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

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Solidarity with the Colombian people!‏

UNISON Northern and the Northern TUC are calling for support for the mobilisations taking place in Colombia this weekend in defence of human rights and under the banner of the Minga and for the Colombian Government to guarantee the right to protest.

Private sector vultures in 'austerity' cuts feeding frenzy‏

‘A government efficiency drive aimed at slashing spending in town halls and boosting productivity in the health service is likely to deliver billions of pounds of new business for private companies’ reports today’s Guardian. http://bit.ly/d9ab1g

The £3bn cost of liberating (aka destroying) the NHS‏

As identified by Professor Kieran Walshe in the Guardian, the mantra of Health Secretary Andrew Lansbury that the most wide ranging restructuring of the NHS for decades will bring about lower bureaucracy costs, is highly questionable. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/jul/16/nhs-reorganisation-patient-care-bmj

UNISON backs Ken Livingstone for London Mayor‏

Yesterday UNISON London region Labour Link committee backed Ken Livingstone’s bid to run as Labour’s candidate in the 2012 Mayor of London election. http://grayee.blogspot.com/2010/07/london-unison-supports-ken-for-london.html
Next week the national Labour Link committee will decide whether or not to nominate one of the 5 career politician candidates contesting the Labour Party leadership election – none of whom have any longstanding or genuine trade union associations

The Wrong Side of the World by Mick Ryan & Graham Moore‏

Oh when I arrived on Tasmania's shore
On the wrong side of the world
I saw such sights as I'd not seen before
On the wrong side of the world
As we sailed up the river my thoughts and my fears
Stirred to the thoughts of the seven long years
Toiling like dogs amid suffering and tears
On the wrong side of the world

Friday, 16 July 2010

Con Dem gerrymandering goes on and on and on....‏

Not content with the kicking first time around by their own MPs the Con Dems are at it again. It seems that even Queen Betty is not immune from persecution when it comes to the vanity of Cameron and Clegg.

Con Dem cuts will make it grim up North‏

The Con Dem spending cuts will hit hardest those regions most dependent on public service employment, according to a detailed analysis in today’s FT: “public sector jobs will be lost in all regions but those most dependent on state jobs – parts of northern England and the Midlands, along with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – will feel it most keenly.” http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4375cb9e-9043-11df-ad26-00144feab49a.html

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Even Chambers of Commerce say cuts will harm recovery‏

"It is clear that businesses are anticipating the planned reductions in public spending at a Scottish and UK level to have a dampening effect on the recovery", says the Scottish Chambers of Commerce in releasing their second quarter Business Survey results today.

Future of NHS is on the line in England‏

Seumas Milne writing in today’s Guardian says that the Coalition is planning to privatise the NHS in defiance of the evidence. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jul/14/the-end-of-the-nhs-in-all-but-name

Your Cut-out and keep Guide: How to how to Choose the New Labour leader

Everyone needs a simple guide to take them through stressful situations so UNISONActive thought that we would assist those agonising over the choice of next Labour leader. We are not backing any particular candidate here, just providing a few pointers as to how to make that very important decision.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

North West UNISON says - there is an alternative!‏

All UNISON branches in North West region are being urged to make members and the public aware of the alternative to cuts in public services. Regional secretary Frank Hont this week said in a circular to branches and organising staff: “UNISON North West believes that we should use every opportunity to challenge the prevailing mythology that the only way forward is massive cuts and unemployment on an unprecedented scale. Lots of information is available on the UNISON website. The country faced a tougher financial crisis in 1946 and the government created the NHS!”  http://www.unisonnw.org.uk/resources/alternatives/default.asp

Lansley's NHS White Paper is a Trojan Horse for privatisation‏

The NHS White Paper produced by Health Minister Andrew Lansley should surprise no-one and is a direct result of Labour’s timidity in standing up to the flawed philosophy of markets in the public sector.

Public sector unions & cuts - a neo-liberal call to arms - a response‏‏

You could be forgiven for thinking of late that there are faultless economists out there. Over the past year those who predicted the credit crunch, and even Vince bloody Cable, have been viewed as oracles. Truth be told though capitalism will always have booms and slumps and economists will have a variety of different views about when it will come, where and by how much.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Toxic Tebbit has Town Hall Guardian readers in his sights‏

Tory Lord Norman Tebbit is renowned for the eponymous Tebbit Bill (the 1982 employment legislation which introduced a major swathe of anti union laws) and his exhortation to the unemployed to follow his father’s example and ‘get on your bike to look for work’ in the aftermath of the 1981 inner city riots and mass unemployment which plagued the early Thatcher years.

UNISON Active Analysis - Pension fund members must speak out more on the economy‏

UNISON has for the last three years running a Capital Stewardship Programme, trying to explain to our members that their pension funds own the economy. A new stewardship code has been launched by the government which gives pension fund members more power over their savings which are invested in the economy. Ruth Sutherland of the Observer points out the key issues that are covered by the code. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/jul/04/pension-funds-corporate-governance-investors

Monday, 12 July 2010

Clegg Line by Line

British politics always follows certain patterns. First they get elected, and then they throttle the expectations of those who elected them. Then the justifications start. Think back to Blair, then Brown. Now we can enjoy the same spectacle from Nick Clegg.

Draconian pay cuts proposed by Tory led Birmingham City Council‏

Birmingham City Council - Britain’s largest local authority employer is proposing to withdraw irregular hour, split shift, weekend working and shift allowances from its 26,100 strong workforce. The Conservative led employer has initiated a 90 day consultation process about measures which – if imposed without agreement via mass dismissal and reinstatement on inferior terms and conditions - could lead to pay cuts of up to one third for front line workers who are predominantly female and low paid.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Durham Miners Gala 2010 - public service workers out in force‏

Saturday 10 July saw the celebration of the 140th Durham Miners Gala. With several thousands marching through Durham the display of trade union banners escorted by Brass Bands demonstrated the importance of the Miners Gala in the calendar of the trade union movement. This year saw the streets filled to over bursting yet again in the context of the most Right Wing Coalition Governments since Thatcher. Mining communities still remember vividly the impact of Thatcher on working class communities, and can see the link to the current austerity measures being imposed by a Government with no democratic mandate for them. http://morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/92596

Public sector unions & cuts - a neo-liberal call to arms‏

The new edition of the Economist magazine predicts that the Con Dem Government will prevail over union opposition to public sector pay and pension cuts.http://www.economist.com/node/16545171?story_id=16545171

Two Types of Waitress by Caterina Passoni‏

I work ten hours for eight hours pay.
“That’s better than double that for none!”