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NHS staff demand decision on 1% pay rise this week and descend on Downing Street

NHS staff furious about the Government’s “pitiful” offer of a 1% pay hike will take their protest to Downing Street this week.

Boris Johnson will be told “claps don’t pay the bills” as a petition signed by 800,000 people calling for him to ditch the “pathetic” 1% – a real terms cut – and instead back a 15% rise will be handed to No10 on Tuesday.

Fears are growing that ministers will fail to back any rise before MPs disappear for their summer break next week, despite the rise being due some 100 days ago.

The Government raised hopes it could back a larger rise following a fierce backlash to its original plan, with ministers saying they would wait for the independent NHS pay review body (PRB) to make a recommendation.

But the body sent its report to ministers some three weeks ago and unions say exhausted NHS staff are “being treated as an afterthought”.

Matthew Tovey, the nurse working in Wales who organised the petition, said for healthcare staff, working during the pandemic “felt like running into a burning building – every single day”.

He added: “Our lives were turned upside down. We left our homes, our family, our children in order to work, to save lives.

“And instead of a pay rise, we get a pay restraint. It’s a kick in the teeth when we’re already down.”

He added: “We now live in a country where nurses are barely scraping by.

“Over a third skip meals to feed their families and over half work overtime to pay the bills. Pay cuts, freezes and caps have led to a 20% wage loss.

“The Government has a choice to restore this pay – and a meagre 1% is pathetic, pitiful and poor.”



NHS staff stage a protest outside St Thomas' Hospital in London
NHS staff stage a protest outside St Thomas’ Hospital in London

Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, said on Sunday that a “reasonable” rise would be between 3% and 4%.

He told Times Radio: “That’s what I think where the Scottish Government were, at the higher end of that bracket. But interestingly nurses in Scotland weren’t particularly happy with that. So I do think there is an important issue here.

“The key point is our staff have been working incredibly hard and it feels to me it is right and proper that we should recognise the contribution that those staff have made.

“It was delightful for the NHS to receive the George Cross but actually we also need to ensure that hard working frontline NHS staff are also paid and remunerated at an appropriate rate and the effort they’ve put in over the last year is properly recognised.”

Healthcare union Unison, meanwhile, has called for a £2,000 increase for every NHS worker.

Head of health Sara Gorton said: “It’s in Boris Johnson’s gift to grant staff a fair deal. Yet he’s still making them wait.

“It’s 320 days since UNISON wrote to Boris Johnson asking for a £2,000 increase for every NHS worker. But health workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland still don’t know what they’ll get nearly eleven months on.

“Staff who’ve done so much during the pandemic are being treated as an afterthought while MPs head off on their holidays. And infections are rising which means pressure is piling back on the whole health team once again.

“The least the government can do is confirm now that staff will get a decent pay rise.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson has said: “We are incredibly grateful to all our NHS staff. This year the Government has committed to providing NHS staff with a pay uplift, at a time when uplifts in the wider public sector have been paused. In doing so, the Government is acknowledging the extraordinary effort of NHS staff through the pandemic.

“We have received the reports from the independent Pay Review Bodies and are now carefully considering their recommendations before responding.”

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This post originally posted here United Kingdom News

ASDA shoppers stunned by supermarket staff member’s response to elderly blind customer

ASDA shoppers stunned by supermarket staff member’s response to elderly blind customer

Michael Fuller, who has been blind since he was born and is now 71-years-old, formed a close bond with staff member Kieran O’Rourke who works as a front-end runner. Mr O’Rourke helps Mr Fuller do his shopping almost daily before walking him safely to the front door of his house. As reported by the Manchester Evening News, Mr O’Rourke guides Mr Fuller around the shop by holding his arm, as well as picking up all of the items he needs before packing his backs and helping him pay.

He said: “Kieran’s such a nice, helpful lad; it’s such a pleasure to do my shopping with him.

“Before we start off I will give him a rough idea of what I’m looking for because I know where most things are in the store and in what order we need to go. Kieran remembers what I usually get and he also points out new items and things I may like too.

“I go on most days and that’s the idea so I don’t have to get an awful lot all in one go.”

Mr Fuller explained that he would be lost without the help of both the 23-year-old and the rest of the shop staff, who frequently assist him during his visits.

He added: “The store’s on a very, very busy road. Getting there is traumatic enough, but I do need some help getting back with my shopping and Kieran kindly brings me back. He is really, really good.”

Since joining the store three years ago, Mr O’Rourke has helped Mr Fuller on an almost daily basis.

He said: “He’s a really good bloke and he’s always saying that our store is the best. We’ve developed quite a bond and we get on really well.

“Michael doesn’t do big shops, but comes in for bits and pieces almost every day. He doesn’t have a list, he just does it from memory. He may come in twice a day if he’s forgotten something!

READ MORE: UK’s favourite supermarket revealed – it’s not Tesco or Asda

“We talk about all sorts really – how his wife is, what he got up to when he was younger. He loves cooking and is always giving out tips too.”

Despite living on the same road as the Asda Strelley store in Nottingham he shops at, Mr Fuller has to walk across a busy road which can take a long time if he does not have someone there to help.

Asda has nominated Mr O’Rourke for a service superstar award because of his kindness, though he claimed to just be doing what comes naturally.

He said: “I think it’s nice to treat someone the way you would like to be treated if you were in a similar situation.”

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Laura Morris, the store manager of Asda Strelley, said: “Michael comes to our store particularly because of Kieran’s help and is extremely grateful. He told us he’s our customer for life as he doesn’t receive the same level of customer service from anywhere else he goes.

“Kieran is amazing with all his customers, but with Michael he definitely goes above and beyond. Well done Kieran, keep up the great work.”

ASDA shared the story on its Facebook page, quickly garnering over 48,000 likes and numerous comments praising Mr O’Rourke.

Responding to the post, one shopper wrote: “Fabulous.. Kieran is certainly going the Extra Mile ..You just can’t beat great customer service ! Well done Asda for employing such a wonderful young gentleman.”

Another said: “Lovely story. You’re a gentleman for helping this guy, it will mean so much to him.”

“What a lovely story and how lovely is Kieran, his Parents must be so proud of him. He must make shopping a pleasure for the Gentleman he helps. They must really enjoy each other’s company,” praised a third shopper.

A fourth exclaimed: “What a lovely story, well done Kieran for helping this gentleman you definitely go the extra mile, so nice to see good people making good news.”

Additional reporting by Rachel Pugh.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Life and Style Feed
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Gov. Abbott vetoes funding for Texas Legislature and its staff as punishment for Democrats’ walkout on elections bill

Gov. Abbott vetoes funding for Texas Legislature and its staff as punishment for Democrats’ walkout on elections bill
Texas Politics
Gov. Abbott vetoes funding for Texas Legislature and its staff as punishment for Democrats’ walkout on elections bill

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference where he signed two energy related bills, Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

AUSTIN (Texas Tribune) — Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday followed through on a threat to veto a section of the state budget that funds the Texas Legislature, its staffers and legislative agencies.

The governor’s move targeting lawmaker pay comes after House Democrats walked out in the final days of the regular legislative session, breaking quorum, to block passage of Senate Bill 7, Abbott’s priority elections bill that would have overhauled voting rights in the state. The move also killed bail legislation that Abbott had earmarked as a priority.

In a statement, Abbott said that “funding should not be provided for those who quit their job early, leaving their state with unfinished business and exposing taxpayers to higher costs for an additional legislative session.”

“I therefore object to and disapprove of these appropriations,” the governor said.

House Democratic Caucus Chair Chris Turner of Grand Prairie called the move by Abbott an “abuse of power” and said the caucus “is exploring every option, including immediate legal options, to fight back.”

“Texas has a governor, not a dictator,” Turner said in a statement. “The tyrannical veto of the legislative branch is the latest indication that [Abbott] is simply out of control.”

Since Abbott issued his threat earlier this month, other lawmakers and political leaders have raised concerns over how the move could impact staffers and legislative agencies that are funded by Article X, which is the section of the budget he vetoed, such as the Legislative Reference Library and the Legislative Budget Board.

“I’m just concerned how it impacts them because they weren’t the ones who decided that we were going to break quorum, it wasn’t their decision, right?,” said House Speaker Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, in an interview earlier this month.

Questions have also been raised about the constitutionality of the move, which according to the Legislative Reference Library is unprecedented.

Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who heads the Senate, had expressed support for Abbott’s proposed veto, saying the move could force Democrats to come back for a special session.

The biennial budget at hand covers the fiscal year beginning Sept. 1. If lawmakers are back in Austin for a special session before then, they could pass a supplemental budget to restore that funding.

Lawmakers are paid $ 600 a month in addition to a per diem of $ 221 every day the Legislature is in session, during both regular and special sessions.

The Legislature is expected to convene for at least two special sessions, Abbott has said in interviews. One, set for September or October, will focus on the redrawing of the state’s political maps and the doling out of $ 16 billion in federal coronavirus relief funds. Before that, the governor has said he will call lawmakers back to work on the elections and bail bills as well as a number of other issues he has not yet announced.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at www.texastribune.org. The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans – and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

Author: Cassandra Pollock, Texas Tribune
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

Covid vaccine: Care home staff in England to receive compulsory coronavirus jab

Covid vaccine: Care home staff in England to receive compulsory coronavirus jab

Ministers are expected to announce plans to have care home staff in England vaccinated, according to the Times. The move will be backed by a change in the law amid concerns many care home workers are unwilling to receive the jab.

Official data showed that 151,000 NHS employees – slightly more than one in ten – have not taken the vaccine.

Also 52,000 care home staff – 16 percent – have not been inoculated.

A Government insider told the Times that the Prime Minister had thrown his support behind the law change.

They added: “It’s only right that those who are caring for people who are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus should be vaccinated. This will save lives.”

It comes as health leaders said all adults in England should be able to book their coronavirus jab appointment by the end of this week.

NHS Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens said that the health service would soon “finish the job” of the coronavirus vaccination drive.

He highlighted that swathes of the population should have received their second dose by the proposed lockdown end date of July 19.

Sir Simon told the NHS annual conference: “It is now very important that we use the next four weeks to finish the job to the greatest extent possible for the Covid vaccination programme, which has been a historic signature achievement in terms of the effectiveness of delivering by the NHS – over 60 million doses now administered.

“By July 19 we aim to have offered perhaps two thirds of adults across the country double jabs.

“And we’re making great strides also in extending the offer to all adults, today people aged 23 and 24 are able to vaccinate through the National Booking Service.

“I expect that by the end of this week, we’ll be able to open up the National Booking Service to all adults age 18 and above.

“Of course, vaccine supply continues to be constrained, so we’re pacing ourselves at precisely the rate of which we’re getting that extra vaccine supply between now and July 19.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed

Edouardo Jordan's Restaurant Staff Quits After Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Edouardo Jordan's Restaurant Staff Quits After Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Most of the staff at two restaurants run by Edouardo Jordan, an acclaimed chef in Seattle who has been celebrated with some of the industry’s top awards, quit on Sunday after an investigation by The Seattle Times surfaced 15 allegations against him of sexual misconduct or unwanted touching.

The two restaurants, JuneBaby and Salare, were closed on Sunday after the staff departures, according to The Seattle Times. A representative of Mr. Jordan confirmed on Monday that nearly all of the employees at both restaurants had resigned.

Attempts to reach Mr. Jordan by phone and email on Monday were unsuccessful. The representative said in an email that Mr. Jordan was “taking a step back” and “in a deep state of remorse for the pain he has caused former coworkers and restaurant staff.”

The Times investigation included five women who said that Mr. Jordan had groped or given them unwanted kisses from 2012 and 2017, and 10 women who described sexual comments or unwanted touching as recently as 2019. Four of the women said he had groped them at work.

In an Instagram post after the article was published, Mr. Jordan denied “many of the reported allegations” but said “each woman who shared her experience working with me has a voice that deserves to be heard.”

“I hold myself accountable if my actions ever made anyone feel disrespected, devalued or uncomfortable,” he said.

After stints at some of the United States’ top restaurants, including French Laundry, Per Se and the Herbfarm, Mr. Jordan received extensive praise for his restaurants in Seattle. JuneBaby, focused on foods of the American South, was named 2018’s Best New Restaurant at the James Beard Foundation awards, making Mr. Jordan the first African-American to win the prize.

At the same awards ceremony, he won Best Chef in the Northwest for Salare.

A week before The Seattle Times investigation was published, Mr. Jordan announced that Salare would be closing and that his two other restaurants, JuneBaby and Lucinda Grain Bar, would be merging, citing the economic toll of the coronavirus pandemic. On Monday, Mr. Jordan’s representative said that there were plans for JuneBaby to reopen at some point.

Author: Daniel Victor and Jacey Fortin
This post originally appeared on NYT > U.S. News

Portugal 'safer than UK supermarket' while Brit airport staff 'don't seem clear' on rules

Portugal 'safer than UK supermarket' while Brit airport staff 'don't seem clear' on rules

“He said, ‘You’re not really supposed to go for leisure’.

“When I told him that I absolutely could because it was a green country he shrugged and said ‘well kind of’.

“It worries me that even the airport staff don’t seem to be clear on the rules.”

Express.co.uk contacted Heathrow Airport for comment this subject. The airport explained: “The border at Heathrow is managed by Border Force officials, a division of the Home Office and not by Heathrow.”

According to the Government website, Border Force are up-to-date on all of the latest travel guidelines.

“Border Force will be checking that arriving passengers have complied with current health measures, and passengers can help reduce delays by completing all necessary requirements before entering the country,” states the Gov.uk website.

“The Government is constantly trying to improve processes to make them as efficient as possible to minimise wait times and will be committing to increasing Border Force resources to manage increased demand.

“This includes deploying additional Border Force officers where high volumes of passengers are expected.”

Ms Johnson also believes the Government need to make the rules around travel to green and amber countries clearer for consumers.

“An easy checklist would help and the rules around amber are ridiculous,” she said.

“You can legally go to an amber country for any reason you like but there’s so much confusion because of government ‘guidance’.

“I wish that everything is just a bit clearer so everyone understands what they should or should not be doing.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

Brexit: Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin urges Boris to bring in more EU workers to staff pubs

Brexit: Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin urges Boris to bring in more EU workers to staff pubs

The hospitality industry has seen an exodus of workers as a result of both Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic. This has resulted in a shortage of staff, forcing some businesses to close their doors during the vital lunchtime trade. Tim Martin, head of JD Wetherspoon, called on the Government to introduce a visa system that would allow bosses to hire staff from abroad.

He suggested that countries geographically closer to the UK should be given preference.

Mr Martin, an outspoken supporter of Brexit, told the Daily Telegraph: “The UK has a low birth rate.

“A reasonably liberal immigration system controlled by those we have elected, as distinct from the EU system, would be a plus for the economy and the country.

“America, Australia and Singapore have benefitted for many decades from this approach.

“Immigration combined with democracy works.”

New rules post-Brexit have made it much more difficult for EU citizens to be able to come to the UK and work in low-skilled jobs, such as those in the hospitality sector.

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“Other people are not moving back here because of the situation with Covid.”

The Home Office said that employers should look to British workers to help fill job vacancies.

However, a spokesman said it was making it “simpler” for employers to attract talent from around the world “to complement the skills we already have”.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed

England staff have Harry Maguire injury fear as Man Utd man sweats on spot in Euros squad

England staff have Harry Maguire injury fear as Man Utd man sweats on spot in Euros squad

There are growing fears in the England camp that Harry Maguire may not recover from his ankle injury in time for the Three Lions’ first Euro 2020 game against Croatia, according to reports. The Manchester United defender had his season ended prematurely when he was forced off with ligament damage against Aston Villa on May 9.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side won the game 3-1 but the injury left Maguire with a race to be fit for this summer’s international tournament.

England head coach Gareth Southgate revealed on Tuesday that United were keeping their cards close to their chest regarding Maguire’s fitness.

The centre-back travelled to Poland on Tuesday for United’s Europa League final defeat against Villarreal but did not take part in an open training session that day and was then an unused substitute for the game on Wednesday.

Goalkeeper David de Gea had his crucial spot-kick saved after each player left on the pitch had scored in the penalty shootout.

JUST IN: De Gea breaks silence on Man Utd penalty miss and drops transfer hint

And the United skipper is sweating on his spot in the final squad as a result with it possible Southgate could pick a defender readily available for the entire tournament.

It would be a blow for England to be without Maguire, who was key during their run to the World Cup semi-final in 2018.

His headed goal helped defeat Sweden in the last-16.

While most nations have already named a 26-man squad, Southgate has chosen to only name a provisional squad so far due to uncertainty over the fitness of several stars.

Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson missed the remainder of the Premier League season after suffering a groin injury in February, but was fit enough to be named on the bench for the Reds’ 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on the final day.

Southgate has also accepted that he must nurse Maguire’s United team-mate Marcus Rashford through the tournament if the forward is selected.

Rashford has had problems with a shoulder issue recently and has played in 59 matches for club and country since September.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Our Yorkshire Farm's Amanda Owen calls daughter staff amid 'breeding workforce’ complaints

Our Yorkshire Farm's Amanda Owen calls daughter staff amid 'breeding workforce’ complaints
Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen, 46, didn’t hold back from lightheartedly branding her youngest child, four-year-old Nancy, “staff” in her latest Instagram post. It comes after some Our Yorkshire Farm viewers aired their complaints about Amanda and her husband Clive Owen, 66, and claimed they were “breeding their own workforce”, as their nine children are happy to help out with tasks on Ravenseat farm.
Amanda shared a series of sweet photos of Nancy herding the family’s flock of sheep ahead of the latest episode of their hit Channel 5 show airing this evening.

Amanda was also pictured sharing a conversation with Nancy, who smiled for the camera.

The mum-of-nine captioned the post in view of her 315,000 followers: “Marking lambs to turn away to the moor & a pep talk for the staff.”

She also added the hashtags: “#shepherdess #yorkshire #terrier #sheep #dog #markingup #turnaway #flock.”

READ MORE… Naomi Campbell, 50, drops surprise baby news in emotional Instagram

However, Amanda was quick to insist that their children are willing to get involved in helping out on the farm and that it teaches them the important lesson of responsibility as they grow up.

Amanda and Clive have a busy life running Ravenseat farm with the help of their nine children, Annas, Violet, Edith, Raven, Clemmy, Nancy, Reuben, Miles, and Sidney.

The family have 1,000 sheep, 40 cows, six dogs and four ponies to take care of on their 2,000 acre piece of land in Upper Swaledale.

Speaking out on the backlash on the first episode of the Channel 5 show, Amanda declared: “We all have to work together as a family. I really don’t feel that’s a bad lesson. 

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Celebrity News Feed

Pension: Staff forced into early retirement due to poor health or redundancy – take action

Pension: Staff forced into early retirement due to poor health or redundancy - take action
Pension income can come from private and state schemes but these resources can only be utilised between the ages of 55 and 66. Due to economic uncertainty and financial costs, many people may not be able to retire until well into their later years but an unwanted early retirement can also be difficult.
Just Group, the retirement specialist, recently conducted a survey of 1,043 UK retired and semi-retired adults aged 55+.

The results from this research showed 48 percent of respondents who stopped working earlier than they had planned said it was an unwelcome drama.

Just Group found among retired people aged 55+ who said they had stopped working earlier than they had expected, one-third (33 percent) did so due to poor health or physical problems while 15 percent lost their job and were unable to find another.

This contrasts with just one in four who stopped working because they felt their pensions and savings were enough that they could afford to retire.

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“Going forward it will be interesting to track whether Covid-19 has forced more people out of the workforce prematurely or whether the economic insecurity has led to people putting off their retirements for longer.”

Stephen detailed the research has important implications for later life planning and for policymakers considering future rises in the state pension age.

He continued: “People don’t necessarily have the luxury of choosing the point they exit the labour market and many do so knowing their pensions and savings will not be sufficient.

“This reinforces the importance of using Pension Wise guidance – the free, impartial and independent Government backed service offered to the over-50s considering how best to use their pensions – to ensure people understand their pension options but are also aware of state benefits which may help them plug a financial gap if they have to leave work earlier than expected.”

Recently, the FCA set out proposals to require pension providers to be more proactive in directing consumers to Pension Wise.

This was welcomed by Becky O’Connor, the Head of Pensions and Savings at interactive investor.

She responded to the announcement: “Pension Wise is a free, impartial service – why not use it?

“Retirement planning is not up there on the list of fun ways to spend time, so we need all the help we can get when it comes to getting it sorted.

“When it comes to pensions, sometimes it needs to be a shove rather than a gentle nudge.

“Our Great British Retirement Survey last year suggested that only 14 percent of consumers were using this service, only marginally ahead of getting advice from friends and family (11 percent). Some 36 percent of respondents said they do their own research, and 28 percent use the financial press.

“But none of this needs to be at the expense of using a free, Government backed service as well.”

On top of Pension Wise, people can seek guidance from the likes of the Money Advice Service and Citizens Advice.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Finance Feed