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The Transport and General Workers' Union today called on the deputy prime...
The Transport and General Workers' Union today called on the deputy prime

minister, John Prescott, not to cut government financial support for Reading

as Whitehall will decide within weeks Reading BC's financial


The T&G has joined with the council and local MPs to press

ministers not to cut up to£4m from Reading's budget by redirecting

resources to northern councils as part of the formula grant review. The

union said today that such a cut would threaten service delivery and the

ability of Reading BC to pay more to recruit and retain public


T&G national organiser Jack Dromey, addressing the union's service sector

conference today said:

'Government should not rob resources from Reading. If northern councils

deserve more to meet the needs of their communities, and they do, then the

answer is not to 'rob Peter to pay Paul.'

'Reading needs more resources not less, not least because the council needs

to pay more to recruit and retain staff.

'Our first task is to win a fair deal for the council in this year's

financial settlement. We will then sit down with councillors to negotiate a

Reading 'cost-of-living allowance.' House prices have soared by 80 per cent

in three years and now the council is engaged in a worldwide trawl for staff

because local people cannot make ends meet on current pay rates.

'2002 must see more not less for Reading. 2003 must see a fair deal for

Reading's public servants with a good new cost-of-living allowance for all.'

T&G convenor for Reading BC, Stan Cooke, also addressing the

union's service sector conference today, added:

'The T&G nationally has swung into action to back Reading and our members.

The time has come for justice for Reading Council staff.'

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