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Stop 1,700 EA Job Losses

Friday, February 28, 2014

MP's Must Maintain Pressure On Prime Minister To Reverse 1,700 Job Cuts At Environment Agency As Compulsory Redundancy Looms

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 says GMB

GMB, the union for staff at the Environment Agency, responded to reports that there may be compulsory redundancies as part of the 10% cut in budget. See notes to editors for details of story filed on by the Press Association dated 28th February.

Justin Bowden, GMB national officer for the Environment Agency said, "Money may be no object according to the Prime Minister but apparently common-sense is. 

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 things stand his claim that 'money is no object' rings hollow."

End

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

Notes to editors

Story filed on by the Press Association dated 28th February.

More than 1,000 employees at the Environment Agency have applied for voluntary redundancy, although compulsory job cuts could still be made, according to sources.

Unions fear up to 1,700 jobs are set to be axed at the agency despite the flooding crisis which has gripped parts of the UK this year.

The agency asked for staff to express an interest in taking voluntary redundancy and it is now believed that around 1,200 workers have applied.

Sources told the Press Association that not all those who have applied will be allowed to leave because of the nature of the work they are involved in.

That leaves open the possibility of several hundred compulsory redundancies at the agency.

Prime Minister David Cameron was questioned about job losses earlier this month at the height of the flooding but said nothing would happen while the crisis was being tackled.

Unions have suspected that the agency will re-start negotiations over redundancies once the flooding eases.

Some officials have reported that morale among EA staff is low because of criticism of the way the agency has handled the floods.

Some staff were withdrawn from the Thames Valley for a while earlier this month because of abuse from local residents.

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