…in brief

This week’s news in brief

Firefighters pay rise

The Fire Brigades Union says firefighters are not paid enough and is calling
for a massive pay rise that will take their wages to £30,000 a year. Currently,
a fully qualified firefighter is paid £21,531, and delegates at next month’s
FBU conference will discuss calls for industrial action if the pay claim is not
met.  www.fbu.org.uk

T&G rejects offer

Manchester Airport bosses have slammed the T&G for rejecting their final
offer of a 10 per cent pay increase and then threatening strike action. Union
members staged a series of strikes this year in protest at plans to cut
security jobs, and a spokesman for the airport said the union has turned down a
management offer that increased pay by 10 per cent in return for higher
productivity.  www.manairport.co.uk

DoH recruit drive

The Department of Health is to launch a drive to recruit 80,000 new staff as
part of the push to cut waiting times. By 2008, the department hopes to have
recruited an extra 35,000 nurses, 15,000 GPs and consultants and 30,000 more
therapists and laboratory scientists. Most of these staff are already in
training but medical school and nursing college places will also be
expanded.  www.doh.gov.uk

World Cup fever

Almost 1.4 million men aged between 21 and 44 plan to call in sick on the
same day during the football World Cup this June, according to a new poll. The
research, by Workthing.com, finds that this predicted level of absenteeism for
just one game could cause a loss to UK industry of £128.8m.  www.workthing.com

Jobless 27-year low

UK unemployment has fallen to its lowest level for 27 years, with the number
of people unemployed and claiming benefit falling by 6,000 to 939,600 in March.
The Office for National Statistics said rate of 3.1 per cent is the lowest
figure since 1975 and the claimant count is 45,000 less than a year ago.  www.statistics.gov.uk

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