Army used as 'strike breakers'

After the Army’s successful role in the Olympic Games when troops were drafted in to help G4S to provide security, the Prime Minister wants the Forces to fill in routinely for striking workers according to a report in the Times.

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Ed Balls heckled at TUC over public sector pay freeze

The shadow chancellor has been booed and heckled by union delegates at the TUC conference over public sector pay restraint.

Ed Balls was questioned by a Unison delegate as to why he was supporting the Coalition's policy, which had led to a wage freeze for millions of public sector workers.

Mr Balls replied: "When you are losing hundreds of thousands of jobs, you cannot say the first priority is more pay for public sector workers."

Ed Balls to tell TUC: 'We need action now on the economy'

Long-term damage will be done to the UK economy unless the Government changes course on economic policy, the shadow Chancellor will warn today.

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls speaking earlier this year Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The coalition's economic plan has failed, leaving businesses and families "crying out" for an alternative, Ed Balls will tell the TUC Congress in Brighton.

"Over 33,000 companies already gone bust since the general election. Investment plans cancelled, or diverted overseas. New ideas and new ventures being promoted in other countries.

"Our economy weaker and capacity lost and, above all, long-term youth unemployment becoming entrenched, damaging young lives and racking up costs which we will all have to pay.

"Not short-term pain for long-term gain, but short-term pain causing long-term damage as we pay a long-term price for this Government's economic failure.

"That is why we need action now, a change of course and a plan for jobs and growth: investing in infrastructure, building new homes and getting young people back to work."

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Labour leader: Strikes 'not wanted'

Labour leader Ed Miliband told union leaders that their members and the public did not want strikes, amid the growing prospect of industrial action against the Government's austerity measures.

Labour leader Ed Miliband says 'strikes not wanted'. Credit: Scott Heppell/PA Wire

Mr Miliband risked sparking an angry reaction at the TUC general Council in Brighton: "It's what's happening in our economy that makes so many people angry with the Government.

"The question is how best to get them to change course? The public doesn't want to see strikes. Nor do your members. Nor do you. The way to sort out the problems the country faces is for the government to understand why working people are so unhappy."

Ed Miliband warns unions over strike action

Labour leader Ed Miliband has warned union leaders that their members and the public do not want strikes. It comes amid the growing prospect of industrial action against the Government's cost-cutting measures. At a dinner with the TUC general Council in Brighton Mr Miliband is expected to say:

It's what's happening in our economy that makes so many people angry with the Government. The question is how best to get them to change course? The public doesn't want to see strikes. Nor do your members. Nor do you. The way to sort out the problems the country faces is for the government to understand why working people are so unhappy. It's because the economic plan is failing, it's unfair. They need to change before greater long-term damage is done.

– Ed Miliband MP, Labour leader

PM rejects union strike threats

The Prime Minister has said he will not change course in the face of threat of mass strikes over public sector pay, as calls for industrial action over the government's austerity programme dominated talks at a meeting of union leaders in Brighton.

Prime Minister David Cameron rejects strike threats. Credit: Lefteris Pitarakis/PA Wire

David Cameron's spokesman said: "We have put in place some changes to pensions. We do not intend to reopen those talks. And we have put in place a freeze of public sector pay for two years. Again, we do not intend to reopen that decision".

Government 'disappointed' over industrial action

The Department for Education has responded to industrial action threats over teachers' pay and working conditions. A spokesman said:

We are very disappointed that the NUT has chosen to take industrial action. Only a tiny minority of their members voted in favour but it will damage the profession's reputation.

Parents will be especially concerned that union chiefs have called on their members to only send one school report home a year.

The NUT and NASUWT are taking industrial action about pay and working conditions before the independent pay review body has made any recommendations.

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More public sector strikes possible

The prospect of a fresh wave of strikes by teachers and other public sector workers is increasing amid calls for direct action against government policies.

Dave Prentis, leader of Unison warned today of launching coordinated strike action.

Dave Prentis, leader of Unison, said marches planned on October 20 against austerity cuts would be a "launch pad" for a sustained campaign.

"We will seek decent pay and we will negotiate but if the attacks continue, we will deliver co-ordinated action," he said.

NUT: 'Government needs to stop attacking teachers'

Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers has urged for the Education Secretary to "listen to the concerns" of teachers, after teaching unions agreed on taking joint industrial action. Ms Blower said:

Teachers’ morale is dangerously low. Over-the-top accountability measures are exhausting teachers and the idea that they can work to 68 is absurd.

For the sake of teachers and children’s education, these constant attacks from Government need to stop. We urge the Secretary of State to begin to listen and to respond to our concerns.

NASUWT: 'Education secretary could have avoided action'

The education secretary has "recklessly disregarded" teachers' concerns, the general secretary of the NASUWT union has said in response to today's industrial action announcement. Chris Keates said:

The Secretary of State for Education was put on notice in May that he could address teachers' concerns and avoid the possibility of further industrial action. He has recklessly disregarded this warning.

At every turn, the Secretary of State shows contempt for the teaching workforce.

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