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Issue Date:- 24 December 2007

Coastguards Wiling To Strike Over Pay Warns Union

MEMBERS of PCS working for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) have overwhelmingly indicated their willingness to take strike action for the first time in their 154 year history over pay it was announced on 18 December 2007.

According to the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), 90% of its members voted that they would take strike action in a consultative ballot.

Up to 700 members have taking part in industrial action, short of a strike since the end of May 2007, over below inflation cost of living increases and pay levels that fall way behind those paid to other emergency services.

The PCS condemned pay levels in the MCA saying:- "The public do not know that coastguard watch assistants, who actively participate in search planning and other duties in response to 999 calls, only earn the national minimum wage!

Staff have also been expected to stomach a pay cut in real terms with pay rises averaging just 2.5% for many and the most experienced staff receiving pay increases of less than 1%."

The PCS warned that it would, "Move to a formal ballot for strike action should the agency and the government fail to address pay disparities with other emergency services and continue with its policy of cutting the pay of staff in real terms."

Commenting, Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said:- "The government and the MCA can be in no doubt about the feeling of injustice amongst people who deliver a vital emergency service and save lives.

It is an absolute disgrace that you have coastguard watch assistants receiving a pay rise this October merely to comply with the increase in the national minimum wage.

Members are angry that MCA management commissioned and then ignored findings of pay comparison exercises carried out at the end of last year which have supported the union's claim for comparability with other 999 services.

The campaign launch on public sector pay by the TUC shows that civil and public servants across the public sector share that anger and will no tolerate pay cuts in real terms being railroaded through.

The government and the MCA can avoid strike action by acting now and recognising that coastguards deserve fair pay at comparable levels to other emergency services."

Christmas Magic preformed by Matt Colman

SOUTHPORT Magician Matt Colman took time out to go around Southport with us to film this entertaining footage. Sadly, due to time, not all the footage has been used, but be reassured, the rest will be used later on in 2008. We would like to thank all who helped us produce this video in Southport:- Flava, The Latin Lounge, Sandhu Off Licence, Leo's Bar, Fuagos, S.F.C. Southport and Krush. We hope you enjoy the program.


Please note that Real Player option is at higher resolution than the none Real Player option.

New Year’s Eve in Liverpool – Liverpool Cathedral

THE world’s highest and heaviest peal of bells will ring in Liverpool’s reign as European Capital of Culture, as part of a special multi-denominational celebration at Liverpool Cathedral on New Year’s Eve.

The running order is as follows:-

2230hrs – Doors open

2300hrs – Love and Joy gospel choir start the service, which will feature Bishop of Liverpool, James Jones and Archbishop Patrick Kelly, together with many others.

2345hrs – The congregation move outside the building and assemble in the carpark in front of the Rankin Porch.

At the approach of midnight, the Cathedral’s rarely tolled, 14.5 tonne bell, Great George, will ring out 12 times, as 12 candles are lit on the porch.

At the sound of the last bell – at 0000hrs – a ‘2008’ sign in fire writing will ignite on a 40ft x 10ft wall over the porch, while eight searchlights illuminate the side of the Cathedral.

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