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

Saturday, 2 October 2010

NGOs and Brussels Demo against austerity‏

"20million people in Europe are working poor", says Conny Reuter, General Secretary of Solidar - a European network of 52 NGOs working to advance social justice in Europe and worldwide - in an interview with the BBC commenting on the participation of social NGOs in Wednesday's march against austerity:  "http://dl.dropbox.com/u/360552/Europe_protests_Conny_Reuter.wmv

Historic march in Washington DC today - For Jobs, Justice and Education for All‏

In the USA the One Nation Working Together movement, which is aiming to build on the gains of the Obama election in 2008, will today hold a mass national march and rally in Washington DC as well as rallies in other cities, to push back the right wing Tea Party Movement and mobilise support for is demands ahead of elections in November.

NHS White Paper - Model response deadline 5th OCTOBER URGENT‏

Our NHS, our future. Get your response into the Government's white paper. Tell them he drive to hand over large parts of the NHS to the private sector is driven by ideology, not by evidence. See below for a draft response.....

UNISON theatre nursing and practitioner staff oppose St George's cuts

UNISON theatre nursing and practitioner staff mounted a rally at St George's Hospital, Tooting, South London yesterday. They were meeting to oppose NHS cuts and discuss proposed changes to rotas. Management have now agreed to go to ACAS if UNISON is unable to secure agreement locally for 250 theatre staff. (of which UNISON represents over 200. Justice for theatre staff - Belong - Be Strong is their slogan.

General strike called in Portugal against austerity - 24 November‏

In Portugal public sector wages are being cut and state pensions frozen as yet another ‘Socialist’ led Government capitulates to EU demands to implement ruthless austerity measures –– Prime Minister Jose Socrates cravenly told the FT yesterday ‘we were being penalised by financial markets for the gradual pace of our deficit-reduction programme. We had to put an end to the uncertainty for once and for all”:

CND Trade Union Conference, 6.30pm, Wed 6th October STUC‏

UNISON Scottish Secretary Matt Smith is one of the speakers at the CND trade union conference on Wed 6 October, 6.30pm, at the STUC, 333 Woodlands Road, Glasgow. The ‘Trident, Jobs and the Economy’ conference will be the Scottish launch of a recently published CND report of the same name.

Liberty by Paul Eluard‏

On my notebooks from school
On my desk and the trees
On the sand on the snow
I write your name

Friday, 1 October 2010

UPDATE: Correa speaks out after Ecuador coup defeated

The military has freed Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa and the attempted coup in Ecaudor against the elected government is over. Troops loyal to Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa have freed him from the military hospital where he was previously held hostage by right-wing coup police.

Resisting the NHS White Paper‏

Red Pepper provides a timely round up of campaigning against the Con Dem Government’s plans to dismantle the NHS. From the UNISON legal challenge to local campaigning alliances, the movement against the pro-market reforms is beginning to grow. http://www.redpepper.org.uk/Vital-resistance?

Right wing coup defeated in Ecuador‏

Prensa Latina reports that overnight Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa has triumphantly addressed the nation from the balcony of the Presidential Palace, after being rescued by elite soldiers from the Metropolitan Police Hospital, where he had been sequestered by reactionary elements in the police:

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Threat to the new Latin American Order-Attempted coup against Ecuadorean government‏

Initial reports today inform that sections of the Ecuadorean Police are staging street demonstrations, ostensibly for economic demands but in reality trying to subvert the legal order, including through trying to occupy the National Parliament. Additionally, in open revolt against the government, some police officers have taken illegal control over their police stations.

Northern region mobilises against austerity‏

As part of a European Day of Protest against the imposition of savage economic policies hundreds of people took part in the Northern Public Services Alliance rally in Newcastle city centre at lunchtime yesterday. Trade union members from both public and private sector workplaces were joined with community voluntary groups, students, and the public to show their determination to campaign against the savage austerity measures being pursued by the Con Dem Coalition Government. This was part of a number of activities across the North East and Cumbria with local events in Durham, Carlisle, Sunderland, and a rally in Middlesbrough. The events attracted local media coverage: http://www.itv.com/tynetees/union-protest-at-cuts31868/

ETUC Demo a resounding success‏

“This day is a resounding success for European workers and a clear signal to the leaders of Europe: you can no longer merely listen to the market, you can no longer ignore the anger and concern of the workers said ETUC General Secretary John Monks as over 100,000 trade unionists assembled in Brussels in a mass protest at austerity measures being implemented across Europe. http://www.etuc.org/a/7700  Gerry Cowell, a UNISON young member from Eastern region, told the Morning Star "It is important for us all to unite to oppose cuts wherever and to make our protest locally, nationally and across Europe." http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/95860

There is an alternative

TUC Rally
UNISON regions and branches mounted a series of individual and joint union events across the country on yesterday's ETUC day of action against austerity cuts. Coinciding with the demo in Brussels, events were held in Newcastle, Scotland, Manchester, North Yorkshire, Northern Ireland and London among others. See details at http://www.unison.org.uk/news/news_view.asp?did=6363

Gender gap as more women oppose cuts

Research by Populus reveals that female voters are far less supportive of the ConDem government across a range of topics, compared to male voters, with the gender gap widest on spending cuts. And overall 22 percent of Liberal Democrat voters would have voted for Labour instead, had they known then what they know now, reports LeftFootForward http://www.leftfootforward.org/2010/09/large-and-growing-gender-gap-in-support-for-the-coalition/

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Hasta la Vista Pension - Terminator goes after California pension cash‏

US public sector union SEIU slams the Governor of California's proposal to "borrow" $2billion from state employees' pension fund to help balance the state's books.

Unions and Labour – insourcing victory‏

A newly elected Labour Council has moved to take services back in-house. The London Borough of Ealing, which saw Labour capture 17 seats in the elections earlier this year, has decided to take its highways services back in-house from contractor Mouchel next year when the current contract comes to an end.

'Cuba a beacon' - report of CSC fringe at Labour Party conference‏

Baroness Angela Smith , Vice Chair of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign welcomed over 200 delegates to a standing room only, packed fringe meeting at the Labour Party Conference in Manchester last night. First up was Tony Benn who talked about the strength of the Cuban nation's solidarity and the lessons we can learn from it. By investing in health and education Cubans have put their people first but then shared their resources through an unstinting internationalism which he believes has set an example to the world.

Bick backs strikers in Spain

Past UNISON General Secretary Rodney Bickerstaffe joined pickets today in the Spanish General Strike.

Solid start to General Strike in Spain‏

Early reports from Spain indicate an overwhelming response to the general gtrike called in opposition to austerity measures introduced by the Zapatero-led Government. Unions started the general strike by marching through Madrid and other cities. The BBC reports that there has been mass picketing outside bus and metro stations since midnight.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11432579

News from Spain as strike under way ' today must, and will be a success'

From our Spanish correspondent: VIVA Éspana!
Today in Spain workers from actors to train drivers and all trades in between are taking part in a General strike. Even on the Costas British tourists have been advised that hotel kitchen and cleaning staff will not be available The CCOO and the UGT have coordinated the action in protest at the Spanish governments latest austerity plans that propose...

No to Austerity - European trade unions converge on Brussels today‏

Over 100,000 thousand trade unionists from over 30 countries will march in Brussels in a unified rejection of neo liberal austerity measures. A UK contingent will take part in the march including a delegation of UNISON young members. http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-18557-f0.cfm

Union Post - September 2010 Issue Out Now‏

The September edition of The Union Post, produced in association with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, is available for download and online viewing now:  Click here to download PDF version (1.2MB) »
Click here to view online version » Please feel free to send The Union Post on to any friends, family members or work colleagues who you think may be interested in the content.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Ed Miliband meets Organised School Meals Workers - Conference Speech‏

The new leader of the Labour Party addressed conference today and in his speech acknowledged the campaign led by school meals workers employed by Sodexo in Richmond Borough London.

Clydebank debate – is there an alternative to public service cuts

UNISON Scotland Convener Mike Kirby joined Labour MP Gemma Doyle, and West Dunbartonshire Council leader SNP’s Ronnie McColl to debate the Government’s cuts agenda on 23 September.

Irish trade unions gear up for the 29th Day of Action‏

Irish trade unions gear up for the 29th as Ireland goes deeper into debt trying to get out of debt! What a price to pay for bailing out the banks!

After Labour's leadership election: The role of trade unions‏

Mike Rustin, writing on the Open Democracy website, says that trade unions will have an important part to play in revitalising the Labour Party as a grass-roots movement and opposing the Coalition's spending cuts.

Why let the truth get in the way of investigative journalism?‏

Channel 4’s Dispatches programme is worthy of the Man Booker prize for fiction. Last night's 'what’s the point in unions' dragged up every malcontent and scab that felt aggrieved. Amongst the hilarious claims was that RMT ballots were subject to voters being intimated into voting for strike action.

Monday, 27 September 2010

"Time for a new shared agenda for better public services" - Dave Prentis at Labour Party Conference‏

Full text of Dave Prentis speech moving public services composite at Labour Party Conference 27 September 2010: On 6th May our whole world changed. Last Saturday we elected our new leader, and today we begin the task of defending all that we hold dear. Our public services facing an attack, the like of which we’ve never seen. A dishonest coalition of vandals, bent on destruction. Using the financial crisis to plunder our welfare state - take a chainsaw to our public services.

City pigs squealing already about Ed Miliband‏

The London based City A.M. newspaper (among others) today rages against the election of Ed Miliband as Labour leader. http://www.cityam.com/news-and-analysis/city-says-red-ed-anti-business

Labour - no room for complacency‏

There has been some leaping and a whooping about Ed Miliband’s win with the left clearly pleased that the union vote swung into action (albeit a luke warm response from UNISON’s own Labour Link members with a substantial vote for David Miliband).

Will Con Dem Freedom Bill remove restraints on trade union freedom?‏

Keith Ewing poses the rhetorical question in an article reviewing prospects for the Lawful Industrial Action (Minor Errors) Bill, to be introduced as a private member’s bill by John McDonnell MP on 22 October.

Welsh Labour: anti-privatisation & 'proud to be different'‏

Wales First Minister Carwyn Jones yesterday told Labour’s conference of his pride in governing differently in Wales: Aneurin Bevan once told this conference that 'the language of priorities is the religion of socialism'… well, we have always spoken the language of priorities in Cardiff Bay. And that's why we will seek to protect the people's priorities in frontline public services from the ravages of Con Dem excesses.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-11415244

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Tell a Pal there is a Better Way

UNISON Scotland is urging members and their friends to spread the word and 'Tell a Pal' that we don't need these public service cuts and There is a Better Way. You can email, use Hotmail or Gmail and share on facebook, twitter and many others. Help put out the message for public services. http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/publicworks/tellapal.html

They Clapped by Nikki Giovanni‏

they clapped when we landed
thinking africa was just an extension
of the black world

Sweet irony of the decisive union vote in Labour leadership election‏

The votes of trade union Labour Party levy payers were decisive in Ed Milband’s success in the Labour leadership election, much to the chagrin of the right inside and outside of the labour movement who had anointed David Miliband as the New Labour continuity candidate: