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

Saturday, 21 November 2009

To hell in a handcart, via bankers bonuses!‏

Earthly bodies are moving into alignment as the general election draws nearer, the CBI yesterday backed the Tory plan to cut jobs and services in the public sector to pay back government debt. The CBI's backing for Tory economic strategy reflects a reversal in allegiances since last year, when leading business groups lined up with the government against the Tories in advocating a cut in VAT to help people buy more so stimulating the economy.

Two contrasting views on public sector pensions‏

Solomon Hughes, in Friday's Morning Star, exposed the vested interests behind the incessant propaganda of the Conservative right about so called "unfunded pensions - the ones paid by nurses, postal workers or civil servants, describing them as massive liabilities on the state".

Community support remains strong for striking refuse collectors in Leeds‏

GMB and UNISON members remain firm and united in their opposition to harsh pay cuts being imposed by Leeds City Council - ‘still the 600 refuse workers remain on strike, and support for them across the city remains strong’ reports the Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2009/nov/20/bartons-britain-leeds

Friday, 20 November 2009

Time to boost Welsh Assembly powers & end half baked devolution‏

News that the All Wales Convention, established by the assembly government, has stated that a 'yes' vote in favour of boosting powers is obtainable - is to be welcomed by UNISON, as it clearly reflects the views of the union put to the Richard’s Commission back in 2003. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/wales_politics/8350333.stm

Thursday, 19 November 2009

IER Conf The ECJ,Trade Union Rights and the British Government 28th Nov‏

A think tank for the labour movement: The New Spectre Haunting Europe: The ECJ, Trade Union Rights and the British Government. A free conference. Saturday 28th November 2009, 10:00am- 3:30pm, in the Main Hall, TUC Congress House, organised by The Institute of Employment Rights in association with SERTUC http://www.ier.org.uk/node/408

Show us the money‏

Local government branches in the East Midlands are not taking proposed budget cuts lying down. With the help of the regional office and national office, East Midlands branches are asking very searching questions of councils about their budget proposals.

Review of NHS Foundation Trust private work – time to end the public subsidy‏

The Guardian assesses the Government’s decision to review restrictions onincome from private patients in NHS Foundation Trusts. It suggests that atough stance by the Government could provide a clear dividing line between Labour and the Tories on the NHS.  This requires the Government to face down the Foundation Trust lobby which is threatening to take legal action at the European Court of Justice in the event that UNISON succeeds in its judicial review of the way in which the cap has operated since 2003.

BBC poll in favour of public spending cuts poll is a distortion‏

Is anyone really surprised that the public support public spending cutsand cuts to tax credits? They also keep on voting for Jedward and wouldbring back hanging. It doesn't make popular opinion right or logical. The BBC poll is far from an independent analysis. As with most media based surveys the questions are overly-simplified and designed to lead to a particular set of statistics that make a cheap and cheerful news story.

On this day in 1915 - Joe Hill faced a firing squad‏

Joe Hill - The Man Who Didn't Die By Dick Meister:
It's Nov. 19, 1915, in a courtyard of the Utah State Penitentiary in Salt Lake City. Five riflemen take careful aim at a condemned organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World, Joe Hill, who stands before them straight and stiff and proud. "Fire!" he shouts defiantly.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

The Queen’s speech…. What’s in it for us?

With at most six months to the next General Election, Gordon Brown would appear to have set out an ambitious programme in the Queen’s Speech before Parliament today. From its election in 1997, this Labour Government has unfortunately displayed a track record of using its power in the service of neo liberal ideology and imperial adventurism.

Getting Pickled in the Tory War Room‏

Pure theatre as Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles outlines Tory battle plans for the upcoming general election......

Consulting & public services – the goose that lays the golden eggs‏

The November edition of the UNISON positively public briefing reports on the impressive research conducted by the East Midlands region of the union into the excessive spending (over £150M) by local authorities on consultants. It quotes the example of Wellingborough Council which spent 13% of its staff budget on consultants! http://www.unison.org.uk/file/B4792.pdf

A thorn in the world’s side

Israel in midst of freefall on global front, yet we’re preoccupied with nonsense, says right wing Zionist Sever Plocker. “Israel’s image has hit a nadir; it is isolated, unwanted, and perceived as bad. The world is telling us that should we continue along the same contemptible path, we will lose our legitimacy.” Interesting stuff in ynetnews.com http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3798761,00.html

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

ETUC rejects predictions of failure of Copenhagen Conference‏

Brussels, 17 November 2009: Given the procrastination by governments and international institutions that seem to be dooming the Copenhagen Conference to a predictable defeat, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) stresses the importance of maintaining the summit's climate objectives. A strong and ambitious political commitment needs to be made.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Limit tax relief for high earners and raise £10b - TUC‏

At today's TUC Beyond Crisis conference TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber will call on the Chancellor to cap the amount of tax relief that can be claimed by those earning more than £100,000 a year at £5,000. This measure alone would raise £10 billion a year. http://www.tuc.org.uk/economy/tuc-17250-f0.cfm

Meeting the procurement challenge‏

The new preferred route for private companies to extend their ‘market share’ of public service delivery is via commissioning or procurement. It has become widespread across all public services in the UK and is being intensified as public bodies attempt to force financial savings through cuts in staffing and reductions in levels of service. Where in house bids are unsuccessful, or in some cases excluded, union members face transfer of employment to private companies or so called not for profit employers.

Organising message at national leadership school - stop talking start doing!‏

The key message given by Bob Oram NEC member North West at last week's leadership school in respect of organising was "Stop talking, start doing! Everyone now says we are an organising union, yet what does that mean? If we were not about organising in the first place then what are we about?”

SDL going nowhere

(left) The Cambridge Bar Glasgow, the Assembly point for SDL 14 Nov......... they're inside.......... and going nowhere! Because Glasgow is watching them! ........  and (right) Glasgow police put SDL on bus out of town.
Mike Kirby

Scotland United 1 Fascist and Nazis 0

Saturday 14th November will be a day to remember this season when the combined might of a Scotland United team proved much too strong and disciplined for the fascist rag, tag and bobtail of the Scottish Defence League, the latest incarnation of the BNP. This United team on this occasion simply had too much class and organisation for their opponents.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Scotland UNITED defies Scottish Racists and Fascists‏

Thousands attended the ‘Scotland United’ rally to celebrate multicultural Glasgow on Saturday 14th November in Glasgow Green, and forced the fascists off the streets of the city. http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/antiracism/scotlandunited2.html

Collective bargaining coverage in Britain and Germany‏

A new report by the Centre for Economic Performance at the LSE, examines changes in collective bargaining arrangements and worker representation in Germany and Britain between the period 1998 and 2004.

Leeds Labour leader condemns cost of strikebreaking measures‏

As the refuse collectors strike enters its eleventh week of continuous strike action Leeds Council has been criticised for paying out in excess of £1m to private contractors during the strike.