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Trinity St David seeks voluntary redundancies

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THE UNIVERSITY of Wales, Trinity St David has written to all teaching and support members of staff asking them to consider voluntary redundancy.

Trade Union UNISON claims that the University seeks a 10% staff cut and that compulsory redundancies could follow if insufficient numbers volunteer.

UNISON’s Hugh McDyer said: “We know there are big changes ahead at the university and a likely merger of sites. We’ll work with them to identify savings if they need to be made but that should not be at the cost of frontline workers. An obvious start would be to stop recruiting highly paid management staff.

“Over the last few years more senior managers have been recruited on lucrative contracts leaving fewer staff to teach and support students. Many support staff earn near to the minimum wage and zero hours contracts and agency work are still common practice.

UNISON’s Simon Dunn said: “We recognise the financial challenges being faced by a number of universities in Wales, with the recent news of significant job losses in the University of South Wales.

“Given the economic value of higher education to Wales and local communities, we call on Welsh Government to consider how universities are responding to these challenges, and whether some form of intervention is necessary.”

A spokesperson for the University said: “As part of its normal ongoing business practice the University regularly reviews its staffing costs in line with sector benchmarks. The University’s current staffing costs are above sector benchmark comparisons and therefore a review of staffing levels across all Academic and Professional units is being undertaken.

“To this end, the University has launched a voluntary redundancy scheme with the aim of reducing staffing costs as a percentage of turnover, and has met recently with recognised Trades Unions to appraise them of the situation. The process is likely to continue over the next few weeks.”

Full story in next week’s Herald.

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Stereophonics to play Swansea gig

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ONE of Britain’s best live bands Stereophonics has announced a special performance at Singleton Park, Swansea on Saturday, July 13, 2019.

The stadium rockers will perform in their south Wales heartland to celebrate 20 years since the career milestone show in Swansea at Morfa Stadium to 55,000 people and the release of ‘Performance and Cocktails’.

It will be the band’s first time back in south west Wales since their Morfa Stadium show in 1999. This now iconic album, which was the band’s second studio release, gave Stereophonics three straight top five singles in the British charts with ‘The Bartender and the Thief’ reaching No.3, and both ‘Just Looking’ and ‘Pick a Part That’s New’ reaching No.4.

Over the past two decades, Stereophonics have played at some of the biggest venues to fans all across the globe, amassing over 10 million album sales in that time.

More recently in 2018, the band performed to sell-out crowds across the globe, including a huge 15-date arena tour, summer homecoming gigs in Wrexham and Cardiff plus headline shows at Kendal Calling, Y Not Festival and Victorious Festival.

Speaking about the latest announcement, Kelly Jones said: “Performance and Cocktails put us on the world map, and also on the TV and the Radio, which meant a lot of people went back to discover Word Gets Around and made our first album platinum! Morfa Stadium was where we set Performance and Cocktails alight, and it was a one off day that can never be beaten. It was perfect. I’m not a man that likes to go backwards, this event is merely a birthday party, so come along and help us blow out the candles.”

Stereophonics are Kelly Jones (vocals/guitar), Richard Jones (bass), Adam Zindani (guitar) and Jamie Morrison (drums).

Tickets go on sale on Friday (Dec 14) at 10am via www.myticket.co.uk.

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Heroin could be linked to Aberysytwyth supply

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A LIVERPOOL man has admitted possessing heroin that could be linked to drugs supplied in Aberystwyth.

Jack English, aged 20, pleaded guilty to possessing a quantity of heroin with intent to supply when he appeared at Swansea Crown ccourt for a plea and trial preparation hearing before Judge Keith Thomas.

The court heard the drugs could also be linked to English’s father, who had been a heroin user who had ‘gone to Aberystwyth on many occasions’ and who had died since his son’s arrest in October 2017.

Judge Thomas said he would sentence English on January 11.

English, of Storrington Road, was granted bail meanwhile but warned that a jail sentence was the most likely outcome.

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Mark Drakeford named next First Minister

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THE NEXT First Minister of Wales will be Mark Drakeford, it has been announced this afternoon (Dec 6).

Mr Drakeford, a Cardiff West AM, was named as the winner of the Welsh Labour leadership contest at the Principality Stadium.

The contest was triggered when Carwyn Jones, the current First Minister, announced he was stepping down.

Mr Jones will officially step down on Tuesday (Dec 10).

Mr Drakeford will then be officially confirmed as the new First Minister of Wales by the National Assembly next week.

In the first round of voting, the results were:

Mark Drakeford – 46.9%
Vaughan Gething – 30.8%
Eluned Morgan – 22.3%

Eluned Morgan’s votes were then redistributed on voters’ second preferences, with the following results:

Mark Drakeford – 53.9%
Vaughan Gethin – 46.1%

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