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EA 1,700 Job Cuts Still On

Thursday, February 20, 2014

EA Managers Say They Are Assessing Implications Of The Effect Of £130m New Money On All Of Previously Proposed 1,700 Job Cuts

Unions formed clear impression that it will be the Prime Minister who will make the final decisions on how this money is to be spent says GMB.

GMB commented on the meeting today (20th Feb) with Environment Agency (EA) managers to discuss the proposed 1,700 job cuts. See notes to editors for EA press statement.

Justin Bowden GMB National Officer for members at EA, said “ EA managers told the unions that they are assessing the implications of the effect of the £130m new money on all of the previously proposed 1,700 job cuts. When the unions pressed as to when this assessment will be completed they said they did not know. A further joint meeting is scheduled for next week but the issue may still be unclear then.

EA managers advised the unions that Chief Executive Paul Leinster attends COBRA meetings daily.

The unions pressed the EA managers to say who has the final decision as the how this new money is spent. They did not answer that question. However I formed the clear impression that it will be the Prime Minister who will make the final decisions on how this money is to be spent.

I still fear that the government has learned nothing from the floods and that the job cuts will go ahead when the floods recede.”

End

Contact: Justin Bowden 07710 631351 or Frank Minal 07713 079930 or GMB press office 07921 289880

Notes to editors

Press statement by EA on joint meeting issued at 12.15pm 20 Feb 2014

Toby Willison, Programme Director at the Environment Agency said: "We have just experienced the country's wettest January since 1766. This incident has presented huge challenges. Since Christmas, Environment Agency staff have worked 24/7 to issue flood warnings, deploy defences, reduce the risks of flooding and assist emergency services and the military.  The effort they have made has been incredible.

"We are prioritising incident response above all other work. With this in mind, we are reviewing the timetable for the Environment Agency's change programme and will not be entering a formal consultation with staff until the current flooding has subsided.

"Once we move out of incident response mode, we will re-focus our efforts to continue to bring Environment Agency costs in line with our budget from government for 2014/15.

"The planned reductions in posts will not affect the Environment Agency's ability to respond to flooding incidents and the Environment Agency will minimise the impact on other front line services through the changes."

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