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  1. National

Unions accuse Government of lies as NHS staff strike

Dave Prentis Credit: PA Wire

Unions have accused the Government of lying over NHS pay as health workers across the country take to the picket lines.

The Government said it had put forward plans to guarantee all staff would get at least 1% this year and next, but they had been rejected by the unions.

Unison leader Dave Prentis said: "It's ludicrous that the Government is keeping up the pretence that all staff are getting a 1% pay rise, and it doesn't matter how often they say it; it's simply not true."

He said the 1% pay rise recommended by the independent NHS Pay Review Body for all NHS workers had been rejected by the Government.

A Department of Health spokesman said: "NHS staff are our greatest asset and we want to make the current pay system fairer - which is why we have put forward proposals that would guarantee all staff would get at least a 1% pay rise this year and next, but these have been rejected by the unions.

"We have taken tough decisions to increase the NHS budget, but we can't afford a consolidated pay rise in addition to increments without risking 10,000 frontline jobs."

  1. National

NHS workers to stage four-hour strike in pay row

NHS workers will stage a four-hour strike today in a row with the Government over pay.

Members of 11 unions will walk out for four hours today in the row over pay. Credit: PA Wire

Midwives, nurses, radiographers, paramedics and psychiatric staff will walk out from 7am in England and 8am in Northern Ireland in protest at the Government's refusal to accept a recommended 1% wage rise for all NHS employees.

Unison leader Dave Prentis said the second strike in a month should "sound alarm bells" in Westminster as the "anger is spreading".

A Department of Health spokesperson said the government "can't afford a consolidated pay rise in addition to increments without risking 10,000 frontline jobs".

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Minister signs £190 million Tees Valley Growth Deal

Tees Valley recieves multi-million pound government investment Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The Tees Valley is to benefit from a £190 million in government investment.

The funding package was officially signed by Local Growth Minister Penny Mordaunt today (Thursday 20 November).

The Tees Valley Growth deal is part of a £12 billion government programme to revitalise local economies.

It is hoped that the money will provide a major boost to the local economy by creating up to 1,000 jobs, building up to 1,500 homes and strengthening transport links for local businesses.

New gas discovery off the coast of Teesside

Centrica Energy has been drilling for gas in an area known as Pegasus West Credit: Centrica

An energy company said it had discovered new gas supplies in the North Sea, 130km off the coast of Teesside.

Centrica Energy said tests at the exploratory area known as 'Pegasus West' had led to very positive results. The area is close to an existing gas development called Cygnus.

The firm said the discovery showed there were many more years left in the North Sea oil and gas industry.

Watch Rachel Bullock's full report here:

Proposals to raise minimum wage in Durham

Proposals are being discussed to raise the Durham Living Wage.

The changes would mean the lowest-paid workers at Durham County Council, such as lunchtime supervisors, caretakers, cleaners and school crossing patrols would receive at least £7.43 per hour, 93p more than the National Minimum Wage.

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Another warning for Tyne Bridge commuters

Long delays on the Tyne Bridge going north Credit: ITV News

Further delays are expected on the central motorway on Tyneside on Tuesday morning, after the introduction of temporary traffic lights in Gateshead.

The lights were put in place on Saturday on the approach to the Tyne Bridge.

Motorists are being warned to expect delays until the 30th November, when the upgrading will be completed.

Roadworks hell: 'short-term pain for long-term gain'

A spokesman for Newcastle City Council says the large number of roadworks on many of our major roads are necessary.

New temporary traffic lights on the Gateshead side of the Tyne Bridge caused massive delays for many rush-hour commuters this morning.

They coincide with major works to the A1 and many other roadworks taking place simultaneously.

Here is Tom Warburton, Director of Investment and Development, Newcastle City Council:

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