Campaigns & Issues

Oil spill is ‘worst environmental disaster’ to hit US

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico following the fatal explosion on the BP leased Deepwater Horizon oil rig has exceeded the Exxon Valdez catastrophe of 1989, when eleven million gallons of crude oil devastated the pristine Alaskan coastline.

A White House energy official described the Gulf of Mexico spill as the worst environmental disaster ever to affect the USA. So far, all of BP’s efforts to plug the leaking well – located 5,000 feet below the surface of the sea – have failed.

Anti-racist campaigner blasts draft legislation

New bill would have criminalised residents protesting against racist attacks on Romanian families last June

The draft ‘Public Assemblies’ Bill under discussion by the Assembly Executive has been branded a ‘disgrace’ by local anti-racist campaigner and South Belfast Socialist Party spokesperson Paddy Meehan.

Global warming: is it too late?

New research is claiming that concentrations of carbon dioxide (the main greenhouse gas, CO2) will remain high for at least 1,000 years, even if greenhouse gases are eliminated in the next few decades. The climate scientists who produced this work assert that the effects of global warming, such as high sea levels and reduced rainfall in certain areas, will also persist over this time scale. (The findings are in a paper published in February in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by researchers from the USA, Switzerland and France, www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.0812721106 )

 

Assembly reneges on civil service pay

Anger and frustration has greeted the latest developments on NICS pay. Already eight months overdue – the pay offer was due to be paid last August – a formal offer was finally received in March 2010. The wait has not been worth it however, as it has amounted to a pay freeze on the max points of all scales.

These points are recognised as the rate for the job as all workers are expected to progress to the max of the pay scales when they have completed enough service. It is also being seen as a freeze on all who are due to retire.

United action to defend compensation scheme

The government is planning to slash thousands of civil service jobs across Britain and Northern Ireland and when they try to do it, they want to be sure that it’s as cheap as possible; that is the reason behind the change to the Civil Service Compensation Scheme (redundancy scheme) which has been undemocratically forced through Parliament.