… in brief

This week’s news in brief

T&G strike ballot

Thousands of London-based local government staff will vote on whether to
strike next month. The T&G union is to ballot members over an offer of a 3
per cent annual pay increase and around £2,000 London weighting. Strike ballots
will start on 10 June. The results will be announced a month later.

Museum staff to vote

Staff at the British Museum are voting whether to strike next month over
plans to cut the work-force by 15 per cent. The Prospect and Public and
Commercial Serv-ices unions said their 750 members may strike in mid-June over
a £6.5m cost-cutting programme. The museum employs 1,100 staff but the cuts
could see 150 jobs go, as well as reductions in education, scholarship and

NI costs warning

The British Retail Consortium has warned that the recent increase in
National Insurance contributions could cost the industry as many as 10,000
jobs. The BRC warned the Bank of England that the increase would have to be
absorbed by the sector, putting jobs at risk. Retailers said the changes could
lead to more stocks and supplies being sourced from outside the country.

North Sea jobs at risk

Plans to increase tax for offshore operators announced in the Budget may
lead to the loss of as many as 50,000 North Sea jobs. The UK Offshore Operators
Association, which represents 30 North Sea oil companies, has warned it could
cost its members as much as £8bn and that the increase may lead to a 20 per
cent cut in spending on UK exploration and production.

HSE report on stress

The Health and Safety Executive has launched a report into control-ling
stress in the NHS. The report was published following earlier research
suggesting stress was leading to between 30 and 40 per cent of all sickness
absence in the NHS. The HSE will be working with the NHS trusts involved in the
studies to review the interventions and the impact on stress levels.

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