UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.
Saturday, 28 April 2012
Friday, 27 April 2012
The EU fiscal treaty has been denounced by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) as ‘pressing on down the path of permanent automatic austerity’ and has been rejected in its present form by French Presidential front runner François Hollande, yet the Irish Congress of Trade unions (ICTU) will not be recommending that Irish workers vote No in next month’s referendum on the treaty:
The TUC’s Stronger Unions website provides a useful summary of the UK Government’s latest report on trade union membership figures. Of particular interest is that in the public sector, despite a membership fall of 186,000, union density rose by 0.2% to 56.5%; bargaining coverage rose by 3.3% to 67.8% and the amount of public sector workplaces where there is a trade union presence rose to 87.1% from 85.8%. As well as a membership surge linked to the pensions campaign last autumn, this report confirms that public sector unions are retaining our core workplace organisation even though overall workforce numbers are shrinking: http://strongerunions.org/2012/04/26/2011-trade-union-membership-figures-released/
Wednesday, 25 April 2012
#STUC12 In a surprisingly low key but deeply significant debate, the Scottish TUC has launched a major engagement with members and the public about the future of Scotland. That constitutional debate "should not be about what powers politicians want, but about what they want to do with those powers”, UNISON’s Stephen Smellie told Congress this morning.
Tuesday, 24 April 2012
#uHealth2012 In a wide ranging speech Andy Burnham Shadow Health Secretary made a number of commitments to delegates on a future NHS under the next Labour Government. Health must be, he said, about people and not profit. The next Labour government would make the repealing of the NHS and Social Care Act a priority.
Monday, 23 April 2012
"May I begin by thanking my own trade union UNISON,
and the General Council,
for the opportunity you have given me, given to so few,
for even a short period of one year
to be placed at the helm of the Scottish Trade Union Movement.
A distinction it would have been at any time,
but as many of you know,
that was paired with taking up the position of Scottish Secretary of UNISON, after 16 years as the senior elected lay activist in Scotland.
The 45,000 strong Mandate retail workers union is calling on its members to vote NO in the May 31 Irish referendum on the EU Fiscal Treaty. General Secretary John Douglas said: "The imposition of austerity measures across Europe has resulted in over 25 million workers unemployed, of which 5.5 million are under the age of 25. This is a scandal, human waste of mega proportions – but still, our government at the behest of our European banking masters continues with these failed policies and ideologies, condemning future generations of Irish citizens to a mere existence on the margins of society."
We've reported before on Goldman Sachs ability to place people at the centre of our political and economic structures so that they can shape the world for bankers. Well we can now tell you that the European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi, former vice president of Goldman Sachs Europe, was able to approve a 500 billion Euro bailout for European banks without asking anyone’s permission.
Sunday, 22 April 2012
#uHealth2012 The Observer reports on the Department of Health’s submission to the NHS pay review body in support of regional pay - "Current rates of pay in the NHS do vary geographically, but significantly less so than the pay of comparable staff in the private sector. The introduction of more sensitive market-facing pay would therefore enable more efficient and effective use of NHS funds." What this means in wages terms can be seen by looking at a recent LRD analysis of the realities of regional pay variations between the public and private sectors of the UK economy: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/apr/22/andrew-lansley-pay-nhs-staff