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

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Over the Hill‏

Public life demands scruples that should not be compromised but in reality it goes one step further. Even the perception of compromising ones independence in public office is brutally damaging. Revelations in the Guardian that Andrea Hill took paid for trips to the USA from BT, whose contract costs to Suffolk council rose by over a £100m, which appeared not to be challenged by Hill, signals it is time for her to step aside.

Minimum wage 'day of shame'

ICTU general secretary David Begg calls the December 10 Dail vote to cut the minimum wage “a day of shame”, in December's edition of The Union Post, produced in association with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. Describing it as a “contemptible” move, David said the wage cut took €40 a week from the working poor “in the full knowledge that there is no economic, political, social or moral justification for it” http://www.ictu.ie/publications/fulllist/union-post-december-2010/

Lib Dems crushed in by elections

As the Lib Dem vote plummets in by elections and Labour picks up some councils, there must remain a real concern about any political turnaround with voters in some areas still staying home in their droves.

Turn despair into anger

"It is time to turn the despair of assaults on public services into anger", General Secretary Dave Prentis told UNISON's Scottish Council earlier this month. Building on that theme, a UNISONActive reader sends this link to "Protest works. Just look at the proof" by Johann Hari http://johannhari.com/2010/10/29/protest-works-just-look-at-the-proof

On Living by Nazim Hikmet‏

Living is no laughing matter:
you must live with great seriousness
like a squirrel, for example--
I mean without looking for something beyond and above living,
I mean living must be your whole occupation.

Friday, 17 December 2010

2 Compass strikes bite - UNISON members dig in for long disputes‏

Workers in Southampton and Buckinghamshire return to work at 10.00 am this morning after the first of a number of strikes. 200 cleaners at Southampton and 148 ancillary workers at High Wycombe and Amersham hospitals are involved in the disputes with their Trusts and Compass Medirest who employ them.

Defend Our Pensions! The Hutton Review Closes‏

Friday December 17th marks the closure of evidence for John Hutton's review of public service pension schemes. It should mark for us the day we began to prepare all sections of the union for the fight that should unify all public sector workers in struggle against the ConDem government.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

UNISON exposes 'grave misconduct' by private bidders

UNISON called for an immediate halt to privatisation at Edinburgh City Council at a lobby of the Council this morning after it was revealed that two of the private bidders had not revealed criminal convictions arising from fatal workplace accidents.

Compass hit by 2 strikes in NHS‏

200 workers in Southampton and 148 workers in Bucks started 2 days of strike action yesterday over the non payment of Agenda for Change terms. They are employed by the global giant Compass Medirest and yet do not earn the same as equivalent workers directly employed by the NHS.

Scotland’s Public Services on the Line

In hardly surprising lead stories this week, the Scottish press headlined the fact that Scotland’s care services could be decimated as the Scottish Government’s budget cuts begin to bite . As is happening elsewhere, social work chiefs are warning that services will be forced to retreat to focussing on statutory responsibilities.

Cheer these things and you lick the feet that kick you

Will you cheer for "more work and less pay"....Will you cheer to be taunted that your want of work at such times means "you won't work"? Will you cheer for all manner of insult and abuse, when, in distress, you approach those who are in authority? Cheer these things and you lick the feet that kick you. (Extract from a leaflet entitled "Anti-Humbug". distributed in the Haymarket, Bristol in 1888 when the Freedom of the City was conferred on Prince Albert) http://ourhistory-hayes.blogspot.com/2010/12/why-lick-feet-that-kick-you.html

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Rent-a-quote Ralfe distorts LGPS realities‏

In the long war against fair pensions in local government, the self styled independent pensions consultant John Ralfe has been a ubiquitous critic – from radio money programmes to tabloid letters pages his obsessive (but always superficial) attacks on the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) have amounted to no less than a personal crusade: http://www.johnralfe.com/

Ireland slashes bankers bonuses, will they run?‏

The huge outcry that met the Allied Irish Banks decision to award their traders £30m in bonuses has produced the correct response from the government. Now in a test of nerves we will see if the threat to cut and run by the bankers is real one?

UNISONActive debate: Tough Choice for NHS Employees‏

We in the NHS have heard nothing but lies from this ConDem Government, double counting funding for social care has meant that rather than being protected the NHS is facing a real terms reduction in its funding whilst also charged with £20bn productivity savings.

Sefton UNISON fights £38m cut backs‏

Sefton UNISON Local Government Branch is fighting back against the 1,000 threatened job losses and £38m frontloading cuts next financial year. For the first time ever, local branches of the GMB and Unite have joined UNISON in a local dispute and a recent indicative ballot of all three unions returned a massive 90% response in favour of industrial action.

Cuts are not the cure - TUC‏

Yesterday the TUC General Council received a progress report from General Secretary Brendan Barber on campaigning work undertaken in recent months against the cuts in public services. Barber also reported on preparations for the national demonstration on 26 March and also alerted the General Council to the TUC’s new False Economy website: http://falseeconomy.org.uk/  JC

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

NHS Workers to Consider 'Tough Choices'?‏

The Coalition Government's determination to see through the most austere cuts to public services continues apace. We have seen Liberal Democrat's doing a complete U Turn on their pre election pledges. What is very clear is the next pre election pledge by both Tories and Lib Dems that the NHS was safe in their hands is turning to dust as we speak. UNISONActive invites reader responses on this important issue

Judge sides with government - women’s rights “unarguable or academic”

Mr Justice Ouseley, High Court Judge has denied the Fawcett Society, the gender equality campaign group the right to challenge the legality of the Government’s Emergency Budget.

Localism Bill an excuse to outsource services‏

Eric Pickles is looking more and more comedic as the days go by. Yesterday’s announcement of a Decentralisation and Localism Bill was used by Pickles as an excuse to cut funding to councils under the supposed guise of giving councils and individual citizens more power over local services. But this is nonsense.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Scrapping of Two-Tier Code a green light for exploitation‏

The FT reports that Cabinet Office Minister is scrapping the two-tier code with ‘immediate effect’. Under the code new recruits on outsourced contracts have been offered terms and conditions no less favourable than staff transferred to a new employer under TUPE. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d44afe86-061e-11e0-976b-00144feabdc0.html#axzz17yv1eQJb

While banks profit, workers asked to give up leave to save NHS

It shows how bad things have become when nurses and health workers are asked to give up leave to bail out the NHS (and by extension, the banks). http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/health-news/2010/12/13/nurses-asked-to-work-for-free-in-run-up-to-christmas-by-hard-up-health-trust-115875-22779937/

Clegg – A Self Propelled Journey into Humiliation

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. From posing as the party of the righteous the Lib-Dems have reached new depths of hypocrisy in a surprisingly short time.

Save the EMA‏

UNISON and other education unions are backing today’s protests calling on the Con Dem Government to think again bout its plans to axe the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA).

Billy Liddon's Memory Honoured‏

A social housing scheme has been named in memory of Welsh UNISON activist Billy Liddon who passed away in 2009.  Liddon Court was opened last week by Newydd housing in the mining community of Beddau, South Wales.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Clegg - the ultimate political hypocrite amongst many‏

Nick Clegg’s words will forever come back to haunt him….“Broken promises. There’s been too many in the last few years; too many in the last thirty years. In fact, our nation has been littered with them, a trail of broken promises. You remember them".
Yes, and we will remember yours Nick for a very long time..

The Haunting by Adam Engel‏

The Beatles beat beat
like hearts
in strange heads