UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.
Saturday, 6 November 2010
The Committee on Standards in Public Life, chaired by Sir Christopher Kelly, opened a new inquiry into political party finance on Wednesday of last week and will publish its recommendations in Spring 2011: http://www.public-standards.gov.uk/OurWork/Party_Political_Finance___Public_Hearings.html
‘The deep defects in the global economic system have not been remedied. The current upswing will therefore be brief. Another, perhaps even more serious, crisis is likely. When it happens the left must not be caught, as it was last time, with its pants down’ says Larry Elliot in his foreword to ‘Britain's broken economy - and how to mend it’ published by the centre left New Political Economy Network and available on line at: http://www.lwbooks.co.uk/ebooks/BritainsBrokenEconomy.html
Friday, 5 November 2010
The people of Cambridge will have awoken this morning to the news that not only had Labour won the Coleridge Ward by election in the City, but also that the Tories had been wiped off the political map in Cambridge. Cambridge City is now a Tory Free Council, with not one of the forty two councillors a Conservative. Meanwhile, at Swindon, Wiltshire Labour also secured another stunning victory over the Tories, with the Lib Dem vote dropping from 792 in May this year to just 98. http://country-standard.blogspot.com/2010/11/cambridge-tories-wiped-out.html
According to a Cabinet Office news release the ‘Government is united in its drive to open up public services so the best providers get the job’ and Decentralisation Minister Greg Clark has said that he wants ‘local voluntary groups to have the right to deliver more services locally so that the sector are not confined to a walled-off part of councils' budgets’. http://www.communities.gov.uk/newsstories/communities/1759026
NUJ members across the BBC are on strike Friday & Saturday in a bid to preserve some vestige of their pension. Pretty obviously anyone phoning from the BBC looking for comment or input on Fri or Sat is breaking the strike… http://www.nuj.org.uk/innerPagenuj.html?docid=1796
Thursday, 4 November 2010
YouGov’s daily polling for the Sun has topline figures of CON 40%, LAB 40%, LDEM 9%, Others 10%. It’s the first time YouGov have shown the Lib Dems dropping into single figures, and the first time any pollster has shown them at such a low level since 1997. But the 40% backing for the Tories still means there's a lot of organising work to do.
Wednesday, 3 November 2010
A UNISONActive reader has slammed Channel 4's 'blatant and biased' attack on Local Government employees last night. The programme seemed to clearly suggest that because of the cuts and being funded by "the Public Purse", Local Government employees were not worthy of or entitled to redundancy payouts that have been agreed, fought for and negotiated over decades.
Now, more than ever, the trade union movement needs somewhere for a forensic examination of industrial relations and the role of trade unions in British society generally, and around the world. Union Ideas Network is the forum which brings together leading academics in industrial relations, business and political and social sciences into contact and dialogue with the trade union movement.
Tuesday, 2 November 2010
Channel 4 News reports that Councils are facing unprecedented budget cuts of 28 per cent by 2015, with an estimated 100,000 job losses in the next five years. http://www.channel4.com/news/council-spending-revealed-ahead-of-cuts?34 Using a method of investigative journalism pioneered by the Daily telegraph and the Tax Dodger’s Alliance, Channel 4 News used the ‘largest ever’ Freedom of Information request to survey Council spending on private healthcare and redundancy costs for employees as well as sickness absence rates.
Neal Ascherson's scathing analysis in the Herald of the rolling back of public service state is well worth a read - 'Sometimes a train rolls backwards.... Those shrieking, guffawing Tory cheers, after Chancellor George Osborne proclaimed his spending cuts! Out of their train window, they could see approaching the dim old vaults of Babylon Central, where taxes were low, scroungers ate bread and marge, and a working-class mother told her son: “Don’t get ideas. Folk like us are just here to make up the numbers.” http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/guest-commentary/return-to-babylon-1.1064858
Monday, 1 November 2010
The Local Government Association (LGA) statement that "virtually all" councils in England and Wales could be forced to end home help for elderly and disabled people, received extensive media coverage over the weekend. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11662088
The East Midlands region have put together a simple but powerful presentation that shows the real truth about the recent Spending Review and the reality of who will get hit the hardest. The presentation is based upon the real facts and figures and not the sickening "all in this together" spin parroted by the Con-Dems. This is essential viewing for all UNISON activists, members and the general public. To view the presentation go to the East Midlands region's campaign blog here.
Sunday, 31 October 2010
The Sunday Mirror reports on leaked Government plans to extend the qualifying period for protection from unfair dismissal to two years. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2010/10/31/cam-s-war-on-work-rights-115875-22677353/