UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Greece votes for democracy

Yesterday’s referendum in Greece on the terms of the bailout offered by the European Union offered a decisive answer to those seeking to continue with the route to austerity. By a margin of 62% to 38%, the Greek people voted no, on any terms a decisive result.

Most commentators had prophesied that the referendum would reveal a deep split in Greek society between those voting for continued affiliation to the EU and those rejecting the terms imposed by the IMF and the EU. This split did not materialise.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

UNISON #Lablink15 Day 2 'Meet the Newbie MPs'‏

Day 2 of the National UNISON Labour Link Forum in Manchester started with a Parliamentary Panel of MPs and MEPS (see picture). It was inspiring to see three new MPs who come from our movement sitting for the first time alongside longer serving panel members. Former UNISON NEC member, Dave Anderson MP, spoke first about the risk to the union from indiscipline and how we must remain loyal and united to fight off Tory attacks on the union and the cuts.

Friday, 3 July 2015

UNISON #Lablink15: Day 1. 'We will never walk away from the Labour Party'

The UNISON political fund representing members who have decided to affiliate to the Labour Party began its annual forum this morning in Manchester.

The forum was opened by Dave Prentis who promised delegates that as long as he is General Secretary, unison will never walk away from the Labour Party. The unions formed the Labour Party and we need the Party to make a fairer society.

Following the defeat in May and the party leadership elections it was decided to cancel the usual workshops and hold hustings of leadership candidates.

The New Health and Social Care Economy – Dexter Whitfield

This ground-breaking 96-page report puts the health and social care sector at the centre of importance to achieve sustainable economic growth. Commissioned by New Directions, the definitive analysis covers Sefton MBC, Liverpool and Greater Manchester City Regions and the North West regional economy. It demonstrates the economic importance of the health and social care economy; sets out the terrain on which the integration of health and social care must take place including privatisation, inequalities, austerity, demographic change and quality jobs; and makes local and national 40 recommendations.
Full Report http://www.european-services-strategy.org.uk/publications/public-bodies/health-and-social-care/the-new-health-and-social-care-economy-dexte/the-new-health-and-social-care-economy-full-report.pdf

Executive Summary http://www.european-services-strategy.org.uk/publications/public-bodies/health-and-social-care/the-new-health-and-social-care-economy-dexte/the-new-health-and-social-care-economy-exec-summary.pdf

Friday, 26 June 2015

All roads lead to Manchester on 4 October

Building on last Saturday's larger than expected anti austerity protests in Glasgow, London and other cities, the TUC is calling a national demonstration in Manchester on Sunday 4 October to coincide with the Tory Party conference. Over 50,000 attended a similar demonstration in 2013.
    TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady said: “This October’s march and rally will allow thousands of ordinary people to show the government exactly what they think of their policies. The Conservatives’ planned attack on trade unions and extreme cuts are an assault on working people at a time when they should be focused on securing the UK’s fragile recovery and creating better jobs to boost productivity.”

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Europe - the dog that didn't bark at #uNDC15‏

As the clock ticked down on a bail out deal between the Greek Government and the Troika – the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF – UNISON conference was debating emergency composite motion 2 on ‘UNISON’s political campaign after the General Election.’

However this omnibus composite (agreed between the NEC and 5 branches) was silent on Britain’s relationship with the EU - an issue which is central to the political agenda of the Tory Government and attracting growing concern in some parts of the British trade union movement (see below).

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

If we shy away no one can help us but if we decide to fight, no one can stop us

#uNDC15 A thumping speech from Dave Prentis, UNISON general secretary, hit all the right buttons with Conference with support for the Glasgow strikers and a pledge that 'an injury to one is an injury to all' as he backed sacked SECC worker Robert O'Donnell.

It celebrated victories, listed the challenges ahead and underlined that trade union rights are human rights and must be protected.

His full speech is below:

Monday, 15 June 2015

We have to get better organised - Glen Williams

#uLGC15 'I have tried not to focus on the doom and gloom, but to give you a flavour of the struggles that take place every day around the UK, struggles and resistance by you and our members that we need to build on. We have to get even better organised; we have to devise and work within the new structures of devolution and combined authorities, working across the usual boundaries of service groups' said Glen Williams, Chair of the Service Group Executive in moving the 2014/15 Local Government Annual Report.
Full speech below:

Sunday, 14 June 2015

We Belong To Glesga., Dear Ol..Glesga Toon...

#UNDC15 Well this week we all do. The National Delegate Conference hits the real* capital of Scotland (sorry Embra) where delegates can sample the best curries, the best pubs and the best hospitality that Scotland has to offer. Who needs sunny weather when you can drink all day, dance all night and play at finding the cormorants on the Clyde? And two of Scotland’s finest football teams play here, Celtic and Partick Thistle, while there are also representatives of the lower divisions on the South of the river.

Then there’s what happens in the Conference hall. The SECC itself has become controversial as a result of the policies pursued by its management, so has only itself to blame. And if UNISON were booking its conference now, perhaps we could take those policies into account. But it is worth remembering that the lead time between booking a conference venue and actually using it is about five years.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Early conciliation - only 1 in 8 cases are settled

'The most recent statistics from Acas (April-December 2014) show that nearly 59,000 workers have used early conciliation, compared to just under 2,000 employers and that the number of applications has risen from around 1,000 a week when conciliation was not mandatory to 1,800 a week in recent months' writes Sonia McKay in Labour Research. The new process has secured COT3 settlements in only one in eight cases with another 60% of claims being abandoned before reaching Tribunal.