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Tesco’s new deal: Good or bad?

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PH100616_Page_06_Image_0001TESCO, who have 2,620 stores throughout the UK and 14 within the Herald’s coverage area, are to slash wages for many employees by the time they receive their next pay cheques, which is hidden by a blanket increase to wages nationally, staff say.

The Herald was contacted by a current employee of the retail giant who found out about the cuts earlier this year after working for the company over the last two decades.

They explained that although across the board staff are to receive very slightly higher wages, those who work unsociable hours and Sunday shifts will be detrimentally effected.

THE CUTS

The cuts will come in the form of bonus reductions; staff will no longer receive double time for Sundays and Bank Holidays, and those working night shifts and overtime hours will no longer receive the same increases, with some staff claiming they’ve been told overtime will be paid at the standard hourly rate.

On Sundays and Bank Holidays, the formerly doubled pay will be reduced to just time and a half, a reduction of 25%.

The employee who contacted The Herald notified us that they thought the increases to staff wages were only being implemented to mask the reductions which the retailer is making, to allow the national media to hide that staff are going to suffer from the changes.

THE INCREASE

Nearly a quarter of a million Tesco store staff will receive a 3.1% increase in basic pay this year under a new ‘deal’ that includes the cuts to holiday and night-time bonuses.

Established staff at Tesco will qualify for the increase and will get £7.62 an hour starting from July, some 42p over the £7.20 minimum wage for over-25s.

New employees to the company will see their pay rise £7.20 to £7.24 in July, which was increased from £7.04 to fall in-line with the national minimum earlier this year.

SOFTEN THE BLOW WITH A PAY-OUT

The Herald was told that as a sweetener, employees who were to be most affected by the bonus changes would be receiving a sum of money to make up the difference for a short period of time.

We were told that compared with the length of time they and others had been at the company and how long they intended to stay, the payment for the short period was not good enough.

Tesco have said that 85% of staff would be better off under the pay deal and that those who had been negatively affected would be handed a lump-sum payment worth 18-months of the difference in pay.

HOW DOES THE RETAILER’S PAY COMPARE?

Online statistics show that Tesco’s pay increase will put them above Sainsbury’s and Asda who currently pay national minimum wage (£7.20), but compared with companies like Lidl, Aldi and Morrison’s all of whom offer around £8/hour, the retailer falls short.

Matt Davies, the chief executive of Tesco in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, said: “We’ve spent a lot of time working with [trade union] Usdaw and colleague representatives to understand what’s important to colleagues.

“Together, we have agreed one of the highest pay and benefits packages in retail for store colleagues, and introduced a simpler and fairer pay structure, including one approach to premium payments.

“As well as an increase in pay, which puts our hourly rate well above the government’s national living wage, we remain absolutely committed to rewarding our colleagues with a pay and benefits package they really value, including a pension, colleague discount and 5% turnaround bonus.”

Pauline Foulkes, a national officer at Usdaw, said the total package for Tesco staff, including a 5% turnaround bonus that employees are on track to receive this year, was well ahead of the living wage and was one of the best in retail: “We believe the deal is the best that could be achieved in the circumstances and represents a significant investment in pay and benefits.”

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Milford Haven-bound ‘flying oil tanker’ hits the national news

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A MILFORD HAVEN bound oil tanker has made the national news, after a photograph taken off the Cornish coast made it look like the ship was flying.

An optical illusion caused the ship to appear as though it was floating above the horizon

The ship is believed to be the Hafnia Malacca Oil/Chemical Tanker which is heading to Pembrokeshire from Primorsk, Russia via the English Channel.

David Morris, from the hamlet of Gillan, near Falmouth took a photo of the ship near Falmouth, Cornwall, the BBC have reported.

On the BBC news website, meteorologist David Braine said the “superior mirage” occurred because of “special atmospheric conditions that bend light”.

He said the illusion is common in the Arctic, but can appear “very rarely” in the UK during winter.

Mr Morris said he was “stunned” after capturing the picture while looking out to sea from the hamlet of Gillan

Mr Braine said: “Superior mirages occur because of the weather condition known as a temperature inversion, where cold air lies close to the sea with warmer air above it.

“Since cold air is denser than warm air, it bends light towards the eyes of someone standing on the ground or on the coast, changing how a distant object appears.

“Superior mirages can produce a few different types of images – here a distant ship appears to float high above its actual position, but sometimes an object below the horizon can become visible.”

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Pembrokeshire residents can quickly check symptoms for variety of conditions on NHS 111 Wales online

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NHS 111 Wales online symptom checker can save Pembrokeshire patients time by helping them find the right NHS service for treatment. Symptoms can be quickly checked for a variety of conditions and advice given on the best way to treat them by visiting www.111.wales.nhs.uk which is hosted by the Welsh Ambulance Service.

The way we access NHS services has changed as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with more options now becoming increasingly utilised, including the NHS 111 Wales online service which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It can be used for both health information and advice and to access urgent primary care in Welsh and English.

In a recent YouGov survey, a third of Pembrokeshire residents had not even heard of the NHS 111 Wales online symptom checker and only 19% had used it during the past 12 months.

Andrew Carruthers, Director of Operations at Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “We are asking everyone to help us by reconsidering the way you access NHS services. The methods available have changed but we are still here for you. It is worth getting to know the different ways you can access the NHS so you can be seen and treated quicker with your first port of call being NHS 111 Wales.”

According to the YouGov survey, carried out for the Welsh Government’s Keep Wales Safe campaign, only 67% of Pembrokeshire residents had heard of the NHS 111 Wales online symptom checker. However, 86% said they felt it was important to have access to the service.   

NHS 111 Wales online can help if you have an urgent medical problem and you’re not sure what to do. The way it works is: You answer questions about your symptoms on the website and depending on the situation you will:

  •           Get self-care advice
  •           Be told how to get any medicine you need
  •           Find out what local service can help you
  •           Be connected to a nurse, emergency dentist, pharmacist or GP
  •           Get a face-to-face appointment if you need one
  •           Be given an arrival time if you need to go to A&E – this might mean you spend less time in A&E

For those who don’t have confidence going online to seek advice, there is the NHS 111 Wales phone service. This is also a free service where patients can contact the NHS by dialling 111 to receive advice on the best way to manage their issue or gain further assistance if needed. The bilingual telephone service is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

Eighty-four percent of Pembrokeshire residents had heard of the NHS 111 Wales phone service when asked for the recent YouGov survey but only 20% had used the telephone service during the last 12 months.

 

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Trial date for son accused of killing mum

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THE SON of Judith Rhead, 68, who was found dead in her home in Market Street, Pembroke Dock on Feb 20 will now appear in Crown Court again in October.

Dale Morgan, 43, said to be a scout master, appeared in court only to confirm his name, date of birth and address – which was listed as Honeyborough Green, Neyland.

A plea and trial preparation hearing date was set for March 26 with a provisional trial date set for October 4.

He was remanded in custody.

In court papers it stated that the alleged murder took place between December 10, 2020 and February 21, 2021.

The paperwork demonstrates that the police are unsure of the exact date that Ms Rhead died. The large date range, two months, points to the likelihood that this will be a challenging case for all those involved.

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