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Issue:- 28/29  October 2009


UNISON, TGWU and GMB public service unions, have submitted a 2.5% or Ł500 pay claim on behalf of some 1.5 million local government workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The claim covers care assistants, cleaners, teaching assistants, librarians, social workers and refuse collectors among others, who are at the bottom of the public sector pay league.

Heather Wakefield, UNISON’s Head of Local Government, said:- “The 2.5% claim is modest and takes account of the tough economic climate and the predicted inflation rate for next year.

We believe this claim is both realistic and affordable.  Local Government workers are playing a vital role in helping communities through the recession, offering practical support alongside debt and housing advice. I would urge the employers to settle this claim quickly and allow council workers to focus on the job in hand, delivering quality public services.”

Brian Strutton, GMB National Secretary, said:- “GMB is very clear that our 2010 pay claim is affordable and no more than council workers deserve. We are proposing a bottom-loaded increase yielding more for the lowest paid and overall it would add less than 3% to the paybill.

Our careful research of local authorities finances shows that this level of increase can be sustained. Local Government employees have had low pay rises for years and have been through restructuring after restructuring to make efficiency savings, so this claim is no more than they deserve.

Given the huge and continuing pay rises and bonuses that those at the top of society are still enjoying, GMB sees no reason why the ordinary workers shouldn’t be treated fairly and we will back our members to the hilt to ensure that they are.”

Peter Allenson, National Officer for Unite the union, said:- “The claim submitted is more than reasonable. Local Government staff provide vital services to the local community.  They deserve every last penny of this proposed increase and, without it, services will suffer.”

Celebrate Halloween Eve with Musical Fireworks!

MDL Fireworks will be bringing you a massive firework display on 30 October 2009, at the Ship Inn, on Rosemary Lane, Haskayne.  The event will be in aid of Clairhouse and on offer will be Children's Games, Ghoulish Food, and lots more! Also helping out will be the Army, so expect some interesting things! On top of all that, the pub will also offer free admission and a disco...  Fancy dress is requested for all attending.  Call on 01704840077 for more details.

Sajjad Karim MEP; Supporting Wind Power as a source of Low Carbon Technology

SAJJAD Karim, Conservative North West MEP and member of the Industry, Research and Energy Committee in the European Parliament has offered his support to the European Commission’s publication on investing in the Development of Low Carbon Technologies as a crucial measure for the development of renewable energy in Europe.

Given Mr Karim’s Committee Membership on the Industry, Research and Energy in the European Parliament, Mr Karim has a special interest in developing already existing and novel renewable energy sources.

In agreement with the European Wind Energy Association, Mr Karim is in support of the proposed 6 billion Euro budget set aside for wind energy as a sensible investment in Europe’s energy future. Mr Karim is committed to the furtherance of wind power as an alternative energy source, especially given that it does not emit greenhouse gas and improves Europe’s energy security and competitiveness.

Mr Karim’s own constituency, the North West of England has been identified as a prime area for wind power generation. Just less than 12% of the proposed new energy research budget allocated to specific generation technologies will go to wind. Mr Karim welcomes the increase in wind energy research funds, especially since no other renewable energy technology to date offers such a considerable return in greenhouse has reduction and electricity generation for such a minimal investment.

Commenting on the Commission’s publication, Mr Karim stated:- “I welcome the European Commission’s publication on investing in the development of low carbon technologies. Europe’s future will ultimately depend on securing energy. The EU is exploring many possibilities of building greater trust and deeper ties with countries that will be our energy partners in external energy resources, which is critical in the EU’s endeavour for energy security.

However, it is crucial also that Member States make the best use of the resources and potential they already have to generate energy, such as here in the North West, which has been identified as a prime area for wind power generation. The Commission’s publication is promising for the generation of wind power and has allocated sensibly the resources available for low carbon technology research and I welcome the significant increase in wind energy research funds.

The Commission’s publication also emphasises the fact that the return would be fully competitive and wind power generation would be capable of contributing up to 20% of EU Electricity by 2020 and as much as 33% by 2030.

Wind power generation would also be able to create more than 250 000 skilled jobs across the European Union which couldn’t be more welcome at a time when the economic crisis is taking its toll.”

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