Jobs news
maj 26, 2017

Nuclear workers accept pension offer

NUCLEAR workers who are members of the Prospect trade union have accepted an offer in a long-running pension dispute.

This includes staff at Sellafield, the Low Level Waste Repository in Drigg, International Nuclear Services in Moor Row, Direct Rail Services in Carlisle and the UK's Magnox sites, including Chapelcross in Dumfries and Galloway.

The offer was the outcome of negotiations earlier this year and about 11,000 people employed across the nuclear estate will move from their current final salary pension scheme to a career average scheme from April 2018.

Prospect specialists and managers represented the largest group of affected nuclear clean-up workers. More than 77 per cent of members eligible to vote in the ballot, which ended on 24 May, backed the revised proposals, on a turnout of 67 per cent.

Dai Hudd, Prospect's deputy general secretary, said: “The changes accepted in the ballot still contain detriment, though they are not as bad as those originally proposed. And for many, they also open up opportunities and flexibility.

“The high turnout ”“ a bigger proportion than those who voted in the last general election ”“ demonstrates our members’ strength of feeling about their pensions and security in retirement.

“But the result doesn’t mean they are happy with the reforms. The alternative they faced was to take industrial action, with the risk having a far worse offer imposed on them. Members clearly recognised that the offer was the best achievable by negotiation.”

He added: “The outcome shows the difference that being in a trade union and having an effective collective voice can make when it comes to protecting terms and conditions.

“But even the revised reforms contravene explicit protections promised by the government, and enshrined in legislation, when the nuclear industry was privatised.

“This was, and is, a disgraceful way to treat dedicated employees who have done everything required of them and only wanted the government to honour its commitments.

“However, in the light of the general election, it was important to settle this issue and achieve certainty for members before a new government is in place.”

These changes were secured by campaigning by Prospect, Unite, GMB and Aslef.

The projected cost to members overall has been reduced from £660m to about £300m. The unions also secured separate guarantees relating to the treatment of future redundancy terms.

maj 26, 2017

Floods disaster prompts woman to open 'shabby chic' shop in Carlisle

Ali Heuvingh

A woman who was flooded out of her home has turned the tragedy into something positive by starting her own business.

Ali Heuvingh has opened a new store, ”˜Much Love x’ in Salisbury Road, Currock, Carlisle, specialising in shabby chic homeware and gifts.

She used to live in The Netherlands and is bringing aspects of Dutch retail to Carlisle, including a weekly late shopping evening.

In 2015 she was forced to leave her property in Eldred Street, St Aidans, when Storm Desmond devastated the city.

This sent her into a serious depression but she was determined not to let it beat her. She decided after this to leave her job and go out on her own.

Ms Heuvingh, 60, said: “My house had nearly five feet of water and I moved out of there to live with my mum.”

She then had a difficult time with her insurance company.

This experience led to her reconsidering where she was going in her life.

“I just thought ”˜things happen for a reason’ and it is time to change,” she said.

The new shop became vacant at the end of last year and Ms Heuvingh decided to leave her position as a business development manager with a firm of solicitors and take the plunge with her own shop.

It is in what might be considered an unusual position for such a shop but she does not think this will stop her making a success of the venture.

“I looked at being in the high street but I could not put myself under that pressure,” she said.

“There are a few gift shops in town but I am not comparing.”

She added: “I plan to sell things in the shop if I like them. I do not follow trends.”

Ms Heuvingh also thinks there will be “something for everybody” in the shop.

She is originally from Carlisle and lived in the Netherlands when she worked in a senior role for the country’s national airline KLM, as its catering contract manager.

In total, she was there for 20 years, returning to Cumbria in 2001.

She has one son, who works in a bookshop in Carlisle city centre.

Everything bought in the shop will be gift wrapped, which is a Dutch custom, and the store will also stay open until 8pm every Thursday.

She added: “I am also going to have ladies nights once a month, where ladies can bring their friends and have a drink and a shop.”