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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
Covering the news in and around Merseyside


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Issue:- 20 January 2010


UNIONS UNISON, UNITE and the GMB, said that local government workers were facing a grim 2011, after their employers refused to make a pay offer.

Local government workers have been hit with below inflation pay settlements for 5 out of the last 7 years. Even those earning under £21,000 will not get the much-hyped £250 increase George Osborne promised them in the Emergency Budget. Hundreds of thousands of staff are facing the prospect of losing their jobs, and all are being hit with a 3% hike in their pensions contributions.

At the same time, inflation and VAT hikes have piled the pressure onto family budgets. The price of fuel has gone up by 37% since Jan 2007, and food has gone up by 25% in the same period.

Recent research revealed a ‘poverty premium’, whereby low-income families spend nearly £1,300 more each year on basic goods, services and on heating their homes than better off workers. This will include many local government staff, as 66% earn less than £18,000.

Heather Wakefield, UNISON Head of Local Government, said:- “While the employers stall on whether to make a pay offer or not, local government workers are struggling with the rising cost of basic living. Low-income families spend a big proportion of their income on everyday goods like food and fuel. What little disposable income they did have has been eaten up by consistently high inflation. Our members – people who provide vital local services like home care, who work as teaching assistants and bin men are facing severe hardship. Meanwhile, the bankers who caused this crisis are caught in different shower altogether – as bonus billions rain down on them, as if this economic crisis they caused had never even happened.”

Peter Allenson, Unite national organiser, said:- “After recent years of below inflation pay awards and last years pay freeze, which effectively was a pay cut when inflation had taken its toll, low paid local government workers are being pushed into poverty.  The employers didn't even observe the miserly government pay policy last year of £250 pounds for those earning less than £21,000.  Unite members are outraged that having had the claim for some months now there has been no offer made. If the employers don't start treating their workforce with more respect local services will be damaged beyond repair."

Cupid has arrived on Merseyside’s High Streets....

ROMANTICS in Merseyside are being given the chance to declare their true love in front of thousands by posting a Love Note in one of the county’s British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) windows - playing a crucial part in the fight against heart disease while making someone’s day this Valentine’s Day.

Getting involved couldn’t be easier, simply pop down to any Merseyside shop between 17 January 2011 and 14 February 2011, and for a suggested donation of £1 you can declare your love in the shop window for all to see. Businesses are also being encouraged to ‘show their softer side’ by sponsoring a Love Note.

With Christine and Neil Hamilton declaring their love for each other through their Love Notes this year; singer Kate Nash shouting about her support for the BHF; Alex Ferguson stating “he’s always been a red!” and actress Cleo Rocos announcing she “loves feeling fabulous” join in today and start thinking about your special message.

BHF Retail Director, Mike Lucas, said:- “Love Notes are a great way to publicly declare your love for someone or something special while supporting the nation’s heart charity. With previous Love Notes containing marriage proposals - people truly put their heart on the line when they place a Love Note in our Shop windows. Help us save lives in Merseyside by joining the romantic fun today.”

For more information on all the ways you can support Merseyside shops visit:- or call:- 0844 412 500 to find your nearest shop.


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Remarkable will use any information provided by you for the purposes of selecting participants for the programme and will only share information with Channel 4 and any independent contractors involved in the programme.

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