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

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Bully boy Cameron threatens more anti union laws‏

In full election mode and displaying classic Tory anti democratic credentials, David Cameron uses an interview in today's Daily Telegraph to threaten more draconian trade union laws if public service unions take action against a pay freeze in the public sector:

Labour 2010 manifesto - where's the beef?

With the 2010 General Election drawing ever closer the New Statesman reports on Labour’s increasing reliance on trade union donations and the steep reduction in donations from rich individuals.

Questions From a Worker Who Reads

Who built Thebes of the seven gates?
In the books you will find the names of kings.

Friday, 8 January 2010

The Ten Skills of Organising - join the debate‏

Your views wanted on  'the ten skills of organising'. Contact UNISONActive (see link below) to give your views on whether the 'ten skills' are the most important qualities we are looking for in activists and staff.

Tory plans for NHS sell off‏

Solomon Hughes writing in today’s Morning Star exposes the real Tory intentions for the NHS behind Cameron’s duplicitous poster campaign ‘cut the deficit, not the NHS’.

David Cameron - airbrushed for change‏

David Cameron offers us gruel and tells us it will taste like caviar – it's the politics of "and". Find out more here: http://www.mydavidcameron.com/

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Irish unions gear up to fight austerity measures‏

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) today announced a campaign of industrial action including possible strikes following the breakdown in talks with the Government and cuts imposed in the 2010 Irish budget.

Do social workers face a 'stress epidemic'?‏

I don’t know if this article in the Guardian on New Years Day was spotted by UNISON Active readers but it threw up some disturbing but well known issues to for our social worker members. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/jan/01/social-workers-stress-epidemic-feared It came from Birmingham one of the UK’s biggest social work departments and said that social work staff are signed off sick for an average of 24.9 days a year – nearly three times the average for other staff.

Campaigners 'dismayed' at government trade visit to Israel

In a week's time a trade delegation from Scottish Development International will visit Israel to drum up business on behalf, presumably, of the Scottish business community. That it goes with the blessing of the Scottish Government raises serious questions with regard to the direction such trade links are taking Scotland and the Scottish people, says Hugh Humphries, SFOP.

Notts County Council Budget & Innumeracy‏

Mathematician John Allen Santos in his seminal book 'innumeracy: mathematical illiteracy and its consequences' bemoans the negative impact on human progress of a general inability to 'do numbers'.
http://www.nytimes.com/1989/01/01/books/the-odds-are-you-re-innumerate.html?pagewanted=all In the case of Tory run Notts County Council UNISON East Midlands has unearthed a prime example.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

UNISON GS Developments‏

UNISON NEC members today received notice of a special meeting on 20 January 2010 to review options on the General Secretary post. Current GS Dave Prentis is now in the fifth year of his second term of office following his emphatic election victory in the 2005 GS election:

The Tory Party's funding by city vultures exposed‏

The Mirror weighs in to the election debate today with an informative piece on donations to the Conservative Party.

Striking Sodexo workers stand firm in North Devon

Striking Sodexo workers from North Devon District Hospital returned to the picket line for the second day of 48 hour strike action today. Despite freezing conditions and having to walk miles in the snow to maintain their demonstration, these determined workers are standing together to fight for their terms and conditions.

Viva Palestina are faced with 2,000 riot police in the port of Al-Arish!‏

Plea from Kevin Ovenden Viva Palestina Convoy Leader to all friends of Palestine: Our situation is now at a crisis point! Riot has broken out in the port of Al- Arish.

No to scapegoating of young workers‏

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development CIPD has called on the government to freeze the minimum wage for the young in order to tackle spiralling youth unemployment. UNISONActive: "What the CIPD should be arguing for in the context of the worst recession since the 1930s, is for a substantial increase in the minimum wage along with the implementation of a maximum wage to offset inflation, all within a progressive income tax system"

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Gamblers who bribe the table fix their house first‏

A staggering report just issued by the IMF 'A Fistful of Dollars: Lobbying and the Financial Crisis', http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2009/wp09287.pdf demonstrates the extent to which the banking and finance sector lobbied and bought their way out of trouble courtesy of the US taxpayer.

Monday, 4 January 2010

UNISON Active ANALYSIS - review of 2009 & what is to be done in 2010‏

Trade unions can lose the General Election spectacularly by taking a cautious approach of blindly supporting the Labour Party or can make a difference as UNISON must, by setting out an alternative economic and social agenda now. After a year of economic pain, headlines scream that stampeding shoppers cause chaos at the sales. Yet In his pre budget report in December Alistair Darling conceded that the recession was far deeper than he had predicted. And he revealed that the economy would shrink 4.75% in 2009...

Speaking with one voice? - SNP, the Tories & the ultra left‏

In UNISON we are used to the ultra left stepping up to the mark as attack dogs on the democratic right of individual union members to pay a political levy to the Labour Party. Regardless of the fact that labour affiliation is a longstanding political tradition of affiliated unions and repeatedly endorsed in political fund ballots when left and right opponents of the Labour link recommended a ‘no’ vote.

Political Education in unions - stop talking start doing‏

If there is one thing in UNISON activists are haunted by, it is the “lack of political education in our members today”. This is something we have actually heard for nearly twenty years. It is a convenient mantra that each year fulfils its own prophecy, as we see less and less trade union activists coming forward. What do we mean by political education?

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Public sector pay - lies, damned lies & statistics‏

The election must now be under away as flurry of anti public sector workers and their excessive pay and pensions has been prominent across all right wing media for the last week. Today both the Times

The bogus case for markets in health care‏

Public services are facing some of the biggest challenges in many years. The level of budget deficit as a result of the economic crisis is resulting in an ever increasing cry for slashing public sector spending by achieving greater and greater 'efficiencies'. The mantra is more for less, and that markets are the answer. It is worth thinking about this in more detail, and challenging the prevailing political and analytical works which are being promoted as part of a debate about the future direction of public services.