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Bank holiday rail strike called off

First Great Western expects to run its full advertised timetable. Credit: Fiona Hanson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The planned rail strike on bank holiday Monday has been cancelled after the TSSA and RMT unions received a new pay offer from Network Rail.

The industrial action has been called off pending the outcome of a meeting with Network Rail representatives next week.

Rail strike affecting bank holiday weekend

Rail workers have voted for industrial action. Credit: Fiona Hanson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

There is to be a rail strike during the bank holiday weekend - Network Rail employees in the RMT and TSSA unions have voted for industrial action in a dispute over pay, affecting services on bank holiday Monday (25 May), as well as Tuesday 26 May and the morning of Wednesday 27 May.

First Great Western say refunds are available for customers who have already bought tickets during the strike period, and those with tickets for travel on Monday and Tuesday may also be use them on Sunday Wednesday.

They hope to operate the following services in our region:

  • Paddington – Bristol Temple Meads, calling at Reading Didcot, Swindon, Chippenham, Bath and Bristol, extended to Weston-Super-Mare and Taunton during peak: Hourly
  • Swindon – Bristol, calling at Chippenham, Bath Spa, Oldfield Park, Keynsham, Bristol Temple Meads: Hourly
  • Bristol Parkway – Weston-Super-Mare, calling at Filton, Stapleton Road, Lawrence Hill, Bristol Temple Meads, Bedminster, Parson St, Nailsea and Backwell, Yatton, Worle, Weston Milton and Weston-Super-Mare: Hourly
  • Cardiff – Taunton, calling at Newport, Severn Tunnel Juncton, Patchway, Filton Abbey Wood, Bristol Temple Meads, Nailsea, Yatton, Worle, Weston-Super-Mare, Highbridge, Bridgwater and Taunton: Hourly
  • Paddington – Plymouth, calling at Reading, Bristol Parkway, Bristol Temple Meads, Taunton, Tiverton, Exeter, Dawlish, Teignmouth, Newton Abbot, Totnes, Ivybridge (select trains only) and Plymouth: Hourly

The following services will not be running in our region from 00:01 Monday 25 May, and will be in delays on the Wednesday morning:

  • Between Swindon and Gloucester/Cheltenham
  • Between Bath Spa and Portsmouth Harbour
  • Between Reading and Taunton
  • On Severn Beach branch line
  • North Cotswolds line, from Oxford and calling at Worcester and Hereford

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Fire fighters strike over pensions

24-hour fire strike starts this morning

Around 3,000 firefighters across the region are due to go on strike later this morning in a row over pensions.

Today's strike, starting at 9am, will be the longest strike held so far and will last 24 hours. Contingency plans have been put on place with some fire stations still operating. Fire chiefs say it may take them a little longer to respond to 999 calls.

Avon Fire & Rescue: we will prioritise during strike

Chief Fire Officer for Avon Fire and Rescue Service, Kevin Pearson says they have contingency arrangements in place to deal with the strike, but warns they will be prioritising calls to emergencies where there is a risk to life.

This is a national dispute over which Avon Fire Authority has no control.

Although we have contingency arrangements in place, the reality is we will not be in a position to provide the excellent emergency response we usually do.

In the lead up to and during the strike I would ask local people to take steps to ensure their homes and businesses are as safe as possible.

Although it’s good practice anytime it’s particularly important during a period when our emergency response capability will be reduced.

Accidents do happen but it is possible to reduce the risk and the impact of a fire in the home by taking extra care not to leave cooking unattended, making sure you check smoke alarms are working and rehearsing escape routes with the whole family.

Business owners and managers should also be aware of their responsibilities to staff and customers under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order.

Although we will be prioritising calls our advice remains the same - if you have a fire you should get out, stay out and call 999.

– Chief Fire Officer, AFRS Kevin Pearson

Fresh fire strike dates revealed

Avon Fire and Rescue service is urging people to take extra care to prevent fires and other emergencies after two national firefighters strikes have been announced.

It's part of an on-going dispute with the Government over pensions.

The Fire Brigades Union has announced a four-and-a-half hour walkout on Friday 1 November from 6.30pm to 11pm.

This will be followed by a two-hour period of action on Monday 4 November from 6am until 8am.

Striking firefighters Credit: ITV News West Country

Five Bristol post offices affected in nationwide strike

Post office workers on strike last month Credit: ITV News West Country

Post office workers across the country are going on strike today. In Bristol, five post offices will be affected. These are: The Galleries, Kingswood, Yate, Nailsea, and Keynsham.

The strike has been called in response to disputes over jobs and pay.

The Post Office plans to close 76 offices which will affect more than eight hundred jobs.

The union is seeking protection for jobs and the service. It also wants to secure a fair pay rise for staff who haven't had one since April 2011.

Today, the strike will affect three hundred and seventy three post offices across the country.

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  1. National

Government vows to address employment T&Cs

The Government said it will address some of its terms and conditions for employees after public sector workers called a strike:

While there has been significant recent change in pay and pensions, there are other terms and conditions that have not been updated.

We will address this and ensure a modern employment offer is available to all.

– Cabinet Office spokesman
  1. National

Cabinet defends pay and pensions reforms

The Government said "pay restraint" had helped protect jobs and its pensions remain "among the very best available" after civil servants announced a strike:

The Government took the tough decision to freeze public sector pay for two years, while protecting those earning under £21,000 by increasing their pay by at least £250 per year.

Pay restraint has helped to protect jobs in the public sector and support high- quality public services.

In March 2012 we set out our final proposed agreements on pension reform following more than a year of intensive discussions with trade unions.

These reforms will ensure that public sector pensions will remain among the very best available and that they can be sustained for future generations.

– Cabinet Office spokesman
  1. National

Government: Civil servants' strike 'futile' and 'damaging'

The PCS is planning three months of protests against budget cuts Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

The Government said it was "disappointing" that the PCS union is planning three months of industrial action, including a huge strike on Budget day.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: "It is disappointing that, yet again, the PCS insist on pushing for futile action which benefits no-one, and damages the services they deliver to the public."

  1. National

PCS union unveils three-month action plan

The Public and Commercial Services union says a Budget-day strike will be the first event in a three-month long protest against budget cuts, to include:

  • An all-day strike on 20 March with rallies and demonstrations in key locations, including Westminster
  • Further national and group strikes of varying durations, including half days and short walkouts, timed to have the greatest impact
  • Industrial action short of a strike, including a national overtime ban until 20 June
  • Disruptive action in groups
  • Strike days interspersed with other protests and campaigning activities around specific themes
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