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

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Kenny Bell – campaigner, recruiter and developer of union activists second to none

At last week’s Northern TUC Conference 2011 UNISON Deputy Regional Convenor Kenny Bell received the Terry Rodgers Award for his outstanding contribution to the trade union movement as an organiser, negotiator, campaigner, recruiter and developer of new activists second to none. Well deserved Kenny. http://www.unison-northern.co.uk/

Black unemployment levels show ‘persistence of workplace discrimination’ - TUC

The unemployment rate for black and asian workers increased from 10.2 per cent in October-December 2007 to 13 per cent in the same quarter in 2010 (a figure almost twice as high as the 7.1 per cent unemployment rate for white individuals) according to a TUC analysis of the UK Labour Force Survey:http://www.tuc.org.uk/equality/tuc-19457-f0.cfm

End of history by Gustavo Pereira

Shiny metals might survive but not butterflies
plastics and rubble but not petals covered in dew
bands of ruffians but not loners

Friday, 8 April 2011

NHS is being attacked on two fronts

The Socialist Economic Bulletin warns that the NHS is being attacked on two fronts. “First, despite assertions that the NHS is ‘safe in our hands’ and that spending on it was being ‘ring-fenced’, it is now widely understood that real cuts are taking place, even if government speakers insist on calling them £20bn of ‘efficiency savings’. Secondly, the fundamental character of the HNS is being altered, with the Tories seeking the maximum possible role for the private sector”: http://socialisteconomicbulletin.blogspot.com/

Democratic defict of Con Dem NHS reforms

The Tory chair of the Commons Health Select Committee Stephen Dorrell MP has told the FT that new NHS commissioners will have budgets bigger than any council. “Would we contemplate district councils meeting in private without public access to papers and proper minutes and declarations of interest? Of course not. It is self-evident that there has to be proper governance”:

Just because passengers got in lifeboats on the Titanic did not mean that they supported the ship sinking

This was a reader's apt comment on a Pulse report that the Government was claiming that the numbers of GPs signed up to 'pathfinders' was ‘a clear expression of the momentum gathering behind our health reforms’.http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=35&storycode=4128982

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Health workers gear up to defend pensions

UNISON delegates to health conference in Liverpool yesterday voted unanimously to build capacity for taking strike action to defend the NHS Pension scheme up to and including a ballot for lawful national industrial action should the Government come after our pensions, writes Linda Hobson.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Future of NHS - well they did ask for this didn't they?

Today in a desperate bid to quell mounting opposition to the NHS reforms the Government has launched a ‘consultation’ which will include seeking views on:
- The role of choice and competition for improving quality
- How to ensure public accountability and patient involvement in the new system

Shadow Minister fails to catch mood of Conference

Following Dave Prentis' rallying of health delegates to the National Health conference, there was a rousing demo on the concourse outside the Echo Arena. Speakers from across Europe pledged solidarity in the fight to defend public services and public sector workers.

The Frank Hont Rap - A to Z of the NHS Workforce

UNISON members attending yesterday’s Liverpool rally for the NHS were treated to a master class in audience participation- by MC Frank ‘Onti’ Hont, who read out a roll call of the NHS workforce - to great acclaim from all present:

UNISON rallies for the NHS

Yesterday hundreds of UNISON members attended a rally for the NHS at Liverpool’s Kings Dock. Health conference delegates and members of local branches assembled to hear speeches from UNISON and international public service union leaders:  http://www.unison.org.uk/news/news_view.asp?did=6738

Israeli campaign to avoid accountability for Gaza war crimes must be rejected

Recent Israeli government calls for the UN to retract the 2009 report of its Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict are a cynical attempt to avoid accountability for war crimes and deny both Palestinian and Israeli victims of the 2008-2009 conflict the justice and reparations they deserve, Amnesty International said today.

We either go up together or go down together - Rena Wong SEIU

Rena Wong, an Organising Director with the US union SEIU (Service Employees International Union), spelt out for delegates at the UNISON Health Conference the global realities of attacks on unions. Rena brought solidarity from our sister union and described the scale of the attacks on public sector trade unions in Wisconsin, Ohio and New Hampshire.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

We fight on until NHS Bill is in the gutter - Dave Prentis

UNISON's General Secretary received a standing ovation from delegates at the heath service group conference this morning. In a passionate defence of the NHS and the UNISON members who deliver health care, Dave Prentis said that UNISON would not settle for delays or minor amendments to the Health and Social Care Bill, 'we will fight every step of the way until this Bill is left lying in the gutter'.

The attack on workers' rights - a global problem requiring a global response

Keith Ewing, writing on the Guardian blog, takes a wide ranging look at the attack on workers’ rights across the developed economies. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/apr/04/workers-rights-collective-bargaining In an article published to mark the international day of solidarity with Wisconsin public sector workers, Keith says ......

UNISON Nurses meet Labour after Government "pause" in NHS Bill‏

UNISON nurses and midwives meet Labour Health spokesman John Healey and local Tooting MP Sadiq Khan at the House of Commons last night to discuss the campaign against the Coalition's NHS and Social Care Bill, after Tory Health Secretary Andrew Lansley was forced to invoke a two month pause in the passage of the Bill because of growing opposition from NHS professionals and the public.

Monday, 4 April 2011

TUC Young Members tell ConDems: We won't accept your cuts!

This year’s TUC Young Members Conference came together to send a clear message to the ConDem government – that we will not accept your ideological cuts to our services!

Cost of PFI comes home to roost

Private Finance Initiative (PFI) firms are raking in guaranteed profits at NHS hospitals even as cash-strapped NHS Trusts are cutting jobs and beds as well as asset-stripping sales of land and property in order to bridge the funding gap left by the Government's £20 billion cuts programme. http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/103069

Debt goes from private to public to your family

The Office for Budget Responsibility has raised its prediction of total household debt in 2015 by a staggering £303bn since late last year, in the belief that families and individuals will respond to straitened times by extra borrowing. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/apr/02/family-debt-burden-government-figures

Organising & renewing UNISON in Health

“We face the fight of our lives” said NEC member Clare Williams in moving motion 1 on organising in the first debate at the UNISON health conference. “Although in recent years UNISON has bucked the trend of declining union membership only 9% of our members are aged under 27. We face a major challenge reaching out to younger working people by pushing a positive workplace agenda organising around learning, equalities, health and well being.”

NHS is our future and it's not for sale

“We are all here to make our voices heard for the union's health campaign and our bargaining and organising agendas.” said Lilian Macer, Service Group Executive Chair, in opening the UNISON health conference today in Liverpool.

Massive public support for NHS puts Con Dems on back foot

The 1000+ delegates and visitors gathering today in Liverpool for UNISON’s health care service group conference will be lifted by reports of disarray over NHS reforms at the highest levels of the Con Dem Government:  http://bit.ly/hNhgW8

Sunday, 3 April 2011

LGA 2011 Budget Survey reveals downward spiral of cuts

The Local Government Association (LGA) has published its Council Budgets, Spending and Saving Survey for 2011. All local authorities in England in membership of the LGA were surveyed last month: http://www.lga.gov.uk/lga/core/page.do?pageId=17710284

Hundreds in Suffolk Libraries Demonstration

Over 500 people attended the great demonstration in Ipswich yesterday against Suffolk County Council's plans to close 29 of its 44 Libraries unless they are sold off or run by volunteers. Anglia Tonight News Report http://www.itv.com/anglia/

Andrew Lansley NHS Rap - 200k Hits - Now Nurses Anthem

Today's Observer has a story about the much loved anthem of NHS nurses, medics and staff, who are sick of the ill conceived NHS privatisation agenda of the Tory led Coalition.

The Cubicle by Jennifer Lemming

The cubicle is the cuticle
of the modern work day.