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

Saturday, 26 March 2011

We can achieve anything acting together

We can achieve anything if we act together like this, said one marcher today as hundreds of thousands march through London. Here we report on the march at Piccadilly, with the huge UNISON contingent still passing after at least an hour.

Descending on parliament

Sent from my Nokia phone

Here we go!

Sent from my Nokia phone

We are the resistance - failure is not an option

‘This is what resistance looks like, hundreds of thousands of workers coming together to protest. We shall resist. We are the resistance – all of those who stand up for social justice and trade union rights – this is our time and failure is not an option. Our time has come’ said Fred Redmond, International Vice President of the 850,000 strong United Steelworkers union, speaking on events in Wisconsin at a well attended meeting in London on Thursday.

Our March by Vladimir Mayakovsky

Beat the tramp of revolt in the square! Up, row of proud heads!
We will wash every city in the world
With the surging waters
of a second Flood.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Why the night got darker for decent pensions - removing the National Insurance rebate

Yet another nail was hammered into the coffin of final salary linked occupational pensions with the Budget announcement of the withdrawal of the contracting out rebate for defined benefit final salary linked pension schemes.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Sea of purple and green to snake through London on Saturday

See a great preview of Saturday's major march for the alternative at http://www.unison.org.uk/asppresspack/pressrelease_view.asp?id=2235

Here’s Why We Are Marching - Budget 2011

Don’t believe stories that Tories never lie to themselves. Headlines in the Daily Mail that the budget was a “tax give away “or in other papers that cuts in fuel duty were a “surprise” tell more about the fact that people are waking up to the level of devastation that this government is carrying out than anything else .

Dancing with Big Eunice

Likely to be the cultural event of the year is one of the Morning Star’s increasingly valuable and important working class cultural events. On April 5 in Bathgate, Alistair Findlay, ex-footballer, social worker, UNISON member and poet is talking about ‘Poetry and the working class movement’. While the title has all the initial appeal of a university lecture, expect a lively presentation and discussion.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Osborne's 'no budge' budget

Osborne’s ‘no budge budget’ is a missed opportunity to right Tory economic wrongs, UNISON said today. By passing up the chance to scale back the savage public spending cuts, the Tories are condemning the economy to long-term low growth and high unemployment. http://www.unison.org.uk/asppresspack/pressrelease_view.asp?id=2232

UNISON Scotland: Tax cuts for rich businesses isn’t much of a strategy

UNISON Scotland: Tax cuts for rich businesses isn’t much of a strategy: "UNISON Scotland has slammed Osborne’s decision to cut corporation tax for rich businesses, claiming the focus should be on collecting taxes not cutting them"

Fair employment is 'bonkers' - Pickles

ConDem Communities Minister and Thatcherite throwback Eric Pickles MP has announced to the CBI his intention to scrap local government’s ‘two-tier code’, which protects the terms and conditions workers transferred to firms or not-for-profit organisations, operating outsourced contracts: http://www.localgov.co.uk/index.cfm?method=news.detail&id=96949

New branch banner for 26 March - send us yours

UNISON South West London St Georges Mental Health Trust branch will unveil their new branch banner at the TUC Demonstration in London on 26 March. The banner was created by famous London trade union banner maker Ed Hall and designed by UNISON's Michalel Walker. The colours are UNISON's purple, green and white which in turn are based on the WSPU suffragette colours. (chosen in 1908 by Emmeline Pethick Lawrence).

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Living standards squeezed by pay & benefit cuts

A joint survey by PCS and UNISON of more than 10,000 public sector workers, has confirmed the drastic impact of Con Dem austerity measures on the living standards of public sector workers across the UK:

NHS Pay Review Body confirms 2 year pay freeze

The supposedly independent NHS Pay Review Body has adopted Government policy that a 2 year pay freeze should be applied to all NHS staff except for those earning less than £21,000 per annum (NHS pay spine points 1 to 15) who will receive a £250 flat rate pay rise in 2011/12:

Invest in getting people back into work - TUC

As speculation mounts that tomorrow’s Con Dem budget will see concessions on fuel and air passenger taxes but no reversal on austerity measures, the TUC has called on the Government ‘to use the budget to boost jobs through well-funded employment schemes and encourage growth through a green investment bank and an ambitious industrial strategy’: http://www.tuc.org.uk/economy/tuc-19346-f0.cfm

Monday, 21 March 2011

Now is the Time to Grab Hearts and Minds

The great issue in the trade union world that we live in at the moment is the issue of our pensions. There is little doubt that the only way that we will influence our main foe in this fight is by taking strike action against the Tory Government.

Party Funding Review - end game in sight

Since July 2010 the Committee on Standards in Public Life has beenholding an inquiry into the old chestnut of party political financeand there appears to be some slippage in the timing of its finalreport - having moved from from 'spring' to 'late spring' in mandarinspeak: http://www.public-standards.org.uk/OurWork/Party_Political_Finance.html 

UNISON Active Analysis: Hutton Review of Senior Pay - a soft boiled Curate's Egg

Last Tuesday, for the second week in succession, a Con Dem appointed Hutton Commission reported on the findings of a review - this one chaired by Will Hutton:  http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/indreview_willhutton_fairpay.htm

The City & Wall Street plunder pension funds from West Midlands to Wisconsin

Everyone knows by now that the attack on public sector trade unionism in the West has its epicentre in Wisconsin. Backed by the wealthy elite the State Governor has launched an attack that seeks to destroy the resistance of workers, their unions and their communities.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Libya: Stop the Bombing - Protest at Downing Street: Sunday 20th March 3pm

CND regrets the British government’s decision to pursue military intervention in Libya and opposes the current attacks taking place on Libya.  http://www.cnduk.org/

BDS movement against Israeli Apartheid is 'doing a good job all over the world'

Ofer Eini, leader of Israel's Histadrut trade union confederation is reported in the Jerusalem Post as saying that the boycott movement against Israel is "doing a good job all over the world". Eini, a leading opponent of the boycott in the international trade union movement, was speaking at an Israel lobby event in New York.

On the brink of... by Suheir Hammad

Written 20 March 2003 in tribute to Rachel Corrie
On the brink of
tears, sanity and war,
I feel powerless, hope
less and less than alive.