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

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Possible breakthrough in LGPS negotiations

A joint local government union statement issued yesterday reports that a “very positive framework" has been agreed with employer representatives which would enable full negotiations on a reformed local government pension scheme (LGPS) to start in January:  http://www.unison.org.uk/acrobat/C7500.pdf

Local Government jobs haemorrhaging as Con Dem cuts kick in

LocalGov.co.uk reports on Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures which show the local government continues to bear the brunt of public sector job losses, accounting for a phenomenal nearly nine out of ten redundancies across government. In the third quarter of 2011 alone, 59,000 jobs were lost of 67,000 overall in government:  http://www.localgov.co.uk/index.cfm?method=news.detail&id=104436
Full ONS report available here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/lms/labour-market-statistics/december-2011/index.html

The Desert by Arthur Coleman

Cope with alienation from
the person who has driven you
to this desert to walk through
without shade in the hot blaring sun.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Con Dem austerity is creating a ‘lost generation’- Prentis

As unemployment among women and young people rises inexorably, UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis accuses the Government of ignoring the human cost of its cuts in public services - ‘it is shameful to see that women, who make up the majority of low paid public sector workers, have had an unemployment hike of 45,000, to 1.1 million, the highest figure since 1988. Youth unemployment has also risen by 54,000, creating a lost generation of young people struggling to afford education, or find work, which the government will struggle to curb. Women and young people first in the government's jobless queues!’

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Cameron tells porkies on private sector job creation under Coalition

Excellent analysis by the TUC's Nicola Smith in challenging the Prime Minister's misleading spin on private sector job creation at PMQ's. The Prime Minister's claim that the private sector has created 581,000 jobs since the coalition came to power, with 336,000 being lost in the public sector over the same period is not supported by the facts: http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2011/12/pm-is-wrong-more-public-sector-jobs-have-been-lost-than-have-been-created-in-the-private-sector/

UNISONActive Analysis - We are ruled by the banks for the banks

Running this government are two sons of bankers. Cameron's father was a stockbroker, Clegg's is still chairman of United Trust Bank (and famously helped his son get some work experience). For its part, Labour spent so long outsourcing all economic thinking to Gordon Brown and Ed Balls that it has long lost the ability to argue against the orthodoxy of giving the City what it wants.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Lehman Brothers: financially and morally bankrupt

Lehman Brothers was the first domino to fall in the collapse of the great ponzi scheme that banking is. That collapse, despite efforts by central banks and governments, continues to threaten to spread and places us in the state of austerity that we find around us. The courtroom drama ruling over the collapse of Lehman Brothers has concluded and Professor Richard Woolf reports in the Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/dec/12/lehman-brothers-bankrupt

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Record number of Palestinians displaced by demolitions as Quartet continues to talk

Twenty aid agencies and human rights groups report that Israeli authorities have stepped up unlawful demolitions in the West Bank including East Jerusalem over the past year, displacing a record number of Palestinian families from their homes. The statement comes as the Middle East Quartet meets in Jerusalem in its latest effort to revive peace talks. http://www.amnesty.org.uk/news_details.asp?NewsID=19857

General Strike in Italy against Euro-Austerity

Yesterday millions of Italian trade unionists took part in a general strike in protest against plans by the unelected Italian government to impose drastic austerity measures against working people, including attacks familiar to UK workers such as raising the retirement age to 66 by 2018 and reduce inflation indexing for pensions and other benefits: http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/113068

Party Funding - no equivalence between trade union levy payers & corporate largesse

Scott Hill, writing in the Huffington Post UK blog, makes a spurious case for increased state funding for establishment political parties - by putting a few hundred Tory donor City millionaires on a par with the millions of Labour supporting trade unionists who make modest political fund levy contributions:

Monday, 12 December 2011

IS THAT A CRACK IN THE COALITION? The Truth about the Bust Up

Even those for whom weekends are for more popular pursuits, like watching Celtic beat Hearts, or voting for Harry from McFly in the ‘Strictly’ semi finals, there has been no escape from the Big Euro Bust Up.

TURC- heir to a long tradition of union busting in Britain

The Trade Union Reform Campaign led by the disgraced Tory MP Aidan Burley, is the latest in a long line of business-funded union busting organisations in Britain. The most notorious being the Economic League, founded in 1919 by a group of industrialists and a Tory MP under the name of National Propaganda. It was wound up in 1994 after its McCarthyite activities in blacklisting workers were exposed: http://www.powerbase.info/index.php/Spies_at_Work

1911 Centenary Lecture - Tony Benn

Tristram Hunt, Labour MP for Stoke Central, (and also a lecturer in modern History) gives an excellent lecture on the BBC Parliament web site on Tony Benn - a reminder of what a radical Labour MP is and what an inspiration to wider action they can be. Nice also to see the ubiquitous Bick sat on the front row next to Tony Benn: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Burley Tory union basher joins Hooray Henry mates on pro-Nazi bender

Aidan Burley, the right wing Tory MP who is fronting the anti union TURC campaign's attacks on hard working trade unionists, is badly exposed by today's Mail on Sunday. It reports on his presence at a Nazi themed stag party in France last weekend. By their friends you shall know them... http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/search.html?s=&authornamef=Matt+Sandy

'We teach life, sir'

Rafeef Ziadah is a Canadian-Palestinian spoken word artist and activist. Her debut CD Hadeel is dedicated to Palestinian youth, who still fly kites in the face of F16 bombers, who still remember the names if their villages in Palestine and still hear the sound of Hadeel (cooing of doves) over Gaza. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKucPh9xHtM&sns=fb

EU Funding - matching finance scandal in English regions

The UK Treasury has cut off the means for supplying match funding for EU money (previously provided via the soon to be abolished RDA's) and so £1bn earmarked for regeneration will be unspent. Not just that, but the Treasury can then pocket 2/3 of the unspent money. An absolute scandal! See a report from the Industrial Communities Alliance (formed in 2007 to represent local authorities in the industrial areas of England, Scotland and Wales) at http://www.industrialcommunitiesalliance.org/uploads/2/6/2/0/2620193/eu_funding_briefing_nov_2011.pdf  .

Broken by Polar Bear

To those of the broken homes
x-rays showing up close two broken domes
they sip cans while they’re smoking cones, but
always shows respect with well spoken tones
family moans,