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

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Irish public service unions fight back against pay cuts‏

Irish public service unions have commenced a nationwide work to rule in protest at the Government's decision to cut the pay of public sector employees. The low key but sustained industrial action ranges across health, education the civil service and local authorities.

Woman Work by Maya Angelou‏

I've got the children to tend
The clothes to mend
The floor to mop
The food to shop

Friday, 29 January 2010

Feb 6 - Scotland fightback starts here!

A rally in Glasgow on Feb 6, addressed by Dave Prentis, and a major demonstration in mid March, will launch UNISON Scotland's fightback against cuts.

Review of 2010 UNISON National Black Members Conference‏

Without a shadow of doubt, the two highlights of conference for me were the address by the General Secretary, Dave Prentis and Eleanor Smith’s historic address to conference as the first elected Black Vice President of UNISON.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Chav - a convenient label to disguise the dirty truth of poverty‏

Brendan Barber's comments on the ‘market knows best’ in response to the latest equalities report is not misplaced. There is still a yawning chasm in Britain when it comes to rich and poor. Recent child-abuse cases have shocked the UK not least the children upon children attack in Doncaster which led to national media coverage and the shock and horror displayed by politicians. But are they really shocked and if so why hasn’t anything been done to address the real causes of such incidents?

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

ILO reports a record rise in unemployment due to crisis‏

The ILO has published its annual Global Employment Trends report. It states that the number of jobless worldwide reached nearly 212 million in 2009 following an unprecedented increase of 34 million compared to 2007, on the eve of the global crisis.

"It is My Dream That My Son Makes it to College."‏

College worker and SEIU member Genevieve Repsher, reports on her experience attending the recent Sodexo shareholders meeting in Paris: http://www.seiu.org/2010/01/genevieve-repsher-it-is-my-dream-that-my-son-makes-it-to-college.php

NJC 0% offer - the perfect pay storm?‏

In her regular column on the Public Finance blog UNISON national secretary for local government Heather Wakefield lambastes the “sick making and unjustifiable” 0% NJC employers pay ‘offer’ for council workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland:

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Who wants to see spending cuts?

The Next Left blog analyses the implications of the latest British Social Attitudes Survey: "...the great guilty secret of those rather unpopular populists of the Taxpayers' Alliance, Guido Fawkes and every other right-wing group banging the less spending and tax cuts drum has always been what a small niche of public opinion they represent." http://www.nextleft.org/2010/01/british-social-attitudes-survey-reports.html

Sodexo AGM lobbied by workers from CGT, SEIU & UNISON‏

The US union the SEIU filed two questions to the AGM regarding the employment practices of the company as the multi billion Euro French service sector company Sodexo held its shareholders AGM in a Paris suburb yesterday. Shareholders were turning out to vote on an improved share issue on the back of a massive 1.3 billion Euros profit recorded for this financial year.

Private Profit Challenges Public Delivery‏

It comes as no surprise that a ‘class action’ is being lodged by the so called NHS Partners Network. It is an insult to call this a class action – it is a challenge to the decision by Andy Burnham to support the delivery of healthcare in the public sector – something which is overwhelmingly supported by the public at every poll.

Prentis calls for union to stand up for the working people of this country

Today’s UNISON Annual Leadership seminar heard General Secretary Dave Prentis call for the union to face up to the tough times that we face - and represent the working people of this country.

Defiant Voices: Dalit human rights‏

Bangladesh Dalit Human Rights is working in partnership with One World Action to tackle caste discrimination in Bangladesh. They have launched ‘Defiant Voices’ a landmark online photo exhibition illustrating the daily lives of Dalit communities in Dhaka, Bangladesh. You can view this exhibition at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eli1BBbQQ-k

Monday, 25 January 2010

Burns: Revolutionary, internationalist, lover and poet

On a visit to a hospital the Prince of Wales goes up to a bed and asks the patient how he’s doing. The patient whispers “We sleekit cowerin, timourous beastie”. At the next bed, the patient answers, “A man’s a man for a’ that”. Puzzled, the Prince of Wales moves on to the next bed and the patient says, “My luve is like a red red rose”.

A Man's a Man‏

An unorthodox take on the famous Burns poem by the great Scottish poet Hugh MacDiarmid.

Public sector unions targetted in California's deficit reduction plan‏

Schwarzenegger's proposals would cut the size of the union workforce, reduce pay, shrink future pensions and roll back job protections won through collective bargaining. Labor and the unions' Democratic allies are already girding for battle, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The Slave's Lament by Robert Burns‏

Here's the song lyric Robert Burns wrote to express the perspective of a slave, thought to be the first in the English language.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

New war for oil? Conspiracy theories abound amidst the tragedy‏

We know that large amounts of oil had been discovered in Cuba as reported in a Guardian article on Saturday, October 18th 2008. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/oct/18/cuban-oil.

Instructions from England - a response‏

Valentine Ackland’s poem is a moving and powerful indictment of the British Government’s non-interventionist policy in the Spanish Civil War - during which Ackland heroically worked for the Red Cross.

Who is looking after our pension money?

What we need is a requirement for trust based effective policy holder representation on all pensions’ schemes, says John's Labour Blog

Notts County Council reverse £4.6m of their proposed cuts‏

We have reported previously about the savage and unjustified £33m cuts proposed at Notts County Council. The East Midlands region's Local Government Matters blog reports here about the success in getting this hardline Tory council to reverse £4.6m of their proposed cuts. It's not the full £33m but it means that some jobs have been saved and some services to vulnerable people will be protected.

UNISON Active ANALYSIS - NJC Pay Freeze: Issues and Options‏

With the ‘big freeze’ melting and grit no longer like gold-dust thoughts start wandering towards spring. But as local government members get back to normal working after battling the elements to keep services running they are faced with another big freeze. A pay freeze. And this one could well last several years.

Instructions from England by Valentine Ackland‏

Instructions from England (1936)
Note nothing of why or how, enquire
no deeper than you need
into what set these veins on fire,
note simply that they bleed.