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

Saturday, 31 March 2012

6.3% 2 year wage deal agreed in Germany following public sector strikes

Two million German public sector workers will get a pay rise of 6.3 percent over two years, reports Reuters, ending a dispute that disrupted services across Germany in recent weeks.

Mutual housing model provides less not more democracy

As the Con Dem's promote 'choice and diversity' to break up collective provision of public services, the Guardian publishes self-interested spin claiming that privatisation of housing stock in Rochdale is good for democracy! https://socialenterprise.guardian.co.uk/en/articles/social-enterprise-network/2012/mar/28/rochdale-housing-mutual-ownership?CMP=EMCSOCEML657

Unarmed Response by Dilys Rose

They bring in our wounded
flown from Baghdad to A & E
at the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh.
Daffodils stand to attention
on Middle Meadow Walk.

Friday, 30 March 2012

UK economy back in recession - as predicted

Only Quantative Easing prevented this happening earlier – 88% of the cuts have yet to be made and another £10bn of welfare cuts to come on top of the £18bn….we will be below Chinese wages and living standards before long - 1m NEET workless young people already are – that is the project…of the Tories in the coalition. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/mar/29/uk-back-in-recession-oecd

The Tory illusion of 'choice' in public services

Choice is a seductive word. It implies pleasure, a leisurely pursuit of obtaining a desired item . Choice in public services is however something of a misnomer. Choice implies that service users can opt for different providers when in reality the outsourcing of public services is most usually to one monopoly supplier, operated under a contract over which democratic accountability is paralysed by the legal constraints of that contractual relationship.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

General strike in Spain over attacks on workers' rights

Spain's main union CCOO and UGT are holding a general strike today against new employment laws which will make it cheaper and easier for employers to sack workers. Tomorrow the Conservative Government will announce an austerity budget which will cut tens of billions of euros from public services. All municipal and state services will be affected by the strike including public transport:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17545174

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Straight from the horse's mouth - The Tory 'Zero Plan' for Public Services

Tribune reports on a surprisingly candid speech by Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude in which he discloses the Tory grand plan to ‘eradicate the state provision of public services’ in the UK. This supports the view that the current Government is far more extreme than the Thatcher regime which itself wrought destruction on working people and public services:

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

CBI compares apples with oranges to justify public sector pay cutting agenda

UNISON has challenged the CBI’s bogus use of Government statistics to bolster the case for lower levels of public sector pay in areas of high unemployment. Dave Prentis said, "Don't let anyone be fooled into thinking that public sector workers are enjoying high wages. There are a lot more highly skilled, older and well-qualified staff working in the public sector that skew the figures and masks the reality of low pay for hundreds and thousands of public service workers.

Second wave of action on Scottish NHS pensions

As the second round of selective strikes started in NHS Scotland, UNISON lobbied the Scottish Parliament today calling on MSPs to seek a Scottish solution to the proposed changes to NHS pensions. Workers in Lothian, Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Lanarkshire Health Boards came out on strike, following action in Ayrshire and Arran on 13 and 14 March.

Monday, 26 March 2012

UNISON: leading and organising change

"This year public service workers in the UK face the greatest challenge yet to their jobs and economic security" said UNISON President Eleanor Smith opening the union's 2012 Leadership Seminar in London.
Dave Prentis in a keynote address pointed out that 80% of the planned cuts were still to be implemented. The rise in union membership late in 2011 was due to a sustained upsurge in activism not merely the 30 November day of action. The union must adapt to new areas of public service delivery and re-invigorate our activist base.

Political establishment mired in ABC of sleaze but unions clean as a whistle

A is for Abrahams 2007 a secret Labour donor who ran a political money laundering operation described as unlawful by Gordon Brown.
B is for Brown 2005 a fraudster who donated £2.5m to the Liberal Democrats
C is for Cruddas 2012 Tory Party treasurer who ran a cash for access operation repudiated by David Cameron but only after he was caught red handed eliciting £250k to secure meetings with Senior Ministers.

TUC Young Members Conference

UNISON’s Young Members clearly set the tone at this year’s TUC Young Members Conference, making interventions on a wide range of motions, from fair representation for women in our movement, to the scourge of homeless that is affecting more and more young people.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Migrant Hostel by Peter Skrzynecki

Parkes, 1949-51
No one kept count
of all the comings and goings—
arrivals of newcomers
in busloads from the station,
sudden departures from adjoining blocks
that left us wondering
who would be coming next.