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

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Dave Prentis issues call to arms against BNP‏

In his first engagement since declaring he will be standing again as General Secretary, Dave Prentis was well received at the Black members conference today.

Notting Hill Strike ballot‏

UNISON Housing Association Branch is gearing up to support members in Notting Hill Housing Group, reports John's Labour Blog http://grayee.blogspot.com/2010/01/notting-hill-strike-ballot-to-defend.html

What Stephen Lawrence Has Taught Us by Benjamin Zephaniah‏

We know who the killers are,
We have watched them strut before us
As proud as sick Mussolinis',

Loadsamoney - never mind the bonuses it's the banking system stupid‏

The people who manage our pension fund money are campaigning for our living standards to be cut in order for the government to pay us back the money we lend it! Sounds crazy? On BBC2 Newsnight on Wednesday night a pension fund manager said "Right now, to protect my pensioners, I will probably force the government down the path of greater austerity. But further down the line I know those same pensioners will suffer because of health and social care cuts. But I can't help it." http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/paulmason/2010/01/meet_the_men_who_could_trigger.html

Friday, 22 January 2010

Reinventing a faulty PFI wheel

In an extensive piece of research, Margaret and Jim Cuthbert discover not only that many of the criticisms of PFI have turned out to be correct but that the mistakes are being repeated by the current Scottish Government. http://www.scottishleftreview.org/li/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=291&Itemid=1

Cameron's 100 days?

Spending cuts, school reform, the dismantling of regional policy and restrictions on immigration ranked high in a poll of Conservative "insiders" predicting the early actions of a new Conservative government on the conservativehome blog.

UNISON black members gather in Gateshead‏

Today UNISON Black members gather in Gateshead for the annual conference of their self organised group.

Cuban doctors in Haiti – appeal for funds‏

Support the Cuban medical brigades in Haiti: A Cuban bank account has now been opened to receive financial contributions to help with the Cuban medical teams working in Haiti. If you wish to support the Cuban efforts in Haiti directly then you can do so in the following ways:

Thursday, 21 January 2010

A new centre for UNISON‏

A superb introduction to the new UNISON head office has been posted on the union’s national website:

Norwegians Stub out Tobacco‏

UNISON members are often stereotyped into the anti-arms and anti-fags brigade and that we are only interested in our pension funds getting out of the tobacco and arms industries. Quite right really, who wants to profit from death!

10 skills of organising - response

Organising is simple - keep it that way! Organising or to give it its full title, trade unionism, is simple. We forget that sometimes and too often we dont plan or manage it very well, but it remains simple.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

UNISON GS election - democrat Prentis says let the members decide‏

Today at a special meeting of the UNISON NEC it was agreed to move to a General Secretary election commencing next month and in the event of an election contest running up to late June.

Haiti Disaster Capitalism Alert‏

Haiti Disaster Capitalism Alert: Stop Them Before They Shock Again: Readers of Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine know that the Heritage Foundation has been one of the leading advocates of exploiting disasters to push through their unpopular pro-corporate policies http://www.naomiklein.org/shock-doctrine/resources/part7/chapter20/pro-market-ideas-katrina

Shell resolution Canadian Tar sands - UNISON staff pension fund demonstrates environmental responsibility‏

UNISON staff pension fund has signed up to a shareholder campaign to get Shell and BP to explain their continued exploration of Canada’s ‘oil sands’. This is the first major campaign the fund has taken up.

Pension fund finances improved sharply in December

I don’t know if UNISON Active readers spotted this story on the BBC website? http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/1/hi/business/8453857.stm It followed the opportunist attack on the Local Government pension scheme by the Liberal Democrats in the run up to the general election. The press release from the CLG about that attack said this: "This story does not stand up to scrutiny.....

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Series of Strikes Looming in Scotland’s Leisure Trusts?

UNISON members transferred from local authority employment to so called ‘arms length vehicles’ across the West of Scotland are moving toward industrial action in a series of disputes over pay and cuts.

Feminising the activist base

The TUC Stronger Organising blog highlights an interesting survey of union equality rep’s which found that 63% of those rep’s with no previous union experience were women: The question is posed whether it is the equality focus of these innovative roles which has stimulated a new layer of women activists?

Spending your way out of debt‏

As most major parties clamber to suggest which way is the best to cut public expenditure a very useful resource from the web demonstrates that maintaining employment helps pay off government debt, but cutting public sector jobs will slow the pace of repayment down or even require more borrowing.

1300 jobs at risk in Birmingham City Council

On Friday of last week the Children Young People and Families (CYPF) directorate, 1 of 5 in the City, made the stunning announcement that 1391 jobs are at risk of redundancy.

UNISON Victory over LGPS 'borrowing'

Local authorities will no longer be able to borrow money from the local government pension scheme funds and will be forced to ring fence assets in separate bank accounts. http://www.ipe.com/news/uk-public-authorities-forced-to-ring-fence-pensions_33776.php

Haiti - solidarity in action

While the rest of the world is still in the planning stage, Cuba and Spain have staffed and equipped real working field hospitals in Haiti and are treating thousands of injured. Watch a report on CNN: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tw6R2UOGN2Q amp;feature=player_embedded

Monday, 18 January 2010

Haiti needs solidarity not occupation‏

On Thursday US State Department spokesman Charles Luoma-Overstreet expressed that the United States government was willing to work with Cuba to address the needs of the Haitian people. http://fpc.state.gov/135240.htm


Dave Prentis addressed the Sodexo workers' victory rally in Barnstaple Devon and said ‘this is an inspiring victory and shows what can be done when workers are organised’ – setting the mood of the celebration.
Over 200 strikers and others from the South West Region attended a victory rally despite the winter showers.

Voodoo Economics and the LGPS‏

The first shots of 2010 have been fired in the war against the LGPS. The Liberal Democrats are the first to start shouting about the hole in LGPS funding. The pension deficit for local councils in England and Wales could hit £60bn this year, Liberal Democrats have said. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8460542.stm

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Tory health spokesman linked to key private health and social care provider‏

The growing role and influence of Care UK was highlighted in UNISON's 2008 report on the rise of the "public service industry" (http://www.unison.org.uk/acrobat/PP8917.pdf), now the Times reveals that donations from the wife of its chairman have been funding the office of David Cameron's health team.

CO - friend or foe?

In the 1999 Employment Relations Act the Government abolished the Commissioner for the Rights of Trade Union Members (CROTUM) – established by the Tories in their late 1980’s post miners strike offensive against the trade unions.

Hurricane Banker‏

The US government has begun its enquiry into the the role of the bankersduring the collapse of the country's finance system. Bankers Without a Clue http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/15/krugman-bankers-without-a_n_424451.html

Woman Sitting at the Machine, Thinking by Karen Brodine‏

Woman Sitting at the Machine, Thinking (excerpt)