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

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Let the Millionaire Walk Naked by César Vallejo

Let the millionaire walk naked, stark naked!
Disgrace for whoever builds his death bed with treasures!
A world for whoever greets;
an armchair for whoever sows in the sky;
sobbing for whoever finishes what he makes, keeping the beginnings;

Friday, 13 July 2012

Outsourcing is a dead end of low pay & casualisation

The G4S Olympics security debacle, is the latest in a long list of fundamental service failures caused by outsourcing, writes Natalie Bennet in the New Statesman: 'The outsourcing of hospital cleaners contributed to a rise in hospital-acquired infections and super-bugs. Multiple government IT projects have gone seriously and expensively off the rails. Then there’s the still unfolding scandal of the ruinously expensive PFI scheme for hospitals (and other public institutions such as schools) which has just claimed its first victim, with the South London Healthcare NHS Trust going into administration. And railways and the Tube, and call centres…. the list goes on and on'

'They came in the morning' - the harrowing reality of Palestinian dispossession

#ShortsLucky13 The following short film "They came in the morning" is filmed in Walaja and uses footage shot over five critical years in the life of Bethlehem during the making of upcoming feature film "Operation Bethlehem".

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Goodbye to Keith Sonnet

After almost 40 years service UNISON Deputy General Secretary Keith Sonnet has left the union. Last night in London colleagues, comrades and friends met in UNISON head office to mark Keith’s contribution to UNISON and the wider labour movement.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Dodging the issues. Again!

Yet again the Tax Dodgers alliance has misrepresented the true position on the future funding of public sector pensions by presenting as fact their own flawed assumptions on the LGPS.

The O'Grady Bunch

It may have taken well over a hundred years to get here but the TUC is now to be led by a woman (Frances O'Grady). It is an historic moment for the movement but also a timely one. Women are disproportionately impacted by the savage cuts in public spending and economic decline. The progress, albeit slow, in recent decades on equal pay, is under threat from regional pay bargaining, the public sector pay freeze and regressive Tory policies on employment rights.  http://www.tuc.org.uk/the_tuc/tuc-21198-f0.cfm

Slutwalk Edinburgh

Last Saturday, around 70 people braved Edinburgh's summer weather to take a stand against the victim-blaming culture that surrounds sexual assaults. A year on from the birth of the global movement that was sparked by the ministrations of a Toronto police officer to a group of young female students - that to prevent sexual attacks, "women should avoid dressing like sluts", the issue hasn't gone away. http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/121173

Who Cares?

There has been much talk of late about the need to integrate health and social care. UNISON members working in the NHS and the care sector understand the need for more joined up thinking but the problems facing front line staff are now being given some attention by economists and leader writers.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

UNISON Labour Link Forum 2012: Day 2‏

Saturday was the second (and last) day of this year's Forum in Cardiff. Check out the report on day one here. The traditional Labour Link Social had been held the previous night and "a good time had been had by all" (it also raised money for UNISON welfare).

Monday, 9 July 2012

Spanish civil war heroes remembered

On Saturday the International Brigade Memorial Trust (IBMT) annual commemoration took place at the International Brigade memorial in Jubilee Gardens, London.
Here are two photographs from the event, including one of International Brigade veteran David Lomon, 93, being presented with a Spanish Republican flag by Almudena Cros of the Madrid-based Friends of the International Brigades. Rodney Bickerstaffe reminded those present that in 1936 the Spanish republican government boycotted the Berlin Olympics because they "knew what the Nazis were about".

Songs from Blantyre to Barcelona

Songs of the Scottish anti-fascists and International Brigade: Original songs written and performed by the Lanarkshire Songwriters Group to commemorate the International Brigade’s struggle against Spanish Fascism and those from Blantyre and Lanarkshire who fell in the struggle.
Copies only £3 from local outlets and UNISON South Lanarkshire Branch 01698 454690

The rapidly changing world of work

A new study by the McKinsey Global Institute confirms the remarkable expansion taking place in the global workforce. In 2010 the number of workers worldwide was 2.9bn compared to 1.7bn in 1980. By 2030 the total will have risen to 3.5bn with China and India being the main centres of economic development. Pressures on workers' living standards in advanced (western) economies will continue to intensify - between 1980 and 2010 workers' share of overall income fell by 7% - a result of rising corporate profits and declining wages - leading to growing income and wealth inequality:

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Union Militancy - A slight recovery?

The Left Futures web site includes an article on the slight rise last year in the number of working days lost to strike action - a familiar measurement of worker militancy. The article observes that 1.4 million days were lost in the last year (over 1 million of them during the Pensions Day of Action on November 30th 2011) which is a significant increase on the previous year of 150,000 days lost.

The Unemployed by Bertolt Brecht

You who have just
Come from your food
Permit us to tell you of our
Unceasing concern with food like yours
(Not that something more modest would not do).