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

Saturday, 12 November 2011

How quickly angels turn to devils

"One day [health workers] are angels but when they exercise their rights, they are devils – how quickly angels turn to devils”, warns UNISON’s Patricia McKeown in the latest issue of the ICTU Union Post, as a 'hostile' press gears up for 30 November. http://www.ictu.ie/publications/fulllist/union-post-november-2011/

Maude's 15 minutes of fame

For the first time since his 30 June live mauling by PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka, Cabinet Office Minister and Con Dem lead pensions negotiator Francis Maude is attracting media headlines - with a bizarre offer to public sector workers of 15 minutes paid time off for a token strike on 30 November:

LGPS Fund mergers - elephant in the room?

In reviewing the looming industrial conflict over public sector pensions, the Telegraph has picked up that there are 99 different local government pension funds managing well over £100 billion in assets: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/pensions/8872087/Government-and-the-unions-should-unite-against-the-pension-fat-cats.html

Russell Tribunal on Palestine summary of findings now available!

"...the Tribunal concludes that Israel’s rule over the Palestinian people, wherever they reside, collectively amounts to a single integrated regime of apartheid"
Summary of findings, pictures and letter sent by Russell Tribunal to South African government are available here: http://www.russelltribunalonpalestine.com/
Full findings, videos and presentations will be available shortly.
Frank Barat

More Anti-Union laws in the pipeline?

Tribune reports on growing indications that the Con Dem government may be hatching a new anti-union Bill - with coalition propagandists targeting for starters; industrial action ballot turnouts/strike mandates, DOCAS periodic re-authorisations, paid time off for union duties and union political fund contributions:

Clean War by Patricia Wellingham-Jones

They are calling this the cleanest war in all of military history.
                             --Tom Brokaw, April 2, 2003

Friday, 11 November 2011

Racism in football - a workplace issue

Bob Abberley, UNISON Assistant General Secretary, gives his perspective on the racism allegations involving footballers John Terry and Anton Ferdinand and comments on how it might be dealt with in other workplaces: http://www.srtrc.org/news/

Thursday, 10 November 2011

The current Euro bond crisis - worried?

Interest paid by the Italian government on their bonds just went to 7.4% more than the Greeks when they were bailed out…interest rates on bonds are not fixed – they rise and fall against the price banks will pay for the next or current issue of bonds – so if the price goes down the interest rate or yield goes up.

Ohio voters give resounding support for trade union rights

Voters in Ohio turned out in large numbers to support trade union rights giving a landslide victory for a referendum that overturned the state law stripping public sector workers of bargaining rights. http://www.uniglobalunion.org/Apps/

Grasping the independence thistle?

‘Which way will the unions jump?’ asks Chris Bartter in a debate on unions and independence as the clock starts ticking on a referendum in Scotland. Just how difficult will that debate be since most STUC affiliates are UK entities, with few of them reflecting internally anything like the political devolution that exists in reality?

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

The anti-democratic death spiral of austerity

Larry Elliot spells out the anti democratic reality of decision making in the European Union - by the Frankfurt Group, an unelected cabal made of up eight people. ‘In the circumstances, it is hardly surprising that electorates have resorted to general strikes and street protests to have their say...’

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

The Flaw - on More4 tonight at 10PM

The Flaw is a documentary movie along the same vein as Inside Job….it may or may not explain the money system but it is still worth a look on More4 tonight at 10PM: http://theflawmovie.com/index.html In October 2008 a humbled Alan Greenspan admitted to the US Congress that he had been mistaken to put so much faith in the self-correcting power of free markets and that he had failed to anticipate the self-destructive nature of wanton mortgage lending and the housing and credit bubble it generated.

False economies of outsourcing care workers

The US government should “drop one less bomb overseas and pay these guys’ salaries” says Walter Spallone, a 64-year-old war veteran who is leading a legal challenge to prevent outsourcing of care workers at his Michigan nursing home.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Raabid Tories call for more shackles on unions

UNISON's overwhelming mandate for public sector wide strike action in defence of pensions has prompted Tory calls for more anti union laws. Not enough that we're forced to use postal ballots using home addresses designed to suppress turnout, they now want to place unreachable (in national ballots) thresholds of support for action before a strike is lawful: http://conservativehome.blogs.com/localgovernment/2011/11/raab-law-should-apply-to-all-public-services.html

Water, electricity and the political context in Arab countries 2011

A new report from the Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU) examines the electricity and water sectors in North African and Middle Eastern countries, including the record of privatisations, and the potential implications of the democracy movements, and the response of international institutions, as of September 2011: http://www.psiru.org/reports/water-electricity-and-political-context-arab-countries-2011

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Alexander’s Gambit – bypass unions to undermine pensions strike

The announcement by Danny Alexander MP on today’s BBC1 Marr Show that he would be bypassing unions and writing direct to all public sector employees outlining the Government’s position on pensions should surprise nobody: http://www.independent.

Today it is management consultants by Danielle Hope

Thursday afternoon. You sit
in a blue anorak among
twenty-five scarecrow allotments
puddled by weeds. Dogs and blackbirds
shower soil on winter paths.
Six mallards string across the sky
the colour of slugs.