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An employer's organisation has raised concerns about the impact of the government’s public sector cuts on private sector business. Commenting on the Recruitment and Employment Confederation's latest employers' survey, JobsOutlook, the organisation pointed out that economic uncertainty is dampening permanent hiring intentions, while increasing the demand for flexible staffing.The monthly survey of 600 employers found that 67 per cent of employers said they had short-term plans to increase their permanent workforce over the next three months, compared to 74 per cent last month. With regards to longer prospects, 49 per cent of employers expect to expand their permanent hires over the next year, compared to 66 per cent last month.A REC news release said: "The impact of the public sector cuts on private sector jobs remains a concern. A total of 20% of private sector employers now say they will have either a quite serious or serious impact on them."In a TUC blog, policy officer Paul Sellers drew attention to a two-fold impact: • loss of trading opportunities in the public sector• loss of consumer demand as public sector workers are displaced, or fear that they will be displaced."No surprise then that employers organisations such as REC are belatedly starting to worry about Government policy," he said.

It's time to register your protest at the biggest cut to private and public sector pensions in British history. By linking future pension increases to the consumer price index (CPI) rather than retail prices (RPI), the government this April slashed pensions payments by at least 15% over every worker's lifetime.You can now sign an online petition to the House of Commons objecting to this move - and if more than 100,000 people sign up the subject is eligible for debate in the Commons.Go to and make sure the RPI-CPI switch – which was made without consultation or negotiation of any kind - is debated in parliament. At the time of writing, 17,000 people had already signed.Prospect has campaigned against the switch from the day it was announced. It affects every pension scheme in the private sector that does not specifically guarantee to link pension increases to RPI, and every scheme in the public sector.Prospect is one of six trade unions and pensioner organisations that has challenged the CPI switch in the High Court. We argue that CPI is not a fair measure of the cost of living for pensioners since it measures changes in consumer behaviour (ie trading down to cheaper goods) rather than price increases for the same goods.CPI also excludes housing costs, which the government maintains most pensioners do not incur since they already own their home outright.The unions' application for a judicial review is scheduled to be heard in court on October 25.Prospect has produced a video briefing on the RPI-CPI switch.You can find out how the government e-petitions site works here.

The Scottish Trades Union Congress has announced plans for a People First march and rally on 1 October 2011 in Glasgow. The event will be held in partnership with a growing number of faith, equality, anti-poverty and campaign organisations.The march will assemble at Glasgow Green at 11.30am, moving off at midday to Kelvingrove Park where thousands will assemble to hear speeches and music before attending a range of fringe events held in places of worship, student unions, public buildings and hotels in the vicinity of the park.The event will also feature a specific initiative to raise funds for the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal created to help those hit by famine in Africa.Sponsoring and supporting organisations for the event will be very diverse, but have in common the aim of working together on a non-partisan basis to:challenge poverty levels and campaign for redistribution of wealth across Scotland and the UKcampaign to protect those hardest hit by service and benefit cutshelp to build and reconnect Scotland's communities.To be kept updated on developments contact or visit the dedicated march website.You can download a poster and a leaflet promoting the event from Prospect's website library.

The TUC has called on the government urgently to address labour market deterioration, in the wake of the latest employment figures. TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said the rise in unemployment pointed to "a worrying deterioration in the UK labour market. And with our so-called 'recovery' stagnating, all the indicators point to further rises in joblessness."The number of vacancies is now down to levels last seen in 2009, while female unemployment is at a 23-year high. As public sector job losses mount, employment prospects for many women are looking bleak."It is also worrying to see the unwelcome return of rising youth unemployment, with more than one in five young people currently out of work."He added that government complacency over growth was coming back to haunt the UK and described the Chancellor's plans for job creation through new enterprise zones as ‘woefully inadequate.'"Even if successful, the new enterprise zones will create fewer jobs in the next four years than have been lost in the last three months," he said."The Chancellor urgently needs to put forward a plan B before our economy heads back towards recession and even more people lose their jobs."The TUC has listed the top ten unemployment blackspots on its website. The latest unemployment figures are available on the Office for National Statistics website. You can see an analysis of these figures by TUC policy officer Richard Exell on the Left Foot Forward website. And TUC women's equality officer Scarlet Harris has written a Touchstone blog focusing on the dramatic rise in unemployment among women.

The TUC has announced further details of its national protest march outside the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester in October. The march, which is expected to attract thousands of demonstrators from all over the country, will assemble at 12 noon in Liverpool Road, Manchester city centre (off Deansgate) on Sunday, 2 October.It will then proceed through the city centre before a rally at which leading national speakers will address the crowd.The march is being planned to coincide with the first day of the Conservative Party's Annual Conference.The TUC is in regular consultation with Greater Manchester Police about the arrangements for the demonstration and further updates will be made as soon as possible.It is hoping for a substantial turnout to demonstrate unions' opposition to the government's economic and social policies and their devastating effect on people's lives, and as a major show of support for the TUC's alternatives.

Say no to blood money
19 May 2011