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

Saturday, 12 June 2010

UNISON Local Government Conference preview‏

UNISON's largest service group meets in conference tomorrow and Monday. http://www.unison.org.uk/conference/localgov.asp Here we give a rundown and venture some advice on the main issues...

Pension Finance Initiative?‏

There is no secret that to satisfy those that seek to make a profit from public services the Con Dems will rip up the Warwick agreement and attack public sector pensions. The business lobby and wet behind the ears Tory ministers make a common mistake in lumping all public sector schemes together.

Iran: One year on since crackdown - hundreds still imprisoned‏

Today is the first anniversary of last year’s disputed elections in Iran, and is being marked by a Global Day of Action across the world, sponsored by Amnesty International and others.

I come and stand by every door by Nazim Hikmet‏

I come and stand at every door
but none can hear my silent tread.
I knock and yet remain unseen
for I am dead, for I am dead.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Questions to the next Labour leader‏

Jeremy Corbyn MP poses three key questions to the next Labour Party leader:

Thursday, 10 June 2010

'We're angry, we're mad, we're NALGO and we're bad''‏

Former Islington Labour Councillor turned anti-labour movement heretic Leo McKinstry is the latest tabloid journalist to take a pop at public service unions who have the temerity to challenge the dominant neo liberal orthodoxy that large scale cuts in public services is the only solution to Britain’s economic problems. He even can’t resist the opportunity to settle a 20 odd year old score with Nalgo!http://www.express.co.uk/ourcomments/view/180094/Leo-McKinstry

CGIL names 25 June for 24 hour public sector strike in Italy‏

Italy’s CGIL union centre announced yesterday that it will hold a national strike on June 25 over the government's 25 billion-euro austerity measures including cuts to funding for local governments and salary freezes. CGIL’s public sector members, the hardest hit by the government's austerity package, will strike for 24 hours, while its other members will strike for just four hours. http://www.iii.co.uk/news/?type=afxnews&articleid=7935300&subject=markets&action=article
The strike will be preceded on June 12 by CGIL protest marches and rallies around the country.

Tory Mayor backs rise in GLA living wage‏

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, yesterday announced that he is increasing the London Living Wage to £7.85 per hour, a rise of 25p. In addition, this year, four major employers have signed up to pay the London Living Wage. They are Deloitte, Nomura, Prudential and Standard Chartered. The rise to £7.85 per hour represents an increase of 3.3 % per cent on last year’s figure, and an overall increase of 17 % per cent since the London Living Wage was introduced in 2005 at £6.70 per hour.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

ICTU Union Post June: McKeown welcomes 51 per cent women

NIC-ICTU CONFERENCE 2010: UNISON's Patricia McKeown, welcoming the report on equality: “There is one other cause for celebration. It's official. Since the Executive Council met last Wednesday, for the first time in our history the general composition of the Irish trade union movement has gone 51 per cent female.” ICTU's Union Post June edition out now. http://www.ictu.ie/publications/fulllist/union-post-june-2010/

New alliances required to fight cuts‏ - a response‏

Gregor Gall’s discussion paper on ‘constructing alliances to oppose cuts in and privatisation of public services’ contains much useful food for thought. The question is how much appetite there is within UNISON and other public service unions for a broad public sector alliance? The PCS/UNISON initiative in the Northern region bodes well for the approach advocated by Gall.

Unions & the age of austerity‏

The Economist has fired a broadside at trade unions in a recent article claiming that they are too interested in 'wages and conditions' and 'fighting the bosses'.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Canada and Cameron

Headlines yesterday concentrated on the Cameron speech that warned of years of austerity ahead to ensure that we cut the deficit, the “worst in British History”. But less well publicised were the proposals for a Canadian-style “star chamber” type exercise.

Useful bedfellows in the fight against Academies‏

With over a 1000 schools expressing an interest in Academy status (notwithstanding Government spin as the ‘1000’ expressions of interest was simply made up of those who completed an email to register for more information) the issue of Academies has sparked undoubted interest; particularly as the fools gold of supposed savings from the LEA is attracting some egotistical head teachers into believing that they could save the world if it wasn’t for the cost of the LEA.

Fighting the cuts - no more talking, time for action‏

The movement has been caught short. The turmoil of defeat and confusion over the shape of the Government left a vacuum in the left response to the ConDem Government. The Labour Party is tied into an internal leadership election and responses to Cameron have so far been weak and fragmented. So too the collective union responses. We don’t have the luxury of awaiting a post conference season to develop a more effective response against cuts that are taking shape now on a collective basis.

Spanish public sector strike against austerity‏

Spain’s public sector unions - CCOO, UGT & CSI-F - will today stage a national strike against austerity measures imposed by the ‘socialist’ government at the behest of international capital. 2.5 millions are expected to respond to the strike call in central, regional and local government.

The ConDem millionaires are preparing to change ‘our way of life’‏

The final phase of the bankers con-trick is due to begin, bankers ruined the economy by issuing vast amounts of debt, government’s transferred that debt to their accounts and borrowed to bail out the banks and for increased welfare payments due to the recession the same banks caused. Now the ConDems want to make us pay by repaying the debts through cutting public services and jobs.

Monday, 7 June 2010

UNISON GS election - use final week of ballot to maximise the vote for Dave Prentis‏

The UNISON General Secretary ballot is entering its final phase. 12 noon tomorrow (Tuesday 8 June) is the deadline for a member to request a replacement ballot paper by ringing 0845 355 0845 and the ballot itself closes on Friday 11 June 2010 (deadline of 5PM for receipt of ballot papers by ERS).
The campaign to elect Dave Prentis is asking all supporters to make one final effort in this last week of the campaign by asking them to check that UNISON members have voted and that they’ve voted for Dave.
Onward to victory!

Sunday, 6 June 2010

CSC AGM - TUC says Support the Miami Five!‏

At a packed Hamilton House in London Brendan Barber said the TUC is committed to working for a change in UK, EU and USA policy on Cuba. We want a policy which respects Cuba’s right to self determination and not acquiescence to the failed policy of the USA he said. Talking about his honour to be at May Day in Cuba he praised Cuba’s achievements at home but also internationally. Their internationalism “is not just a slogan but a living breathing reality” and he praised the medical support Cuba offers around the world.

Naomi Klein on Gaza Flotilla Massacre‏

Canadian progressive Naomi Klein addresses a rally of hundreds and speaks out against the Israeli attack on Gaza Flotilla, at Dundas Square in Toronto, Canada on May 31, 2010.

Galloway speaks on Gaza - 'This is their Soweto'‏

From yesterday’s London demonstration, George Galloway’s powerful speech on the Gaza flotilla massacres – ‘we have achieved the unbelievable situation where the British Prime Minister is demanding an end to the embargo on Gaza’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfl3DQy1p3c

Areej-the Scent of Youth and Death by Dr. Hanan Ashrawi‏

“In memory of Areej Al-Jabali, 18 –years- old, assassinated in Hebron by the Israeli army on January 5, 2001”.