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

Saturday, 23 April 2011

May elections a chance to force Con Dems to change direction - UNISON

Timed to coincide with the lead in to elections across local government and in the Devolved Administrations, UNISON political advertisements are now running in the regional and national media warning of the consequences of public service cuts and job losses: http://www.unison.org.uk/asppresspack/pressrelease_view.asp?id=2267

Easter, 1916 by William Butler Yeats

I have met them at close of day
Coming with vivid faces
From counter or desk among grey
Eighteenth-century houses.
I have passed with a nod of the head
Or polite meaningless words,
Or have lingered awhile and said
Polite meaningless words,

Friday, 22 April 2011

UNISON Northern Ireland on Good Friday Agreement anniversary - much done, more still to do

At a packed Galway House the whole of UNISON's Northern Ireland region ‘Team Connect’ celebrated the anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement but lamented the fact that after 13 years UNISON members now face a budget which attacks members and their communities like nothing ever seen before.

Real earnings falling in Britain - fact

David Blanchflower, writing in the New Statesman, examines recent official economic data which shows that workers are taking a pummelling as real earnings fall for all but those in the financial sector, and those at the bottom are being hit hardest: http://www.newstatesman.com/economy/2011/04/earnings-unemployment-2010

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Kirby new STUC President

UNISON Scottish Secretary Mike Kirby was elected as STUC President for 2011-12 yesterday in Ayr. Mike's recent appointment as Scottish Secretary followed many years as the lay Scottish Convener. The respect that follows Mike was evident at the STUC. From the warm thanks from outgoing President Joy Dunn for his 'inspirational support' to delegates in the Palestine debate paying tribute to the work he has done to support the Palestinian cause.

New wave of US anti-union legislation violates fundamental labour rights

John Logan, writing on the Guardian Comment is Free website, looks at the underlying reasons why the ‘systematic violation of labour rights’ in the US private sector is now spreading into the public sector, where in states such as Ohio and Wisconsin collective bargaining rights have been ended:

STUC calls on the UK Government to work towards a cessation of the current military action in Libya

An emergency motion was passed yesterday by STUC Annual Congress urging the UK Government to work towards a cessation of the current military action in Libya and to seek a diplomatic solution that will allow for a peaceful transition to democracy in the country.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

UNISON President joins health worker protest in Belfast

A noisy and colourful demonstration lined the middle and sides of the Falls Road in Belfast today as hundreds of UNISON nurses and staff from the Royal Hospital protested against proposed health cuts in Northern Ireland.

CGT - Eurozone 'Competitiveness Pact' is bad news for working people

The CGT - France’s biggest trade union - has pledged to step up protests against the Franco-German initiated economic pact which aims to further reduce pay, pensions and the social wage:http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/00d26594-6aa0-11e0-80a1-00144feab49a.html#axzz1K2XoIB00

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Lilian Macer: "Low mean dishonest trick of health and care cuts"

"An Injury To One - Is An Injury To All is a timeless principle of the trade union movement. It's the principle that lies behind our Health and Social Care Services. It's the principle that underlines our determination to defend those services, those that rely on them, and those that provide them", UNISON Scottish Convener Lilan Macer told the STUC today.

Crimes committed in the name of the Rochdale Pioneers

The bandwagon rolls on doesn’t with every malcontent in local government wanting to jump on the mutual bandwagon. This latest report in the Guardian refers to plans for Cleveland Fire Brigade as well as the new Labour leadership in Rochdale jumping on mutual’s as some form of panacea.

2 year qualifying period for unfair dismissal protection will deny justice to 3 million workers

Central to its mission of creating a hire and fire workplace culture, the Con Dem’s are intent on extending the qualifying period for unfair dismissal legal protection from one to two years continuous employment.

Be bold in the defence of our public services

The Scottish Trades Union Congress will build the widest possible alliance to popularise an alternative economic strategy and to fight the cuts. Building on the witness of civic society in yesterday's special session of Congress in Ayr, and calling for the next step for the 'Better Way' campaign, Mike Kirby urged delegates to "be bold in the defence of our public services". The cuts we are facing across the UK are "not about money but about politics", said Mike.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Israel lobby clutching at straws in defence of the indefensible

Long term critics of UNISON solidarity with the Palestinian people’s struggle for justice and statehood have seized on a union delegation report to divide and undermine opponents of the Israeli regime’s brutal occupation: http://hurryupharry.org/2011/04/15/palestinians-tell-british-union-don%e2%80%99t-sever-ties-with-the-histadrut/

Support the People's History Museum

The People’s History Museum in Manchester is up for the 2011 Art Fund prize of £100,000. This unique working class cultural asset lost Government funding in last year's Con Dem Comprehensive Spending Review and hence needs the the money. You can help by voting for it. It will not cost you anything and the good news is that it is leading the poll. Go to http://www.artfundprize.org.uk/2011/vote/index.php  and vote for the People’s History Museum

Sunday, 17 April 2011

EU Free Trade Agreement with Colombia Condemned by TUC

The British TUC has criticised the European Commission's commitment to a draft free trade agreement between the EU and Colombia. The TUC and British trade unions, alongside unions from across Europe and Latin America have called for negotiations on the agreement to be halted until there is clear evidence that the endemic violence against trade unionists and other human rights defenders in Colombia is being effectively addressed. http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-19494-f0.cfm

An Ulsterman in England remembers by John Hewitt

Here at a distance, rocked by hopes and fears
with each convulsion of that fevered state,
the chafing thoughts attract, in sudden spate,
neglected shadows from my boyhood years: