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GMB On EA Job Losses

Monday, March 10, 2014

No Evidence Yet Of Any U Turn On The 1,700 Job Losses Environment Agency Is Being Forced To Make Due To Government Cuts Says GMB

Real fears that as the floods recede and the sun shines they will press on with getting rid of the residential lock keepers on the Thames and other front line staff says GMB.

GMB the union for staff at the Environment Agency (EA), commented on the statement issued today by EA management following a joint meeting today 10th March. See notes to editors for copy of statement.

Justin Bowden, GMB National Officer for staff at EA, said "There is no evidence yet of any U turn on the 1,700 job losses the EA is being forced to make due to Government cuts.

There are real fears that as the floods recede and the sun shines they will press on with getting rid of the residential lock keepers on the Thames and other front line staff.

 GMB will listen carefully to next week’s budget to see what lessons if any the Prime Minister has learned for the floods.

The storm damage and flooding events of the last 3 months show beyond all reasonable doubt that the jobs at the Environment Agency are a vital public service which if they are lost will have an irreversible cost for individuals and the public purse. 

Getting rid of the Thames residential lock and weir keepers on the most managed river in Britain, which is prone to flooding, to get rent from the vacated houses is utter madness.

Everyone can see that to cut jobs at the Environment Agency is penny wise and pound foolish in the extreme.  There is no social, moral or financial case that can be made to cut Environment Agency jobs and leave the country more vulnerable to floods and drought than recent events have already shown it to be.

 MP's of all parties must maintain the pressure on the Prime Minister to reverse the planned 1,700 job cuts and 10% cut to the Agency's budget because as unless there are changes announced next week his claim that 'money is no object' will ring hollow."

End

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

Notes to editors

Statement by EA 10th March 2014.

An Environment Agency spokesperson said: "We are today notifying 107 staff that we have agreed their request to leave the organisation under our voluntary early release scheme.  We are not losing any flood risk management posts as a result. These are the first staff to be notified that their requests for voluntary early release have been accepted - there will be further staff accepted under the early release scheme in due course. The scheme is designed to reduce staff numbers in line with projected budgets."

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