UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.
Saturday, 8 October 2011
East London Advertiser reports on the National Clarion Cycling Club’s reception in Cable Street last weekend following a 645 mile cycle ride in honour of the International Brigade - which had set off from Edinburgh on September 19:
Friday, 7 October 2011
Is all the pain of recession and public sector pension attacks really worth it? Surely not when we have the ability to create money out of thin air and spend it into the economy!
Thursday, 6 October 2011
Interesting reflections on yesterday’s UNISON strike in Northern Ireland by Lorcan Mullen on the Slugger O’Toole blog. Large scale strikes against cuts in devolved administrations are relatively unchartered waters and very complex given the cause and effect of austerity measures. There is political divergence between the hard line cost cutting UK Government and the administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales which since devolution have been generally pro-public services and less hostile to workforce interests but nonetheless operate within Westminster imposed financial straitjackets:
UNISONActive apologies for the delay in posting this, but simultaneous translation from Tory to trade union English is fraught with the same difficulties as translating from Klingon.
Wednesday, 5 October 2011
Cats tend to stink a fair bit and there is something very smelly and unpleasant about Teresa May. Many within the Tory party were concerned about her aptitude for gaffs and failure to grasp the most basic of issues but she excelled even her own stupidity by her calculated call to Sun Reader mentality with her ‘he only got to stay because of his cat’ speech to Tory conference.
Today the Guardian previewed prime Minister Cameron’s speech to the Tory Party conference. It exposes the complete lies and confusion that sit at the heart of the government’s economic policy. Cameron demonstrates a complete lack of basic economic understanding, either this is done on purpose to lull people into a false understanding or it is frightening example that the Tories in power really are quite stupid.
Eric Pickles caused enough concern in Manchester when environmentalists scratched their heads wondering how a beached whale had arrived in Manchester but lo and behold it was merely Eric being kept wet by the tears of the thousands of workers he has laid off.
Tuesday, 4 October 2011
Few trade unionists were deceived back in 2009 when David Cameron's 'envoy' to the trade union movement Richard Balfe claimed that employment law in the UK was now a "matter of national consensus. After 11 years of Labour, the Thatcher legislation remains on statute. We have no plans for any major labour law reform" http://www.personneltoday.com/articles/2009/01/15/48985/interview-richard-balfe-conservative-trade-union-envoy.html
Heather Wakefield, UNISON head of local government, writing on the public finance blog, makes a connection between the additional pension contributions being levied on council workers and the announcement by Con Dem Chancellor Osborne that council tax in England will be frozen in 2012/13 (by an injection of £805m of government funds) - which will disproportionately benefit wealthy property owners. At a time of massive budget cuts, the removal by central government of the autonomy of councils to levy local taxes to fund discretionary services is also an attack on local democracy:
Monday, 3 October 2011
The Guardian reports on research by King’s College which reveals that a least 150,000 workers in the UK social care sector may be getting paid less than the minimum wage. The research will be reported tonight on BBC1’s Panorama programme: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/oct/03/social-care-workers-pay
Sunday, 2 October 2011
In a fawning pre-conference feature in Murdoch's Sun, Chancellor George Osborne MP signals his intention to block workers from taking employers to employment tribunals for unfair dismissal until after two years of continuous service — it currently stands at one year. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/politics/3847683/Chancellor-George-Osborne-strikes-back.html
'A post-Thatcher, post-Blair economics requires a break from the hostility and contempt for organised labour that has been one of the continuities of government in these destructive decades' argues Hilary Wainwright on the Comment is Free blog. If Labour leader Ed Miliband is to realise his vision of valuing the labour of "every man and woman who goes out and does a day's work" then organised workers must be empowered in the workplace: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/sep/30/ed-miliband-economics-taboo-1970s