News digest 31 October 2013

News digest 31 October 2013

31 October 2013

For many today may well be about ‘Trick or Treat’, but for Unite, Unison and UCU members in higher education it’s about whether they can afford to eat. From early this morning picket lines have sprung up at universities across the country. From Cambridge to Cardiff and Lancaster to Leeds, Leicester, London and more workers are demanding #fairpayinHE as they challenge yet another real terms cut in pay. Unite national officer for education Mike McCartney said: “Our members are taking this action with a heavy heart, but they have endured a five-year pay drought ... we hope that the strike will focus employers’ minds and they realise their staff are their most important asset and reward them accordingly."

And the pressure of action has seen an improved offer over pay and terms by the Royal Mail to the CWU which has cancelled a planned one day strike due for next week to iron out the details, perhaps university heads should listen. Elsewhere, a quick snapshot of the papers sees many complain about the end of the freedom of the press after the Queen last night approved a royal charter to regulate the press, many of the papers are up in arms, although when you look at some of the content you do wonder what the message really is, today the Express launches a new campaign saying ‘Britain is full up and fed up’ and calling on the government to keep EU migrants out of the country (like that will happen), the again the Mail is following its usual attack anything (or maybe everything) it disagrees with, today’s headlines is: “Terrorised by union bullies” as it looks at the Grangemouth campaign, no mention of how Ineos employed a PR agency that specialises in protecting companies hit by child labour accusations though. The Mail also lays into Cate Reilly using a headline that says: “Having to work for benefits is not slave labour” but fails to mention the government lost its case as the Supreme Court upheld the ruling against the Con-Dem attack on workfare, and many of the papers also focus on the latest in the hacking case, the FT reports it as: “Ex-Murdoch newspaper bosses ‘must have known of hacking’, court told” it’s not looking good for the press today, but then onetime close personal friend of Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, namely David Cameron, will also be smarting today as the latest Forbes list shows that he (and the UK) has slipped out of the top 10 global power list. Even worse Cameron’s bête noir Russian president Vladimir Putin - who reportedly mocked Britain as a small island – is now number one, having leapfrogged US president Barack Obama at number two, poor old Cameron can only muster eleventh place, how the [once] mighty have fallen…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

Morning Star

  • Judges smash workfare scheme (p1)
  • Miliband: PM is PR man for energy firms (p2)
  • University staff strike across Britain (p3) – Unite cited
  • Ucatt warns of dip in safety standards (p3)
  • Royal Mail strike action called off (p3)
  • Four years of flatline as families left out of recovery (p5)

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Fat cat energy firms ordered to open books (p3)
  • New inquiry into Falkirk? (p4) - Unite/Len McCluskey cited
  • Hacking trial (p6)
  • Barclays probed again (p50)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Brooks ran regime of hacking and cover up (p1)
  • Care assistants to have skills tests before helping on wards (p4)
  • Labour spends taxpayer money to rent union offices (p7)
  • PwC beefs up advisory arm (p45)
  • Royal Mail strike off (p48)
  • GM recovery gathering speed (p31)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Ex-Murdoch bosses ‘knew of hacking’ (p1)
  • Press regulation gets royal consent (p2)
  • Corporate access reform puts small groups at risk (p3)
  • Royal Mail strike off (p5)
  • Barclays embroiled in FX probe (p15)
  • US demand rescues auto industry (p19)