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ROUNDUP OF LOCAL AUTHORITY STORIES IN THE NATIONAL PRESS

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SEX EQUALITY WATCHDOG SIDES WITH CIVIL SERVICE UNION AGAINST GOVERNMENT OVER EQUAL PAY ...
SEX EQUALITY WATCHDOG SIDES WITH CIVIL SERVICE UNION AGAINST GOVERNMENT OVER EQUAL PAY

The decision by the Equal Opportunities Commission to side with the Public and Commercial Services Union over equal pay fro transferred staff puts further pressure on the government at a time when Gordon Brown is fighting to limit pay increases among civil servants, reports the Financial Times(p4). The union, which is to defend its equal pay claim today at an Employment Appeal Tribunal, has estimated that it could force a £500m increase in the pay bill.

£60BN CROSSRAIL FACES TREASURY AXE

Senior Treasury officials are preparing to block the £10bn Crossrail project, designed to improve public transport links in London, because private investors are refusing to get involved, reports The Guardian(p2). The officials have privately conceded that the government is unlikely to approve the construction plan for new train links across the capital.

UNIONS GET LEGAL POWER TO CHALLENGE EMPLOYERS ON SAFETY ISSUES

Trade unions will have greater authority to call on employers to sort out health and safety issues after winning a long battle with the government over workers' safety. Some experts believe the changes, which come into force today, will allow unions to seek court injunctions to halt work until risk assessments are carried out, while failure to comply could mean unlimited fines and prison, reports the Financial Times(p4).

by assistant editor Neil Watson

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