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

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Privatisation rears its ugly head on the Isle of Man

The Isle of Man has long been known as an offshore tax haven, yet paradoxically almost none of its public services have fallen into corporate hands including transport services. However that may be about to change as members of the Manx Parliament, Tynwald, move to implement a ‘Scope of Government’ which recommends many government services be privatised:

United Nations Public Service Day

Today has been designated by the United Nations as World Public Service Day ‘to celebrate the value and virtue of public service to the community; highlight the contribution of public service in the development process; recognize the work of public servants, and encourage young people to pursue careers in the public sector.’

It comes at a time when public service workers worldwide are facing unprecedented attacks on pay, pensions, working conditions and a growing threat of privatisation. Public Services International is calling on union members around the world to ‘speak out in support of a global financial transactions tax (FTT), also known as the Robin Hood tax.’

Saving Face by Jeremy Kingston

I saw a dying soldier with no face.
Something had sliced it off like crust from a pie,
a raw meat pie, some teeth and a green eye
mysteriously still in place.
His best mate, vomiting, had the grace
to kill him - and who would not want to die,
a pulpy red mess, there to horrify
with its disfigured, agonized grimace.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Commissioning Councils

UNISON has called on the London Borough of Barnet to immediately abandon its plan to become a Commissioning Council. The report by the European Services Strategy Unit (ESSU) documents the fundamental weaknesses in each stage of the procurement process for two large strategic partnerships of up to £1billion value and nearly 1,000 staff

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

A living wage for Liverpool

The independent Liverpool Fairness Commission presented its report to Liverpool's new Mayor Joe Anderson yesterday. The Commission was not the usual suspects and included our own Frank Hont the former Regional Secretary of UNISON North West:

Report on Defending TU facilities fringe‏

#undc12 A well attended fringe meeting on 'making the case for facility time' was held during today's lunch break. Speakers were John Healey MP, Martin Mitchell Researcher NatCen Social Research, Joanne Cain - UNISON. Chaired by Jane Carolan - NEC

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Dave Prentis call to arms - "we will smash pay freeze"

#undc12 "Our week to show our unity, our solidarity, to set out our battle plans. To show the most right-wing government in our history that we will stand in their way” said Dave Prentis in opening his General Secretary's address to Conference. The well received speech included a strong pledge to lead the union into a fight against the public sector pay freeze: "We have to be brave, we have to be bold, we have to be strong, we have to be proud. And together we will smash this pay freeze"

Austerity isn't working - Clare Williams

‏#undc12 In one of the first debates of Conference, Clare Williams, Northern regional delegate, powerfully outlined the impact of Con Dem austerity on the regions, particularly in the North of England:

"We are living in an age of austerity - but austerity for who? The Government's economic and political policies are having a devasting impact on ordinary people, and on some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our society.

Palestine Meeting at UNISON Conference - Wednesday 20 June 5pm in Bournemouth

#undc12 War & occupation in the Middle East: from Palestine to Iran: Joint Palestine Solidarity Campaign / Stop the War Coalition fringe meeting at UNISON Conference Wednesday 20th June End of the conference sessions – 5.15pm Tregonwell Bar, Bournemouth Conference Centre
Chair: Linda Perks, Greater London UNISON. Speakers: Sarah Colborne, Director, Palestine Solidarity Campaign; Lindsey German, Stop the War Coalition; Max Watson, UNISON NEC. Supported by Greater London UNISON. Light refreshments provided. Click here to download a PDF flyer

Greece and the Eurozone - Lessons from Argentina for all of us...

In 2002, Argentina devalued its currency and defaulted on its debt. An already severe recession worsened to the point where 1 in 2 people were poor! Greece and Spain are the closest to Argentina at present - Ireland capitulated long ago - Italy will be next...

Monday, 18 June 2012

Striking workers to lose state benefits

The cloak of compassion has dropped from Iain Duncan Smith revealing his truly right wing credentials are well aimed at low paid workers. Denying benefits to strikers is a perverse and sickening act designed to hit the families and children of those who exercise a basic human right in taking strike action. There is nothing new in the ability of Government to withdraw benefits due to strike action but the fact he has gone out of his way to remake the case for an existing right of the state to withdraw benefits shows his real audience is the right wing press and Daily Mail readers: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/jun/17/workers-strike-lose-benefits

UNISON members to decide on New LGPS after ultra left routed

#undc12 Yesterday, the local government service group conference decisively backed a composite, moved by Manchester branch (see below), which called for a "an inclusive, thorough and democratic consultation process” on the new LGPS scheme due to be introduced by 2014. Desperate attempts by a sectarian minority to pre-empt member consultation and deliver a UNISON rejection for their political parties, regardless of the merits of the proposals, were seen off in a two hour debate:

Sunday, 17 June 2012

UNISON National Conference - The Highlights Guide

#undc12 A rundown of the main issues coming up at UNISON National Delegate Conference in Bournemouth from 19-22 June

Free the Miami Five - Cuba Solidarity AGM report

In a packed hall in NUT headquarters in London yesterday, more than a few people dabbed their eyes when Olga Salanueva addressed the Cuba Solidarity Campaign AGM.

Thanking, on behalf of all the families CSC and everyone in the UK who has supported the fight for justice for the Five, she laid bare the emotions a woman feels when re-united for a fleeting brief period, with a husband unjustly imprisoned for so long.

BoJo & The Newt by Luke Wright

The cries of he said/she said what
Steady the ship or Stop the rot
gentlemanly’s what it’s not
Posh or Trot? Bojo & The Newt.
It’s politics done Hello style
think Andrew Neill meets Jeremy Kyle
smear till ruined, wave and smile.
How vile! Bojo & The Newt.