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

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Strikes hit Compass Medirest - again!‏

Hundreds of workers took strike on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week for the second time in a month. Domestics at Southampton Hospital - fighting for thousands of owed back pay - and ancillary workers at High Wycombe and Amersham - fighting for sick pay and other elements of Agenda for Change - again took to the picket lines to continue their campaign.

Home Come Your Sons by David Roberts‏

(Brize Norton 28 March 2003)

On this misty spring day
at an airfield in Oxfordshire
ten hearses wait.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Keep the post public‏

The Royal Mail is on the brink of privatisation. Last week, the Postal Services Bill received its third reading in the House of Commons and is now making its way through the House of Lords.
‘After all the huffing and puffing from the left and unions over fighting the age of austerity, this may be the first real battle which does try to unite the producers of services with the users of those services’ writes Gregor Gall in today’s Morning Star: http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/100042

Silent protest against cuts in Stockport‏

Stockport UNISON's 'silent protest' against cuts on Monday caught the imagination of members as they campaigned against service cuts and 400 job losses. The carefully organised 'calm and dignified' event saw members pack the council’s executive meeting while another 150 who couldn’t get in had to demonstrate outside.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Healey warns against removing the N for the NHS‏

Local government service fragmentation resulted in the profligate use of ‘commercial in confidence’ a ruse used by private sector contractors to keep the real costs of contracts away from public scrutiny.

Unions take on the Mortgage Bankers‏

Two US construction unions backed by the AFL-CIO took the fight for decent jobs straight to the mortgage bankers association of America.

UNISON Wales Organising Against the Cuts‏

UNISON is leading the way in building a broad labour movement led, but community focused, anti cuts campaign in Wales. Since November 2010, following the adoption of a Rhondda Cynon Taff emergency motion at UNISON’s Wales Council meeting, UNISON has been driving forward a bargaining and organising strategy to defend members against cuts to our services, jobs, pay and conditions.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Nanny Pickles puts Naughty Nick in his place‏

It looks like Clegg is spitting out his dummy but Nanny Pickles is shoving it back in. Reported in the LGC Nick Clegg is apparently at ‘loggerheads with Eric Pickles over the introduction of a basket of new local taxes and charges as the deputy prime minister battles to stamp his party’s own brand of localism on to the coalition government’.

Misery for Local Government in the USA - The Fed declines help‏

According to the Wall Street Journal, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke announced that "the Fed" had ruled out a central bank bailout of state and local governments. "We have no expectation or intention to get involved in state and local finance," he said in testimony before the Senate Budget Committee. The states "should not expect loans from the Fed." http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704739504576067602380461160.html

Serves you right. The crisis is your own making‏

You really couldn’t make it up! We have seen how the Tories have attempted to shift blame from the bankers on to Labour and the public sector but today’s Guardian piece highlights just how far removed from reality Eric Pickles has become.

Protest or Tories will kill the NHS‏

Kevin Maguire writes in today’s Daily Mirror on the mortal threat to the NHS posed by Con Dem reforms:
‘Political speeches will not halt David Cameron’s destruction of the National Health Service but patient power can. Protest and the NHS may survive. Sit at home watching the telly and it’ll die, victim of a Conservative ideology which detests everything successful in public hands.

Unite & the business of unions‏

An interesting article on the Labour Uncut website examines the organisational challenges facing Len McCluskey as he takes up his position as Unite General Secretary on 31 January 2011 – the first elected by the union’s whole membership:  http://labour-uncut.co.uk/2011/01/18/the-other-kind-of-trade-union-cuts-battle-saving-cost-within-unite/

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Speaking out for public services‏

Newspapers such as The Economist and The New York Times started the new year with articles that highlight the efforts of right-wing interests to make public services workers the scapegoats for the economic crisis. PSI and EPSU have written a joint response to The Economist.

Monday, 17 January 2011

NHS - safe in their hands?‏

The Tories told us before the General Election that they would protect the NHS. There would be no more 'top down' imposed reorganisations and funding would be ring-fenced. So how do their promises hold up? Well the NHS budget is not ring-fenced and health unions, health professionals and user groups' voices are warning of the dangers in store for the NHS. We are already seeing a rise in waiting times, concerns about public health policy and an attempt to attack health workers terms and conditions.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

History Lessons by Pat Lowther‏

1.  A family legend:
       my great-uncle Johnny
       came back from the Klondike
       gold in all his teeth.
       He never put hand to shovel,
       or panned a stream:
                          he opened barber shops.