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

Saturday, 5 February 2011

EU on a “collision course” with Social Europe and the autonomy of collective bargaining

In reaction to yesterday’s European Council launching a discussion on a so-called “Competitiveness Pact”, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) firmly states that it cannot tolerate that competitiveness is being abused as yet another alibi to intervene in collective bargaining systems across Europe.

Medirest workers in vanguard of fight against NHS reforms

Disputes involving UNISON members employed by NHS contractors in High Wycombe and Southampton are pointers to a future NHS - where increased competition breaks up national pay bargaining and forces workers to resist a downward spiral of cuts in pay and conditions.

The Great Pensions Robbery

The Mirror reports that from April 1, all public service pensions will be calculated using the Consumer Price Index rate of inflation – which currently stands at just 3.1%. Pensions were previously increased in line with the higher Retail Price Index, which is now at 4.8%.

To the Tyrant by Abu al-Qasim al-Shabi

Imperious despot, insolent in strife,
Lover of ruin, enemy of life!
You mock the anguish of an impotent land
Whose people’s blood has stained your tyrant hand,
And desecrate the magic of this earth,
sowing your thorns, to bring despair to birth,

Friday, 4 February 2011

Our pensions under attack - organise now!

A new campaign leaflet can be downloaded from the UNISON website:

Resisting employer attacks on workers' rights

‘There is a virus sweeping British workplaces — and it’s not the flu virus. It is the virus of naked and unaccountable employer power, with employers now taking advantage of the economic crisis to make workers pay’, writes Keith Ewing http://www.ier.org.uk/node/563

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Save Our Libraries – take action on 5 February

A national day of action is taking place on Saturday 5 February in protest at the growing number of libraries facing cuts or closure as a result of Con Dem austerity measures. Voices for the library website has a list of libraries where read-ins will be taking place:  http://www.voicesforthelibrary.org.uk/wordpress/?p=987

Austerity doesn't work - look at the figures

Ireland and Greece are two countries that embarked upon an austerity package similar to the one that George Osborne is imposing upon the UK. UNISON and others have repeatedly said this was wrong because it would hit the vulnerable and just as importantly it would damage the economy and would not get our debt down. The graph below proves it. Cross posted from the UNISON (East Midlands) blog

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Deficit fibbers

“He knows the deficit hasn't been caused by "waste", but seeing as that starting point is a lie, the stories they tell might as well be made up completely”. Mark Steel writes a knockabout on the deficit and Grant Shapps in the Independent…….

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Deficit Hijackers

The Tories have attempted to gain traction with the idea that there is no alternative to the 80 – 20 ratio of cuts to taxation to tackle the huge deficits forced on the global economy by the unregulated banks and financial markets. Cameron and Osborne expected universal applause for the tough stance. They have fallen flat on their faces.

Con Dem Employers Charter is an attack on Workers Rights

Keith Ewing, writing on the Guardian website, spells out the stark reality of worker’s rights in Britain today. He notes this and previous government's serious and serial breach of international treaty obligations. Keith exposes the complicity of Con Dem Business Secretary Vince Cable, who in publishing his so called Employers Charter, has issued a license to employers to abuse the vulnerable and the unprotected: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jan/31/cable-abuse-vulnerable-workers

UNISON members take protest against Health Bill to Parliament

Yesterday health worker members of UNISON protested outside Parliament as MPs debated the Bill for the first time: http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23918915-even-david-camerons-doctor-brother-in-law-doubts-plans-to-reform-nhs.do Despite strong opposition from Labour, the Health and Social Care Bill was passed last night in the house of Commons with a majority of 86.

Monday, 31 January 2011

NHS workers against the Bill

Phot of a UNISON demonstration today by nurses and health care professionals at St Georges Hospital hospital, South London, against the Health and Social Care Bill privatisation agenda.

Bumper pay rises for Goldmine Sachs bosses while profits slump 38%

Shareowners, governments and the general public must surely faint at this news? What has it got to do with me you might ask? Well Goldman or Goldmine as they are known are a major supplier of fund management contracts to the LGPS, they manage your money and many LGPS funds are shareholders in Goldman.

The Battle for Our Pensions - The Calm Before the Storm?

Who is going to blink first in the battle over our pensions? The government proposals to steal £billions from our wages have been suspended and are now subject to further discussions between the treasury and the trade unions. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jan/28/public-sector-pensions-retreat

Will the Con Dem's make public sector strikes illegal?

The war of words between the trade unions and government that began after Friday's TUC statement on the probability of public sector workers' strikes to defend our pensions escalated on Sunday when Gideon Osborne, Chancellor and bankers; friend, repeated earlier warnings that employment law could be changed to make ay industrial action we may take illegal:

A Day In The Park

Yesterday, thousands of young trade unionists, students and school pupils marched from the University of Manchester Union to Platts Fields Park for the TUC's 'A Future that Works' march and rally. However, if you'd heard about it through the mainstream media, it'd have been a very different and demonstrably false story to the one that transpired.

The Cuts that are happening now… A snapshot from Scotland

Summary by JC from UNISON Scotland website: Aberdeen City Council’s has announced shock proposals to make more than 900 people compulsorily redundant, following the workforce’s refusal to accept pay cuts. The severity of these measures has caused the Scottish Executive to intervene.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

The economy is a mess - told you so

UNISON Regional Head of Campaigning, Ravi Subramanian had a column published in yesterday's Nottingham Post. We have reproduced it below.

This movement will not be easily defeated - Graham Smith UNISON NEC

See on YouTube
"If I have one message that you take away from this fantastic demonstration of our determination to defeat these regressive ConDem cuts, it is this: Organise, Organise, Organise." said Graham Smith young members' representative on UNISON NEC in a powerful speech at yesterday's TUC rally in Manchester A Future that Works:

Tories loathe working people - period

Chancellor Osborne's contemptible reference to trade unions as 'forces of stagnation' was vintage Tory contempt for working people and their representatives: 'I regard these people as the forces of stagnation, when we are trying to get the British economy competitive again, moving forward again.'http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-12312417

Milk by Eric Chaet

Costs more to produce
than the dairy so-called farmers
can get for it: