When the European Parliament meets in Strasbourg for one week every month, the last session which takes place on Thursday afternoon is always devoted to debates on human rights issues in different parts of the world. Although most MEPs will have already left to get their transport connections to often far flung corners of Europe, this session is usually very purposeful in illuminating the suffering of different opposition groups, vulnerable individuals or minorities at the hands of brutal political or military regimes.
Campaigns & Issues
ACCORDING TO the headlines, Britain is on course to a green future based on renewable energy. The National Grid, which organises electricity distribution, has just produced a report claiming that 15% of the country’s energy will be generated by renewable sources by 2020. At the same time, the renewable sector is expanding currently by 25-30% per year internationally and some leading companies in wind energy have announced new investment recently in the UK. For example, GE, Siemens and Gamesa say they are going to invest £300 million in the next three to four years. So, should we stop worrying about global warming since everything seems to be moving in the right direction?
Up to 200 jobs are to be cut at Belfast Metropolitan College (BMC), representing 20% of the workforce. Cuts at BMC have already led to the closure of courses for young people who need qualifications, and now these job losses will lead to even less places for people to study and gain an education – that is if they are not resisted.
For proper security for all hospital patients, staff and visitors
“The health and safety of staff, patients and visitors have never been more at risk than now on the Royal site”. This quote from a security officer in the Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) in Belfast illustrates how senior health managers are putting cuts above the health and safety of people that work in and pass through our hospitals.
Medical secretaries in hospitals across the Belfast Health Trust are fighting against attempts to cut jobs and pay by £3,000 per year. As a result of the decision by the Assembly Executive to make cuts of £318million in health since last year, frontline services such as those carried out by medical secretaries are being decimated.