Ministers must invest in Environment Agency staff or communities will be at long-term risk
Thousands of Environment Agency staff who play a vital role in protecting communities across England will walk out today (Wednesday) as they strike over pay for the first time*, says UNISON. River inspectors, flood forecasting officers, coastal risk management officers, sewage plant attendants and staff at the Thames Barrier are among those escalating their industrial action after refusing to do voluntary overtime in the run up to and during the festive period**. Under-pressure staff say they’ve voted to strike over pay because over the years the government’s failure to fund the Environment Agency properly has led to squeezed budgets and wage rises that bear no relation to the cost of living or the going rate for some skilled jobs. As a result, there are now severe staffing shortages across the whole of the Environment Agency, says UNISON. This has increased pressure on employees still in post and threatened the Agency’s ability to cope with disasters, the union adds. To make matters worse, says UNISON, ministers have completely ignored the growing problems across the organisation caused by poor pay. Only last week, cabinet ministers met several unions representing public service workers in a range of sectors facing industrial disputes. But there were no talks between environment secretary Therese Coffey and unions to discuss the ongoing difficulties and the growing dispute at the Agency. The experienced workforce performs a wide range of essential roles like ...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - Category: Food Science Authors: Anthony Barnes Tags: News Press release environment agency Source Type: news
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