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

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Cameron offers return to conflicts of 1980s‏

David Cameron says he'll be 'as tough as Thatcher', reports the Independent. It says he'll say he is ready for a "fight" with the teaching unions, local authorities and educational establishment over Tory plans to allow charities, churches, private schools and parents to set up new state-funded schools and restore classroom discipline. He also signalled a readiness to face down unions gearing up to oppose spending and job cuts in the public sector. "I have no doubt that some of the changes we want to make will mean facing down some really powerful vested interests."

Management diktat instead of negotiation the common cause of BA and Civil Service disputes - solidarity with Unite & PCS‏

The two national disputes concerning BA cabin crew and members of PCS working in the civil service have the same underlying cause – the unilateral imposition by management of changes - and repudiation of past agreements - which create significant detriment to the affected workers.

Bick endorses Dave Prentis in UNISON GS election‏

Rodney Bickerstaffe, the widely respected former general secretary has made a strong endorsement of Dave Prentis in the UNISON General Secretary election. Rodney states: ‘Dave Prentis has led our great union over the past decade with tremendous vision, commitment and integrity. He has stood up for public services and our members - the workers who deliver them.

Child Protection Guidelines (the Latest) by Alistair Findlay

Lift up the phone, when the caller says ‘abuse’,
panic, over-react, run out the door shouting

Friday, 19 March 2010

Breaking news - Eastern region nominates Dave Prentis for UNISON GS‏

This morning the Eastern region of UNISON agreed to nominate Dave Prentis in the UNISON General Secretary election. The regional committee of the 81,000 strong region overwhelmingly endorsed Dave Prentis becoming the ninth region to do so.
Why we're backing Dave Prentis . Dave Prentis election website

South West Region nominates Dave Prentis

South West Committee and delegates from about 30 branches across the South West met yesterday to decide their regional nomination for the General Secretary election.

Trade union money is the cleanest cash in politics – Telegraph Blogs‏

"A lot cleaner than the foreign donations from dodgy Serbian arms dealers and other figures that helped bankroll the Tory Party prior to Labour’s law change in 2000. And a lot clearer than Lord Ashcroft’s relationship with the Inland Revenue." http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/msalter/100030427/trade-union-money-is-the-cleanest-cash-in-politics/

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Breaking news. Community Service Group backs Dave Prentis for UNISON GS‏

The newest and fastest growing of the 7 UNISON service groups, Community, today backed Dave Prentis in the UNISON General Secretary election. The service group executive meeting in London endorsed the nomination with only one against.

Cut Trident not Public Services: take action for a fair budget‏

In less than a week the Chancellor Alistair Darling will announce the budget for 2010 - we need to ensure that ordinary people and public sector workers do not foot the bill for the financial crisis. That's why we urgently need you to send a letter to the Chancellor calling on him to deliver a budget that is truly fair for all: please send a message now by clicking http://action.compassonline.org.uk/budget

In Memory Of The Paris Commune, Born March 18, 1871

What wingéd shape, with waving torch aflame,
Wild with winds of March, and streaming hair
Above the storm clouds, doth to men declare
What message, and a memory doth claim?

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

First Chelsea come unstuck now the Banks – 5 face trial over derivative trades in Milan‏

Four banks were today charged with fraud linked to the sale of derivatives to the city of Milan. A trial of the banks, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase, UBS and Hypo Real Estate Holding’s Depfa Bank, has been scheduled for May 6. The banks have been accused of misleading the city on swaps that adjusted interest payments on €1.7bn of borrowings. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1d838db2-31c6-11df-9ef5-00144feabdc0.html Italian prosecutors are probing banks as local and national government agencies face potential losses of €2.5bn on derivatives, lawyers say.

ETUC unfolds its proposals for revision of the Posting Directive today in Spain‏

At a conference today in Oviedo, Spain, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) is welcoming the initiative of the Spanish presidency to discuss the Posting Directive and the protection of workers’ rights, and will explain why and how it wants to revise the Posting Directive. A revision is necessary, after a series of ECJ cases limiting in particular the scope for trade unions and Member States to counter unfair competition on wages and working conditions in situations of cross border service provision.

Save our public libraries‏

100 years ago Andrew Carnegie said that “there is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration”.

Assault on Palestinian East Jerusalem‏

Al-Haq Action Alert:  "What we are now witnessing is a further restriction on the rights of Palestinian residents of Jerusalem to move and live within their own city, and a significant assault on the Palestinians right to self-determination", reports the Palestinian human rights organization.

Wonderful destruction of taxdodgers alliance

Check out the UNISON Scotland blog for a wonderful destruction of the taxdodgers alliance rubbish about public sector jobs, by Chris Bartter. http://unison-scotland.blogspot.com/2010/03/big-business-group-rattled-by-unison.html

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Tax Dodger's Alliance attacks UNISON campaign to save jobs and services‏

The Times leads today with a report that the British Government is being pressed by the unelected European Commission to ‘outline further spending cuts and spell out where the axe will fall’. The Commission is due to release its latest assessment of Britain’s plans to reduce the deficit tomorrow but a leaked report confirms that it will state “a credible timeframe for restoring public finances to a sustainable position requires additional fiscal tightening measures beyond those currently planned.” http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article7063308.ece

The People Fight Back Against the Banks‏

From hilltop towns of Italy to Oakland California USA the people and their elected representatives are fighting back against the bloodsucking banks. Not content with crippling our economies and being bailed out with our money they are now reaping billions from local councils. Last Sunday's New York Times ran an article blowing the lid off a Wall Street scheme called "interest rate swaps" (dodgy insurance to you and I) that are sucking money from cities and states across the country.

Dave Prentis launches Northern region 'Vote for Public Services' campaign‏

UNISON General Secretary, Dave Prentis, yesterday launched UNISON Northern region’s ‘Million Voices - Vote for Public Services’ campaign. To a packed audience Dave promoted the region’s vision for the future - which builds on the Million Voices themes of social justice, good jobs, and decent public services.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Is it better to pay pensioners or bankers?‏

The Independent, no friend of public sector pensions, headlines with more inflated news about public sector pay as you go pensions. Pensions that will be paid to hospital porters, doctors, nurses and teachers. Public sector pension costs may reach £79bn a year (by 2060)http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/public-sector-pension-costs-may-reach-16379bn-a-year-1920091.html

Notting Hill Housing strike starts

Today is the first day of strike action by UNISON members of Notting Hill Housing Trust. The main picket lines will be at their headquarters Broadway, Metro Building, 1 Butterwick, Hammersmith, London W6 8DL. This is about 5 mins from both Hammersmith Underground stations - Come and show solidarity before work or lunch time. Check out the office location here.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Scottish cities facing major sell-off threat

UNISON members in two major Scottish local government branches are facing fights against a headlong rush to privatisation. Saturday’s Herald newspaper reports on a private company in talks with Glasgow City Council while Edinburgh looks for bids that could outsource 3,500 jobs.

The Tories are clueless about UNISON's political fund‏

The ConservativeHome website is leading on an article ‘would Labour be better off without UNISON cash?’ Exploiting the media hysteria about the BA dispute and the mythical ownership of the Labour Party by Unite, the Tories are working up a local government equivalent – this time substitute UNISON for Unite and higher council tax bills for cancelled honeymoon flights.

The Fatal Train by David Peetz

To the widowed father, it's like a bad dream
For the sake of his kids, he suppresses a scream
But if he'd been on time, might his wife not have been
Aboard the fatal train.