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

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Public Services Industry Firms are among the most unethical in the UK

Groundbreaking research by the Ethical Consumer website has discovered that the top 20 private companies delivering public services in the UK have the 'bottom rating for many of our ethical and environmental criteria, including environmental reporting, supply chain management, human and workers’ rights and political activity.' http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/

Against Untempered Light by Hugh MacDiarmid

Ah, temperate light, do not sharpen your rays
Lest each of these dear familiar things
To a caricature of itself
From its normal guise springs.

Too much light is not good, since, increased,
What enables us to see all we see,
Would insubstantialise it instead
And our world cease to be.

Friday, 26 August 2011

NHS pensions strike inevitable?

Yesterday, the 'NHS Together' unions – including non TUC unions such as the BMA, RCM and RCN – met to discuss industrial action tactics if the ongoing pensions negotiations with the Con Den Government do not secure an acceptable outcome:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/

Last month the Government laid regulations in Parliament to introduce an average 3.2% increase in NHS pensions contributions with effect from April 2012 (workers earning under £15000 will be exempt from the increase and workers earning under £21000 will pay a maximum increae of 1.5%): http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Consultations/Liveconsultations/DH_128710

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Iceland's Hot Spring - Why Iceland Should Be in the News, But Is Not

While the world's media concentrates on the North African and Middle East uprisings no one is talking about Iceland and yet they the people of Iceland have decided to draft a new constitution that will free the country from the exaggerated power of international finance and virtual money.

Labour funding – if it wasn’t for the unions...

The Electoral Commission has published political party funding figures for the second quarter of 2011. Trade unions contributed over 85% of Labour’s £3,093,094 donations of which UNISON Labour Link levy payers contributed £385,263 (13%) – making the union the UK’s third largest political donor during the period in question:  http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/party-finance/party-finance-analysis/party-funding/Q2-2011

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

International pressure on Plymouth Council to re-recognise UNISON

The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) - which represents 8 million public service workers from more than 275 unions - has called on Plymouth City Council to re-recognise UNISON.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

LGPS – keep up pressure for real talks as negotiations near end game

Less than 3 weeks away - 9 September - is the Con Dem Government’s imposed deadline for local government employers and trade unions to propose ways to achieve £900mn ‘savings’ from the local government pension scheme (LGPS) with effect from 1 April 2012: http://www.unison.org.uk/acrobat/B5633.pdf

By the end of October the cost ceiling for the new scheme (i.e. a maximum percentage of the employers pay bill which can be allocated to fund the LGPS) will be confirmed and it is anticipated that all discussions will be completed by the end of the year – leading to amending regulations being placed before Parliament in early 2012 with a view to a new LGPS will coming into effect in April 2015.

Monday, 22 August 2011

UNISON FOI ruling shows need for end to secrecy in privatisation

No business cases can be traced for multi-million pound PFI wastewater contracts – and a Scottish Parliament committee appears to have been misled – according to a decision by the Scottish Information Commissioner over Scottish Water. http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/news/2011/julyaug/2208.htm

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Labour's constitutional changes - who will blink first?

As next month's Labour Party Conference edges closer it remains unclear whether Labour's NEC will press on with proposals to reduce the democratic rights of trade unions in the Party.

Fire-victims by D.M. Thomas

When her wheeled-chair parted the
electron-portals, and under
the indulgent gaze of the
medical-staff they flew, too
long in the purdah of their casts,