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

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Greenpeace - 'the city of Copenhagen is a crime scene'‏

John Sauven, the executive director of Greenpeace UK, has condemned the 5 nation (US, China, India, Brazil and South Africa) deal stitched up by the US at the UN climate change conference:

National strike action against spending cuts in Greece‏

On Thursday progressive trade unions in Greece staged a 24 hour strike against spending cuts by the PASOK led Government. The BBC reports that thousands of supporters of PAME, a Communist-backed union, marched through Athens saying they should not pay the consequences of a capitalist crisis.  PAME had called on workers across the country to enforce a 24-hour strike.

Friday, 18 December 2009

‪More front than Sainsbury – Institute of Directors launch public sector pension commission‏

That well known worker friendly organisation the Institute of Directors has ‘launched’ a commission into public sector pensions. Business chiefs fund body to look at public sector pensions - http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2009/dec/17/business-leaders-launch-pension-commission

On balloting Labour has failed the trade union movement - BA injunction shows real nature of anti union laws‏

12700 workers
92.5% yes vote
80% turnout
1 judge

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Cardiff County Council - Strategic Transformational Change or Sale of The Century?

Cardiff County Council is undergoing a massive transformation, with between 500 to 700 jobs being lost. Originally, the proposal was that this was to be by reorganisation over 5 to 7 years. But an apparent hole in the Council's finances has been used as an excuse to accelarate the process and bring in massive 15 year private sector 'partnerships'.

Seven ways to protect public services‏

The marketisation model has a built-in trait towards increasing market share from private companies so within that it serves a commercial purpose to expand public sector provision. If we take the case of individualized care budgets what incentive is there for a private provider to nurture ‘independence, wellbeing and choice’ when if someone is independent and doing rather well they will need less care and therefore you get paid less to provide that care?

Fight Climate Change, Not Wars‏

Last year’s US defence budget was $512 billion – almost as much as the rest of the world combined. The US has pledged $1.4 billion to an international climate change fund. On the environation blog (linked to The Nation magazine) Naomi Klein interviews Steve Kretzmann, Director of Oil Change International, on the links between war and climate change.

Unions urge Edinburgh Council to save local economy from unprecedented cuts

As the City of Edinburgh Council meets today to decide on a huge raft of service cuts, unions will call on the council to ‘work with them to save the local economy, keep jobs in Edinburgh and stop local taxes being exported into the private coffers of big business.’

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Victory for French student nurses‏

French student nurses have won a victory in their battle to stop the government from compelling them to work seven days a week for up to 14 hours a day in swine flu vaccine centres. Les Echos reports that students nurses cannot be requisitioned for more than ten hours a week or two sessions of five hours. http://theflucase.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2231%3Afrench-nurses-win-a-victory-over-requisitions&catid=41%3Ahighlighted-news&Itemid=105&lang=en

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Public sector job cuts hysteria belies social consequences‏

People management website reports that the “Public sector faces job losses ‘on unprecedented scale”
http://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/pm/articles/2009/12/public-sector-faces-job-losses-on-unprecedented-scale.htm - Any local council that takes a slash and burn approach to their local jobs market will face serious and long term consequences......

The Government is being transformed into an arm of the City‏

In its coverage of the pre-Budget report the Daily Telegraph reported that “Paul Skinner, the former Rio Tinto chairman, is to take the chair at Infrastructure UK, the souped-up Treasury body established to advise on and help deliver new energy, transport and technology projects”. To do this now can only lead to certain cabinet members lining their pockets as advisors post the next election – final pay back time for the ‘inclusive government’ mantra.

The flight of the bankers‏

The flight of the bankers – You can hear the slamming of Gucci luggage – the screech of tyres and the raw of private jets. The bankers are fleeing. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6954613.ece.

Monday, 14 December 2009

At last we find out cleaners are better than bankers‏

Our government needs to pay serious attention to this report and stop threatening to close down our final salary schemes, make us redundant and cut our pay just to keep the bankers alive.

The crisis in US public services and lessons for the UK‏

The Economist carries an article this week that signposts the way forward for the public sector under a Tory government – or even a Labour Government struggling to pay off the same debt?. Quite simply it argues that public sector pensions, wages and health care are the sole cause of great American Cities like Detroit, Philadelphia and Los Angeles going bust.

South Korea: Public sector unions face Government oppression‏

The Public Services International (PSI) is reporting a crackdown on public service unions by the South Korean Government and is calling on affiliates and the wider trade union movement to send letters of protest to the South Korean Government as well as to the South Korean Embassy.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Ireland’s 2010 budget – public service workers to carry burden of economic failure‏

Ireland’s 200 000 strong Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union (SIPTU) has condemned the Irish Government’s 2010 budget as “a massive Christmas present for the rich which must have exceeded even their wildest expectations.

UNISON speaks out in Copenhagen‏

UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis speaking in Copenhagen said that “the rich countries created the problem of climate change, yet it’s the developing world that is likely to be hit first and most severely by droughts and rising sea levels. It’s only right that the richer nations make the biggest cuts and provide resources to the developing world to help them grow in a sustainable way and adapt to the consequence of the climate change that we know is already inevitable.”