While welcoming the fact the government has partially climbed-down from its original proposals, Great Britain's Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) said it will still oppose any new plans that would result in compromised safety.
According to PCS information, the change means some Coast Guard stations previously threatened with closure will be saved, and all those remaining will stay open 24 hours. This recognizes the need for around-the-clock coverage to preserve the vital local knowledge the government initially claimed would not be lost, but which was proved wrong.(WCxKit)
Last month's announcement is a partial victory for communities that campaigned to save what is an essential public service they hold dear. But it will be a bitter blow for those still under threat, according to the PCS. The union is concerned the government has made no commitment to prevent compulsory redundancies and concerned that, again, the proposals say nothing about improving pay for coast guards who are the worst paid in the emergency services. These new plans must now be subject to full and meaningful consultation involving staff, unions, the public, and other interested parties.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka noted, "We pay tribute to our coast guard members and people in their communities who have fought so hard to defend what is a vital public service.(WCxKit)
"This fight is not over. We are committed to ensuring we retain the local knowledge of our coastlines that is essential to saving lives, as we are determined to defend all public services and our communities from the government's cuts."
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