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

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Birmingham UNISON resists City Council jobs carnage‏

Tory/Lib Dem led Birmingham City Council, the largest local authority in Britain, is pressing on with plans to cut £69m from its £3.2b budget by April 2011. Services at risk include homes for the elderly and people with disabilities, nurseries, neighbourhood offices, leisure centres and libraries.

The unfunny joke of energy policy‏

Neil Clark, writing in the Morning Star, says the recent Ofgem report doesn’t go anywhere near far enough. Privately owned energy companies will continue to put short term profits ahead of Britain’s longer term energy concerns:

UNISON GS election - Lies, damned lies and voodoo density statistics‏

A scientific view of the General Secretary election
There has been a lot of talk in the UNISON blogosphere about the forthcoming General Secretary election. Much of the commentary comes with ideological baggage attached. This post will attempt to apply a little scientific rationality and objectivity to one aspect of the debate and draw an objective conclusion about who it is best for UNISON members to vote for.

Miners by Wilfred Owen‏

There was a whispering in my hearth,
A sigh of the coal.
Grown wistful of a former earth
It might recall.

Friday, 12 February 2010

VENEZUELA UNDER THREAT Event, Sat Mar 27 - Register Today!‏

EVENT: 8 Years of From the Coup Against Chávez - Defend Social Progress Against US Militarization of the Region: Saturday March 27, 11.30am - 4.30pm (Registration from 11.00) at Bolivar Hall, 54 Grafton Way, London, W1T 5DL (Nearest tube: Warren Street.) Register Online Today here!

The People's History Museum set to reopen‏

Manchester’s unique People’s History Museum (PHM) re-opens tomorrow after a £12.5m re-development project. It is the national centre for the ‘collection, conservation, interpretation and study of material relating to the history of working people in Britain’.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Energy SGE unanimously back Prentis nomination‏

UNISON's Energy service group executive - which organises members in the electricity, gas and nuclear industries - today nominated Dave Prentis in the General Secretary election. The unanimous decision at a meeting in London today was the first by a SGE since nominations opened on 4 February.

UNISON GS election - West Midlands regional council backs Dave Prentis‏

The 120,000 strong West Midlands region this morning voted overwhelmingly today to nominate Dave Prentis in the UNISON General Secretary election. In a tremendous show of unity at the Birmingham regional council meeting only 5 of the 100+ delegates opposed the recommendation when put to the vote.

The cult of council tax cuts‏

UNISON national secretary Heather Wakefield, writing for the public finance website, castigates the growing practice of local authorities to freeze or cut council tax at a time of increasing demand for front line services:

Report of UNISON National Executive Council 10th February 2010‏

The meeting opened with invitations for nominations to the post of General Secretary. Dave Prentis was overwhelmingly endorsed by 38 votes with 9 votes being shared on factional lines between Bannister (4) and Holmes (5). Vice President Angela Lynes in moving Dave’s nomination said ‘we face difficult times ahead and there is only one candidate with the experience and knowledge to take us forward united and that is Dave Prentis’.

Paul Myners Speaks Out - Defend Your Pension - Fight Back on Bankers Bonuses‏

Once more this is a call to arms! UNISON members and their pension fund trustees and LGPS reps can and must act. A recent report produced by our union’s Capital Stewardship programme revealed that £5bn of LGPS money was invested in four banks alone in 2008.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Breaking news: UNISON NEC nominates Dave Prentis for GS‏

UNISON's NEC meeting today in London overwhelmingly endorsed Dave Prentis when deciding on its nomination for the upcoming GS election.

Votes were as follows:
Dave Prentis 38
Paul Holmes 5
Roger Bannister 4
A meeting report will follow.

Notts County Branch step up anti cuts campaign‏

UNISON Active has reported before about the Notts County branch's excellent campaign against the proposed £33m of budget cuts. There will be a full council meeting on 25 February where the budget will finally be decided, and the branch are determined to campaign all the way up to this date.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

UNISON GS election campaign - news from Yorkshire‏

Dave Prentis supporters in Yorkshire have established Positively Prentis a campaigning blog in which regional activists can promote the Prentis campaign and expose the flaws and inadequacies of those challenging the current GS: http://positivelyprentis.blogspot.com/

Wales Regional Council nominates Dave Prentis - nem con!‏

Meeting today in Swansea the Wales Regional Council of UNISON voted to nominate Dave Prentis for UNSON General Secretary election. There was no opposition to the proposal moved by former regional convenor Bill King – confirming the groundswell of unity behind Dave across the union.

Why regional pay bargaining is bad for trade union organisation, bad for women and bad for employers.‏

A report by think-tank CentreForum warned that national pay systems ‘ignore local differences; handicap struggling regional economies; and make it impossible for public sector managers and institutions to cope sensibly with economic difficulties'.

Greek unions to strike against austerity measures including pay freeze and pension cuts‏

Civil service workers union ADEDY will stage a 24 hour strike tomorrow against the PASOK led Government’s proposals to freeze public sector wages in a bid to slash Greece's deficit from 12.7 percent last year to below the EU's 3 percent ceiling by 2012. On Thursday the 450,000 strong PAME union centre will stage a march on the Greek parliament in protest at pension cutbacks:

Monday, 8 February 2010

UNISON GS election – news from the margins‏

Saturday's welcome news of nominations from Northern Ireland, North West and Scotland confirms Dave Prentis as a candidate in the May/June ballot.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Putting Irish unity first - a response‏

UNISON Active readers may not be aware of the recent death of Tomas Mac Giolla, former President of the Workers’ Party, who made a major contribution towards peace and working class politics in Ireland.
Where was the body found?
Who found the dead body?
Was the dead body dead when found?
How was the dead body found?
Who was the dead body?
Who was the father or daughter or brother
Or uncle or sister or mother or son
Of the dead and abandoned body?