Thursday, November 08, 2012

John Pring's Disability News Roundup - Week Ending 2/11/2012

  • Three more charities have suggested that Atos Healthcare used misleading claims about them in a document it used to win two lucrative disability assessment contracts.
  • A review of the equality watchdog’s disability committee could slow down further progress on disabled people’s rights, campaigners have warned.
  • Disabled and older people will make a million fewer cheap coach journeys this year as a result of government cuts, say campaigners.
  • A Supreme Court hearing this week could lead to important new protection from discrimination for thousands of disabled volunteers, and benefit claimants forced into government work experience programmes.
  • Housing providers will be able to bid for money from a £300 million fund to help boost the provision of specialised housing for disabled and older people.
  • Government plans to “shrink” new school buildings will threaten the inclusion of thousands of disabled children in mainstream settings, campaigners have warned.
  • Some of Britain’s top Paralympians will be appearing at a new festival of sport that aims to build on the legacy of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, and unearth future medal-winners.
  • The sentencing of 11 former employees of a private hospital for abusing people with learning difficulties has become mired in confusion, with the government unable to say whether the judge treated the offences as disability hate crimes.
  • Sentences handed to staff who admitted abusing people with learning difficulties at a private hospital near Bristol have been branded “woefully inadequate” by leading members of the self-advocacy movement.
  • The new minister for disabled people has agreed to consider fresh demands for the government to assess the full impact on disabled people of all of its cuts and reforms to benefits and services.

News provided by John Pring at


Orbilia said...

From a recent union bulletin :

PCS secures living wage from
Atos UK
UNI’s UK affiliate the Public and Commercial Services
Union (PCS) has signed an agreement with Atos UK that
will ensure that its members get a living wage
(GBP 8.30 in London and
GBP 7.20 in the rest of
the UK). The company
agreed to meet the union’s demands after PCS
threatened to call a strike
during the London Olympics, to which Atos was a
main partner. UNI Global Union and its affiliates also provided solidarity support to the union.
Atos has faced heavy criticism for its handling of “back to
work” tests on behalf of the UK Department for Work and
Pensions, which people with disabilities and campaigners
say are solely designed to cut the welfare bill. At the
same time, the company made an annual profit of more
than EUR 337 million, a 6.7% increase on the previous
year. Despite this it initially refused to commit to becoming a living wage employer.



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