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

Saturday, 5 December 2009

LGPS under attack in bid to slash budget deficit‏

The first public statement that our pension benefits are to be cut to pay for the bankers bail outs was made yesterday at the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum conference in Bournemouth. Bob Holloway a civil servant, on his own final salary scheme, and a regulator of the LGPS used the conference as an opportunity to announce the potential end of final salary benefits.

King’s Fund NHS report is tilting at windmills‏

UNISON has criticised the 2009 Windmill report of the King’s Fund. Windmill is a think tank process in which private sector interests are well embedded and unsurprisingly it recommends “commissioners and providers need to grasp opportunities to work with the independent and third sectors, where these can make a contribution to innovation and improvement.” http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/research/publications/windmill_2009.html

Friday, 4 December 2009

Money, money, money‏

Many councils are citing financial problems for cutting jobs and services, and it is important that UNISON activists are able to get reliable and useful information to check what the real financial situation is. In the East Midlands, the regional office has made a series of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests on agency workers and consultants' costs, chief executives' pay, and they have also made FOI requests to councils about their levels of reserves.

Tyne & Wear Metro - Nexus sells off the family jewels‏

The Northern TUC and trade unions are extremely disappointed with today’s decision to award the contract to run the Tyne and Wear Metro to German company Deutsche Bahn.

Save the planet: not Trident‏

In its latest eBulletin Compass urges you to take action and sign up to its new statement on Rethink Trident, take action to stop climate chaos this Saturday and get your ticket to the No Turning Back Christmas Party. For all the latest news, action and debate from Compass visit: http://www.compassonline.org.uk/

Sefton UNISON - Determined to Save Jobs‏

Having left behind over 30% losers in JE and 300 job losses in her previous job, the new Chief Executive arrived in Sefton this year spotting an apparently previously unidentified £25m hole in the budget. Whilst this was hardly a vote of confidence in either the previous CEO or the Finance Directorate, announcements were to quickly follow of job cuts.

Stop climate change – social justice now!‏

Looking ahead to the UN Copenhagen Climate Summit which starts next week, the European Left (EL) highlight that the ecological crisis already has a dramatic impact today which can and most probably will assume a catastrophic dimension in the near future.

The Union Advantage‏

Great work by the TUC in producing a new report The Union Advantage: The positive impact of trade unions on the economy and British society. http://www.tuc.org.uk/extras/unionadvantage.pdf This is part of a range of materials aiming to help affiliated unions attract new recruits and demonstrate the value of unions.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

TUC says UK has reached a defining moment in the battle against racism‏

TUC Deputy General Secretary Frances O' Grady told a TUC conference on Monday that ten years after the publication of the Macpherson Report into the death of Stephen Lawrence, the UK has reached a defining moment in the battle against racism. The TUC published a new guide for union negotiators Tackling Racism in the Workplace to coincide with the conference. To read more on the conference go to: http://www.tuc.org.uk/equality/tuc-17301-f0.cfm

Smarter Government?‏

Tuesday’s Downing Street press briefing flagged up Cabinet discussions on proposals for ‘smarter government’ due to be published next week. http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page21552
This followed an FT report of a leaked documents outlining Government plans for further decimation of the civil service. http://blogs.ft.com/westminster/2009/11/save-up-to-xbn-a-year-government-on-the-hoof/

Palestinian trade unions unanimously support boycott movement‏

In reaction to reports alleging a Palestinian trade union official has reservations about the Palestinian civil society campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), the full spectrum of the Palestinian trade union movement has expressed solid support for the campaign. http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10915.shtml

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

UNISON backed candidate wins Welsh labour leadership election‏

Yesterday Carwyn Jones, the AM for Bridgend, was comfortably elected leader of the Labour Party in Wales and will succeed Rhodri Morgan as First Minister.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Social Work task force recommendations - Now let’s get them enacted‏

There’s a lot to be welcomed in the task force recommendations released today (1st December) and a lot that mirrors what we’ve been saying in Unison since the Laming report.

Extra funding is the key to improving the quality of home care‏

Heather Wakefield, UNISON head of local government, writes on the Public Finance website about the proposed National Care Service and argues that increased funding of home care is essential if current standards are to improve and the NCS is to attract the extra million carers needed by 2020

Couling vs Barnbrook

UNISON NEC member (and local School Crossing Officer) Louise Couling will be challenging the BNP's Richard Barnbrook for his seat on Barking and Dagenham Council in 2010. John's Labour Blog offers a new take on the Hitler video spoof.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Tory pay by results plans for public services will create market mayhem‏

Tory plans to set public sector budgets by results are a rehash of the previous failed model of internal markets and competition within the NHS. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tories-public-services-plan-will-save-billions-1828764.html

FOI exposes "public services industry" lobbying of Audit Commission‏

NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH, says Private Eye: "The future looks rosy for public service "outsourcing", especially under alikely Tory government. So companies are busy promoting the "efficiencies"they claim to offer in the age of austerity, and sucking up to the watchdog who is meant to police such local and health authority deals, the AuditCommission. http://www.private-eye.co.uk/sections.php?section_link=in_the_back&issue=1250

Helping bankers help themselves

"Bankers are earning giant bonuses again because governments have had to borrow in order to keep bankers in business. Now, what was I saying about democracy?" says Ian Bell in The Herald. http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/ian-bell/helping-bankers-help-themselves-1.987112

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Public sector workers across Turkey mobilise for the right to strike‏

Last week tens of thousands of public sector trade unionists in Turkey walked out in national action to secure the legal right to strike.On 25 November 2009 rallies were held in many parts of Turkey. The BBC reports that transport, hospitals, postal services and schools were disrupted.

UNISON condemns Foundation Trust regulator for failure to enforce care standards‏

Karen Jennings UNISON head of health has criticised the Foundation Trust Monitor for its delayed but ultimately headline grabbing intervention in the Basildon and Thurrock NHS Foundation Trust: http://newscdn.bbc.net.uk/1/hi/health/8382036.stm

TUC calls on EU to suspend Colombia trade talks‏

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber has written to the current EU trade commissioner Baroness Ashton (soon to take up her new role as High Representative for Foreign Relations) calling on her to abandon trade talks with Colombia because of its appalling human rights record. http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-17300-f0.cfm