how pensions negotiations can be said to be ongoing when they have now confirmed so many areas are ruled out of the discussions, says PCS.

Strikers picket council offices in Weymouth – View newspapers, Dorset

Schools closed and councils ran with skeleton staff when hundreds of public sector workers went on strike in Weymouth and Portland.

Tories plot back-door sell-off – Morning Star

Unions raised fears that the Tories are planning a back-door privatisation of local public services just as councils face massive budget cuts for next year, reported the Morning Star.

Congratulations, madam ... it’s a bill! – UnionNews

Unions have warned the privatisation of maternity care in the Wirral could lead to pregnant women being charged for a range of services in the future, reported UnionNews


7 December

80,000 will die before new Tory pension age – Daily Mirror

Around 80,000 more people will die without claiming a penny of state pension because of Tory reforms, reported the Daily Mirror.

Cancer patients to face welfare tests – Guardian

The Guardian reported that thousands of seriously ill cancer patients will be forced to take medical tests and face "back to work" interviews, despite assurances from ministers that they would not make it harder for the sick to get welfare, charities have warned.

Osborne’s move on regional pay is ‘economically incoherent’ – PCS

Chancellor George Osborne’s statement that he wants public sector pay to be set locally is “economically incoherent”, says PCS.


6 December

Nick Clegg’s plan for shareholders to tackle fat-cat pay won’t work – the Guardian

Economist Prem Sikka argues on the Guardian’s Comment is Free site that Clegg’s plans to crack down on executive pay will fail because they function more like traders than owners.

Pensions fight goes on after court ruling – PCS

The majority ruling against PCS’s High Court challenge to the government's imposed switch in the inflation measure used to increase public sector pensions was disappointing, but is not the end.


5 December

Why Clarkson wants to shoot trade unionists – UnionNews

Wednesday’s TUC-led day of action was a reminder that British trade unions have not been marginalised, that they can still kick back, and that they remain a potent force in British society, wrote John Monks on the UnionNews website.

Income inequality growing faster in UK than any other rich country, says OECD – Guardian

The Guardian reported that income inequality among working-age people has risen faster in Britain than in any other rich nation since the mid-1970s owing to the rise of a financial services elite who through education and marriage have concentrated wealth into the hands of a tiny minority, according to a new report by the OECD.


4 December

Privateers handed your NHS records – Morning Star

Prime Minister David Cameron announced plans to hand patients' confidential NHS records over to medical privateers.

Why is British public life dominated by men – the Observer

In a typical month,78% of newspaper articles are written by men, 72% of Question Time contributors are men and 84% of reporters and guests on Radio 4's Today show are men. Where are all the women? Kira Cochrane tries to find out why in the Observer.


3 December

We want to show there is a place for Welsh – Red Pepper

Red Pepper magazine writer Amy Hall talks to the activists fighting to save the only Welsh language television channel.

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