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Unite: Report paints 'very bleak' picture of NHS funding

The head of the Unite union, Rachael Maskell, has said that the plan published by the NHS today makes it clear that it will not avoid a funding black hole.

[NHS England head] Simon Stevens makes precious little mention of the plummeting morale of the 1.3 million workforce, which is becoming a worrying pattern for this Government with its continued failure to invest in skills, retention and development.

In the last four years, the NHS has been battered by the funding crisis, resulting in £20 billion being sucked out of the service during this parliament.

The picture remains very bleak and it is clear that the plan will not plug the predicted £30 billion financial black hole by 2020/21.

– Rachael Maskell, unite

Health workers vote to go on strike over pay

Health workers in Unite have voted to go on strike in a row with the Government over pay, the union announced today.

The GMB said its members in England and Northern Ireland had backed walkouts by 4-1, with 91% supporting other forms of industrial action.

The workers, who include ambulance drivers, paramedics and community nurses, will join NHS members from other unions in striking on October 13.

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Lloyds Banking Group confirm job losses

File photo dated 18/03/14 of a general view of a sign for Lloyds Bank Credit: PA Images

Lloyds confirmed the job losses, but said 65 new roles will be created across group operations and retail.

A statement said: "Lloyds Banking Group is committed to working through these changes with employees in a careful and sensitive way. All affected employees have been briefed by their line manager today.

Compulsory redundancies will always be a last resort. In fact, since the strategic review in 2011 around only a third of role reductions have led to people leaving the group through redundancy."

Lloyds said that of 15,000 previously announced job losses, 13,055 will have gone after today's news.

Union urges no compulsory redundancies at Lloyds Bank

The Unite union has said it will press Lloyds Bank for a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies as the banking group was revealed to be axing 645 jobs and closing a telephone banking centre in Warrington.

Over 2,400 jobs have gone at the taxpayer bailed out bank since the start of the year leading to "plummeting" staff morale, said Unite.

Half the job losses half will result from the Warrington site's closure by the end of 2014, in a move Unite branded as "unjustified" and a "bad deal" for customers. Most of the other cuts will be from the group's wealth business and HR function, said Unite.

More: Lloyds Bank to cut 645 jobs.

Unite union 'could cut funding from Labour'

The boss of Britain's biggest trade union has warned that it could switch its financial support from Labour to another party.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said defeat in 2015 could prompt the union to consider disaffiliating from Labour.

Len McCluskey said Unite could pull funding from Labour

The union has donated more than £11 million to Labour since Ed Miliband became leader. But Mr McCluskey said that he "fears for the future" of the Labour Party if it fails to regain power in next year's general election.

He said: "Can I ever envisage a rule conference voting to disaffiliate from Labour? I can do."

The union boss predicted Labour will lose the May 2015 poll if all it has to promise voters is a "pale shade of (the) austerity" on offer from Conservatives.

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Unite 'may consider strike action' over Royal Mail cuts

The Unite union has said it will consider strike action if there are compulsory redundancies included in the 1,600 job losses.

First the Government sells off Royal Mail on the cheap and now the newly privatised service is ruthlessly sacrificing jobs.

We do not believe that it's a coincidence that this announcement has been made just before the company prepares to announce its first full set of accounts since privatisation.

For all that Royal Mail managers have been through they do not deserve to be treated in this way.

Unite is demanding a commitment to no compulsory redundancies on fair terms and an effective method for redeployment within the restructured organisation.

If Royal Mail refuse, we will have no alternative than to consider a ballot for industrial action.

– Brian Scott, Unite's Royal Mail officer

Unite consults on industrial action over pay deal

The Unite union says it will be consulting its health service members on possible industrial action following the Government's refusal to sanction the recommended one per cent pay rise for all NHS staff.

Unite said the Health Secretary’s decision to accept the recommendation of the independent Pay Review Body, for only those not receiving annual increments, was a "divide and rule" tactic and will see about 45 per cent of the NHS workforce getting no cost of living pay increase at all from April 1.

Rachael Maskell, of Unite, said: “Jeremy Hunt has adopted a divide and rule tactic which calls into serious question the relevance of the so-called independent PRB.

“He is deliberately muddying the waters by trying to imply that the annual increment that staff receive, as they gain more skills to benefit patients throughout their careers, is part of the annual pay increase – it is not. It is despicable that Hunt has adopted such an underhand tactic."

Unite to halve Labour funding after reforms

Ed Miliband's reforms are said to have set the party's relationship with unions on a "new course". Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA

The Unite union says it will halve the number of affiliate members it provides to the Labour Party this year - meaning an effective funding cut of £1.5 million.

The move follows Ed Miliband's reforms to the party's structure - including its historic ties to trade unions - which were approved at a special conference last weekend.

Unite said the party's decision had set its relationship with affiliated unions on a "new course".

Responding to Unite's announcement, a Labour spokesman said the party knew its reforms would have "financial consequences", but added it was now hoping to grow a base of "many small donors rather than a few big ones".

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