One of the early acts of the coalition government was to wipe away all the regional infrastructure which supported economic regeneration and investment. The word 'Region' became the word that could not be spoken - until its' reappearance as a means of attacking the pay of ordinary men and women who are already struggling under the policies introduced by this government.
Clearly, the government do not think it is enough to impose wage freezes and cut jobs - they want to drive working people into low pay ghettos outside London. We don't think that is right and have been talking to MPs of all persuasions arguing the case against imposing this divisive policy.
We have sent a resolution to local authorities asking them to debate the issues in their council chambers. Unsurprisingly, sensible local politicians who can see the pitfalls of lower pay for their staff are supporting the resolution. To date we have Cannock Chase, Erewash and Mansfield councils supporting the motion. For more information and resources do visit the Pay Fair website at: http://www.tuc.org.uk/industrial/index.cfm?mins=447&minors=371&majorsubjectID=8
Midlands TUC Regional Secretary
The coalition government has mooted the idea of regional pay. They seem to think it is a good idea. We don't!
Research from the New Economics Foundation (Nef) found that implementing government plans to move to regional, rather than national, public sector pay could cost the economy almost £10 billion a year.
The research is especially important as the government still hasn't carried out any serious analysis of its proposals. Nef's research, funded by the TUC, found that, in the worst-case scenario, the sucking of hundreds of millions of pounds out of local economies - as pay was cut - could cost the economy £9.7bn and lead to as many as 110,000 jobs being lost.
Even in the 'best'-case scenario - where Nef assumed that ministers are right and the pay of public sector workers is preventing the private sector from recruiting as they can't match public salaries (extremely unlikely to be correct) - the overall impact on the economy would still be negative, with national income reduced by £2.7bn and only 11,000 jobs created.
£9.7bn, the impact of the worst-case scenario, is about 0.43% of GDP. 0.43% might not sound like very much - it is, after all, less than half of one per cent. But here's why it matters.
This week also saw the release of the latest IMF forecasts for the UK economy. The IMF expects the UK economy to grow by just 0.2% in 2012 and by 1.4% in 2013. In other words, the impact of moving to regional pay is twice as high as the total growth expected this year. It would knock around a quarter off growth in 2013. This is big.
Regional pay could not only mean weaker growth, it could also entrench regional inequalities and add to the ongoing squeeze in living standards.
It is also self-defeating. When the economy is depressed (and we're in the longest slump in modern economic history) anything that sucks spending out of the economy will lead to lower growth and a higher deficit.
Cutting people's pay means that they'll spend less - and less spending means weaker businesses, higher unemployment, lower tax revenues and more social security spending.
Lower growth, a bigger squeeze in living standards, greater regional imbalance and no progress on the deficit - it's really hard to see what the case for regional pay actually is.
Duncan Weldon is senior policy officer at the TUC and blogs at Touchstone.
This October will see two major demonstrations against government policy - and urging people to join the campaign for a Future that Works.
On Sunday 7th October the TUC is organising a march through Birmingham City Centre to coincide with the Conservative Party conference which is being held at the International Convention Centre. The march will skirt the ICC and end with a rally at St Marks Space behind the National Indoor Arena.
Speakers for Birmingham have been booked and we currently have a number of trade union general secretaries lined up to give their views of where the country should be heading to improve employment, skills and economic regeneration. To date we have:
Christine Blower NUT; Bob Crow RMT
Sally Hunt UCU; Tony Kearns, CWU
Chris Keates NASUWT; Len McCluskey Unite
Steve Murphy UCATT; Mick Whelan, ASLEF
Matt Wrack FBU
The march will assemble from 11:00 a.m. on High Street, Birmingham, with a move off from 11.30 a.m. Further information will be posted on the TUC website and Midlands TUC blog at: http://midlandstucmedia.blogspot.co.uk/
Two weeks later there will be a huge mobilisation in London where we will be marching through the capital from the Embankment to Hyde Park. Details will be posted on the dedicated TUC website: http://afuturethatworks.org/
Our friends at False Economy are hosting the coach and train travel pages for October 20:
Anyone who has booked transport to the march and wants to offer seats to others can use this facility to advertise them. Or if you're looking for a place on a coach, keep checking it out. As more coaches are added, the map will fill up, and make it easy to locate cheap travel options to get you to London on the day.
We are pleased to announce that Wembley Stadium is now accepting coach parking bookings at a total cost of £32.00 per coach. The website for booking is www.gotocsp.com
>Click on Stadium Events>Search through to TUC by clicking on 'Next' button>Then follow the site payment procedure.
The direct website link is:
Please let coach operators know, as they often book their own parking directly. Coach park is allocated on arrival. The post code for the coach park location is HA9 OWS. Coach drop off arrangements will be finalised nearer the event time.
Please note we expect to announce other coach parking options soon - which may better serve coaches travelling into London from Southern & Eastern directions. Some operators are too busy with Olympics events at present to firm up arrangements.
People who wish to offer coach places can now use the False Economy website to do so. Although we won't expect this to be busy until much nearer the time, the facility is now live at:
For these two major mobilisations to be effective and safe we are looking for union members to come forward and volunteer to be a steward. If you can help steward in Birmingham, email Michele Kesterton on firstname.lastname@example.org so we can add you to our database and keep in touch with information about the day, when to arrive, where to go etc.
For almost a century, Derby's Alice Wheeldon and her family have been vilified as the Peartree conspirators. Accused of attempting to murder Lloyd George, the Prime Minister, they were imprisoned and Alice herself died soon afterwards.
Derby City Libraries are hosting a unique open - floor event on 30th August where Alice's living descendants and researcher Nick Hiley will discuss the case and review significant new evidence.
Join us and discover how a Derby woman who campaigned for workers' and women's rights and supported conscientious objectors during WWI was arrested on a charge of attempting to kill a British Prime Minister. Join the debate on whether they were innocent or guilty. Were the Wheeldons victim to a miscarriage of justice?
Should we, in fact, be proud of this Daughter of Derby?
Derby Mayor, Lisa Higginbottom, will open the event.
Venue: Derby Central Library, main entrance
Dates/Times: Thursday 30 August, 7.30 - 9.30pm
Advance booking is advised. Please contact Derby Local Studies Library on 01332 642240 or Email: Localstudies.email@example.com
Further information is available at the Derby local History website:
As the recent Health and Social Care Act (2012) shows, the NHS has been subject to much change since its inception in 1948. Having recently celebrated its 64th birthday, the NHS is entering another period of significant change.
To mark these changes, and to show them in their historical context, we have launched an interactive timeline that brings the NHS' history to life, charting the evolution of this public institution from its inception in the post-war years through to the present day.
The timeline outlines the current NHS reforms and how they came about, while also highlighting the future changes to the system that are expected.
To use the timeline, simply scroll through the decades, access further information, and watch embedded videos to familiarise yourself with the history of this dynamic institution. The timeline is a live resource and will be updated when further significant changes and developments take place.
We believe the timeline to be a solid, accessible and fun educational tool that can be beneficial for the users of your network and anyone interested in health care, policy and public services in the UK. We would like to therefore share it with you and ask about the possibility to include a link to it in your next newsletter or in the news section on your website.
The link to the timeline:
You might also be interested in some key slides that we have developed to help illustrate the main changes to management, accountability and funding structures resulting from the Health and Social Care Act 2012. The slides are available to download so that the images can be reused in people's own presentations: http://www.nuffieldtrust.org.uk/talks/slideshows/new-structure-nhs-england.
Further information is available from:
Digital Communications Intern
We are publishing all our media releases on our blog: http://midlandstucmedia.blogspot.com/
This includes links to the False Economy website where cuts information is added on a daily basis:
You can also follow us on Twitter @MidlandsTUC
E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 0121 262 6383
Published by TUC Midlands Region, 24 Livery Street, Birmingham B3 2PA
Copyright in this publication is held by the TUC unless otherwise stated. For more copies of this newsletter contact Michelle Kesterton on tel: 0121 262 6383 or email@example.com.
This text may also be made available, on request, in accessible formats such as Braille, audiotape and large print, at no extra cost.
Newsletter (1,800 words) issued 20 Aug 2012
This page http://www.tuc.org.uk/the_tuc/tuc-21339-f0.cfm
printed 23 May 2013 at 00:45 hrs by 126.96.36.199