A leading disabled activist has asked the head of

first_imgA leading disabled activist has asked the head of one of the country’s largest unions to take action over jobcentre staff who appear to enjoy handing out sanctions to benefit claimants.The exchange took place at a fringe meeting organised by the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union – which represents most jobcentre workers – at this week’s Labour conference in Brighton.Mark Serwotka, the union’s general secretary, was told by Paula Peters, from Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC): “There is a lot of anger with a lot of claimants around some jobcentre workers who are quite enjoying sanctioning a little bit too much.”She said these claimants wanted to know what action the union was taking to try and reduce the rate at which claimants were being sanctioned – having their benefits stopped for a period of time as a punishment for refusing to meet strict work-related conditions – and whether PCS had considered a “name and shame policy to get this stopped”.Serwotka (pictured, second from left, at the fringe) said: “I am representing some of the lowest-paid workers in Britain, some of them have been physically attacked, some of them are blamed for what they have to do.“If you are a worker and you are earning under £20,000 delivering a pretty shitty system, there is a lot of pressure on you, with the worst management I think anywhere in the public sector – they have sacked people in DWP who have cancer – so this is an organisation where it takes an awful lot of guts to stand up.”But he agreed that some members “perhaps have been or do buy into the ideology of what they are doing”.He told the fringe meeting – also attended by Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams – that he had visited jobcentres where it was clear from posters on the walls and “conversations people have to have with their management” that managers were trying to persuade staff that imposing sanctions was “the right thing to be doing”, in a bid to win their “hearts and minds”.Peters told Serwotka that DPAC had been blamed for intimidating PCS members who worked in jobcentres, but she said: “We don’t do that, we don’t believe in that.”And she asked him how they could bring the two factions together, following displays of anger between jobcentre staff and claimants.Serwotka appealed for “unity” between disabled activists, claimants and his members who worked in jobcentres.He said: “At the moment, our members are demoralised by the fact that they are judged by the amount of people they sanction and how many people they push through the system.”He said he knew that some jobcentre staff, as well as some people in wider society, had “fallen for the divide and rule stuff” on benefit claimants.But he said: “The best way to tackle that is for us to be as united as we can, which is why I hope we continue that.“I hope something comes of this meeting and we can take this forward.”Serwotka had earlier called for a social security system that was based on “dignity and respect” and “not one obsessing about free market economics and the private sector and conditionality”.He warned that the “political consensus” had “undermined” the welfare state over the last 30 years, and he claimed that the Tony Blair government had done as much as any to “split working people from benefit claimants”.He said the service offered to benefit claimants at jobcentres now was “a million miles away” from the one provided in 1980, when he was working for the old Department for Health and Social Security (DHSS).And he said he hoped for a debate that would lead to a social security system that staff could deliver “with some passion and pleasure”, as they had been able to when he worked for DHSS.last_img read more

ACTING Head Coach Mike Rush is playing a waiting g

first_imgACTING Head Coach Mike Rush is playing a waiting game as he awaits medical reports on four players injured over the Easter Weekend.Jon Wilkin (shoulder) came off the field on Good Friday whilst Tony Puletua (shoulder), Ade Gardner (knee) and Gary Wheeler (hamstring) didn’t finish the clash at Castleford yesterday.“TP has a scan yesterday on his shoulder and it looks serious,” he admitted. “With Ade’s knee it could be a whole host of things minor to major. We can’t tell until the swelling goes down.“Gary felt his hamstring in the game and again we won’t know until it is scanned. I feel for Wheels, he doesn’t seem to be able to get a run of games. On Monday, he single-handily created the first try and every time we made a break he was there. Hopefully, it isn’t too serious and he gets that run of games.“With Jon Wilkin, we are again waiting for results. It’s a fine line between asking players to strap up and doing long term damage. He is as brave as we have got – but we have to try and manage what is best for the long term and the player.“On the plus side though, Jonny’s finger is fine so he should be in line to return this week.”The injuries leave Rush with several choices to make ahead of this weekend’s Challenge Cup Fourth Round tie at Widnes – especially on the wing:“Tommy Makinson, Adam Swift and Jamie Foster all are in with a shout for that wing spot. A lot depends on who is playing well and fitness too. Adam has been in the 19 for the last two weeks and is benefitting from that experience. He won’t be far away on getting a shout at some point.“Since Josh Jones has come in, he’s done really well. We need to keep his feet on the floor and he needs to continue to do what he is doing. He was a powerful centre with genuine pace too. At Castleford, every time he carried the ball he looked like winning the battle on the floor.”He continued: “It wasn’t difficult to lift the lads after the Good Friday defeat because they knew they had to give one more massive effort. It’s hard when you go to Cas and have prepared to face the likes of Rangi Chase and Danny Orr. We prepared for them and perhaps it is tougher mentally when you aren’t facing that. I felt in the first 20 minutes we needed to get some points on the board and it could have been different.“But this happens over the Easter weekend. I think the RFL do have to have a look at playing Friday and Monday. Maybe you could have all the local derbies spread across the weekend on the TV? We played an intense game against Wigan and then had to dust off and ask 110kg blokes to smash into each other once again. I’m not sure that is right.“But, we built character in those final stages at Castleford and come the later rounds of Super League, the Cup or the Playoffs, we can reflect on those moments.”This Saturday’s Fourth Round match at Widnes will be Saints first taste of the Cup comp this season and the infamous iPitch.“I think all the furore over the surface has gone now and we’re looking forward to the match,” Rush said. “It will be a very tough game and we are preparing to take on the team that beat Wigan recently. The Challenge Cup is massive for us. Every overseas player comes here with the dream of doing it and it’s the same for the local boys too.”last_img read more

SAINTS have once again teamed up with its Official

first_imgSAINTS have once again teamed up with its Official Travel Partner and sponsor of the Sponsors’ Lounge at Langtree Park, Hatton’s Travel and CFW Tailor Made Travel to offer two trips to Catalan next season.Keiron Cunningham’s side will face the Dragons on Saturday May 9, 2015.Hatton’s Travel’s Tour:May 6 – 12 2015Half Board Overnight Accommodation Outbound & ReturnAt Novotel Dijon Sud / Marsannay La Cote4 Nights All Inclusive & Santa Susanna Resort, SpainCrossing by Eurotunnel Folkestone – CalaisTickets NOT Included for the Game £499.00 pp based on 2 sharingYou can find out more information and book on this trips by contacting Hatton’s on 01744 811818 or by logging on to www.hattonstravel.co.ukCFW Tailor Made Travel & Catalan Sport Tours:Depart Liverpool Airport Thursday May 7Return Liverpool Airport Sunday May 10 or Tuesday May 12 3 or 5 Nights including breakfast at Fenals Garden Hotel in Lloret de Mar or Tahiti Playa Hotel in Santa SusanaAll airport & match transfersMatch tickets£399 per person (3 night package) – Based on twin share£449 per person (5 night package) – Based on twin shareSingle supplement if required is £15 per nightDeposit required at time of booking is £200 per personBalance is due eight weeks prior to departureCall now on 01925 589008 to reserve your place.last_img read more

Watch Car crash at Birżebbuġa 2 severely injured

first_img SharePrint Two persons, suffering from serious injuries after a car accident in Birżebbuġa,were admitted to. The condition of the third person has not yet been confirmed.A spokesperson for the Police told Newsbook.com.mt that the accident occurred at around 9:00am, at Triq Għar Dalam, Birżebbuġa.One of the vehicles was being driven by a 21 year old male from Kalkara. The other car was being driven by an 80 year old man, who was accompanied by a female, 72. The latter two are both suffering severe injuries. They are both residents of Birżebbuġa.Footage sent to Newsbook.com.mt shows that due to the crash, one of the cars ended up crashing into a wall.WhatsApp <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more