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

Saturday, 24 April 2010

UK Bankers to get 'bumper' £7bn bonuses this year - Goldman Sacked £12.3bn!‏

Cast your mind back to 2008 when the world economy seemed on the edge of collapse. Bankers had their bowls out begging to be saved, government’s borrowing money form our pension funds and using the power of money creation filled them up. This is the reward the bankers have given themselves for the biggest con trick in history, £7bn in bonuses. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/7619505/City-banker-bonuses-to-rise-to-7bn.html.

Battle for union rights intensifies in Sodexo‏

UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis has condemned French owned global services company Sodexo for victimising workers for organising for union rights: ‘the world is getting smaller and globalised companies like Sodexo, which make millions every year, need to know they cannot play pick and choose with workers' rights. Unions too can make global alliances and together with French and American unions, UNISON will be a part of the international campaign to get Sodexo to respect its staff, whatever country they are working in," http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/89533

Northern Ireland - health service privatisation est mort‏

In a big gain for devolution, Northern Ireland region of UNISON is celebrating the return to public provision of the last support services contract to remain in private hands.

Kate O'Shanter's Tale by Matthew Fitt

Note: This poem doesn't make sense unless you know Rabbie Burns' Tale of Tam O'Shanter. Oh, and you must be able to understand Scots. Warning: Strong language:

Friday, 23 April 2010

Public spending cuts will lead to industrial unrest across the globe‏

This week’s edition of the right wing Economist magazine surveys the response of trade unions across the world to the economic crisis. It notes the general decline in union membership and corresponding fall in levels of strike action in the past 30 years.

Lib Dem's wrong on public sector pensions - Dave Prentis‏

UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis has condemned opportunistic attacks on public sector pension schemes by Liberal Democrat deputy leader and Labour defector Vince Cable:
“Cable clearly does not know basic facts when it comes to public sector pension schemes. They have recently gone through comprehensive reviews to ensure they are sustainable and affordable, and Lib Dem calls for cuts will come back to bite them.

More strikes against austerity measures in in bailed -out Greece‏

Yesterday battling public service workers in Greece staged another national strike against austerity measures imposed by their crisis ridden Government. Public services were shut down across the country as tens of thousands of workers supported the action.

TUC says - no votes for fascists!‏

The TUC has marked this weekend’s 2010 TUC Black Workers' Conference with a call for trade unionists to reject the hate filled politics of the BNP. TUC Deputy General Secretary Frances O'Grady will be addressing: "The Far Right poses a real threat to the cohesion of Britain's many diverse communities, with organisations like the BNP seeking to profit from both economic uncertainty and public disillusionment at mainstream politics.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

The dangers of hanging around‏

Gordon Brown’s ‘progressive alliance’ pitch to the Liberal Democrats is a sure sign of weakness and a realisation by Labour of the probable loss of its parliamentary majority.

AFL-CIO marches on Wall Street‏

The AFL-CIO is organising a march on Wall Street https://afl.salsalabs.com/o/4001/p/salsa/event/common/public/?event_KEY=285
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and thousands of union and community activists from across the country will be marching down Broadway in the heart of the financial district on 29 April to MAKE WALL STREET PAY. Wall Street tanked America's economy, killed jobs, took $700 billion in taxpayer bailouts-then went right back to business as usual, choking off credit, handing out $145 billion in 2009 executive pay and bonuses and fighting meaningful financial reform.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

STUC: We need to stop believing that there is no alternative and believe in our own solutions

The STUC, meeting in Dundee, this morning laid out a radical plan for tackling poverty and inequality. Here we publish the text of the speech UNISON's Jane Carolan made seconding the motion.
 "It is vital that a key element of a trade union strategy should be tackling inequality and should be fundamental to our approach. The motion notes that this great country of ours is one of the most unequal in Western Europe.

Public services industry hopes for post-election boom‏

The drive for efficiency savings in the public sector that lies at the heart of the general election campaign has helped lift shares in Britain’s biggest outsourcing companies to multi-year highs. Investors have become increasingly confident that the expanding £80bn sector is likely to be one of the few beneficiaries of the looming public spending squeeze, as the next government turns to private providers to cut costs, reports the FT http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/6cea8752-45cb-11df-9e46-00144feab49a.html

UNISON Active ANALYSIS - Who is going to pay for the government debt crisis?‏

The banking system is actually a form of institutionalised fraud, based on the original activities of goldsmiths who would lend more "money" than they actually had on deposit. The only reason we accept the system without a second thought seems to be that it has the weight of tradition behind it. But the weight of tradition is not enough to justify its validity, particularly now that they have created products that have resulted in even more fraud and almost economic collapse, which we are meant to pay for.

Tweedle Dum, Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dem

I don’t often find myself in agreement with Alex Salmond but listening to the SNP manifesto launch I had to chuckle as he described the three main leaders as Tweedle Dum, Tweedle Dee, and Tweedle Dem. And who could blame me for agreeing with Salmond’s sentiment that politics is now so mired by the need to appeal to everyone that there is seemingly little difference between the three horses we are expected to back.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Goldman Sacked‏

It’s time to sack the bankers and the banks…well once they’ve been found guilty in a court. Now we know the truth. The financial meltdown wasn't a mistake – it was a con http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/apr/18/goldman-sachs-regulators-civil-charges

Osborne's assurance is a sugar coated cyanide pill‏

Tory shadow chancellor George Osborne Has made a pledge to public sector workers – claiming that ‘the Conservatives are on the side of Britain's public servants. Public service is at the heart of our vision of a big society – and central to our ambitions for a stronger and fairer Britain.’

Sign the Petition - HIV/AIDS

SIGN THE PETITION for G8 support of Universal Access to HIV/AIDS Services
Just follow the link below - it's quick and easy!
English: http://cupe.ca/action/hiv-aids
Français: http://scfp.ca/action/sida

Monday, 19 April 2010

NHS partnership working & industrial democracy‏

The unanimous support of UNISON health conference for motion 2 on partnership working will surprise some who regard that concept as a watchword for union incorporation and subordination to employer interests.

MAP Event: Humanitarian Disaster in the Making | Sunday 02 May 2010‏

Medical Aid for Palestinians is pleased to announce the UK premiere of Fatenah on 02 May, at the London Palestine Film Festival. Tickets for this event can be purchased online through the Barbican: www.bit.ly/fatenah

STUC: Pensions – private sector cutbacks threaten burden on the state

The action of private sector bosses in cutting staff’s pensions is likely to threaten the UK’s economy, UNISON's Mike Kirby told the STUC today. Mike, UNISON Scotland Convener, pointed to the closure of large numbers of decent private sector pension schemes, and raise the spectre of a huge increase in benefits demands by their shortchanged staff.

Dundee 2010 - The STUC starts with call for 'collective prosperity'

Monday morning Dundee: the STUC gathers for its Annual Congress, the Parliament for Scottish workers. This time Congress is taking place as the General election rages on around us.

UNISON will not stand idly by if NHS attacked - Dave Prentis‏

Building on the conference theme of defending the NHS put at risk by the economic crisis , UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis gave a strong speech setting out the unions commitment to oppose privatisation and a pay freeze in the NHS:

Defend jobs, oppose privatisation, build the union in the NHS - Lilian Macer‏

Lilian Macer, Chair of the UNISON service group executive opened conference with a comprehensive speech setting out the challenges facing workers in the NHS. “One thing that health workers have in common throughout the UK is a massive concern about the prospect of public services cuts, regardless of the outcome of the election. The recent budget confirmed that billions will be coming out of the Department of Health’s budget, in what they are calling ‘efficiency savings’ but as we all know this means cuts. And if the Tories get in the cuts will be worse. Far worse”

No justice, no pizza! What the US Sodexo Workers Are Fighting For‏

About seven months ago, workers employed by Sodexo around the country--from California to Massachusetts, from Louisiana to Illinois—started joining together to form a union. Their goal was to win a better life for themselves and their families. In state after state, however, this simple exercise of protected rights by Sodexo's workers has been met with interrogation, threats, surveillance, and even terminations of activists, as part of a deliberate campaign by Sodexo to suppress its own workers' efforts to seek humane and just working conditions. http://www.cleanupsodexo.com/

CIPD forecasts 500,000 public sector jobs carnage‏

More than 500,000 public sector jobs could be axed in the next five years under a post-election squeeze on spending, which will be far greater than any of the main political parties were admitting, according to Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7b11dae4-4b05-11df-a7ff-00144feab49a.html) The CIPD claims that the jobs cull could lead to a 10% reduction in the5.8 million public sector workforce, "dwarfing" anything in the party election manifestos

Sunday, 18 April 2010

World Poverty Day 18 April - Make this election count for the world's poor « VoteGlobal‏

All main party leaders will mark the election campaign ‘World Poverty Day’ on Sunday 18 April by outlining their visions of how the UK should act on its responsibility to the wider world.

There are fascists by Roger McGough‏

there are
to be

           on a healthkick
           eating only