UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.
Saturday, 11 August 2012
Friday, 10 August 2012
It’s as rare as hen’s teeth that I find myself agreeing with Conservative Council leaders but the piece in today’s Financial Times from Sir Merrick Cockell (former leading light amongst the Conservative Councillors Association and now Chair of the LGA) has warned that the days of unquestioned outsourcing belies the reality behind what can be delivered.
News that 70 per cent of Scottish medals winners at the Olympics came from state schools should give some encouragement that the public education system in Scotland is delivering better that the UK overall. But the debate over funding in the last few days betrays the standard tactic of the Right of mounting assaults and blaming the victims.
Thursday, 9 August 2012
If you remember the song 'It wasn't me' by Shaggy sing it to yourself as the background music to this fly-on-the-wall twitter account of the shambolic privatised so called help for jobseekers. A4E? 5E? or simply it can’t be! In the world of contracted out services no one it seems takes responsibility – other than of course shifting the blame onto immigrants. You really couldn’t make it up.
Wednesday, 8 August 2012
August is usually the quiet month in the political calendar, the sleepy summer season where our parliamentarians take themselves off to foreign climes for a spot of R’n’R, and re-acquainting themselves with their loved ones. Not only our ministers and MPs but the political correspondents, the Pollys and the Andrews, for whom politics is a spectator sport concentrated on the London Arena (sorry, Houses of Parliament).
..Labour Deputy Leader Harriet Harman MP warned a few months ago about the impact of Con Dem cuts in the capital city: "This is a worrying time for arts and culture in London. The Government has cut funding for the Arts Council by 30 per cent, hitting valuable cultural organisations big and small across the capital. The Royal Opera House has had its funding cut by 15 per cent, the Institute of Contemporary Arts by 42 per cent. The pioneering contemporary dance company, The Cholmondeleys, lost all its funding and had to close".
'30 years of hurt' went the famous football song from Euro 96. The same might be said about the income distribution trend and wage stagnation in the UK, with many workers earning less today in real terms than in the 1980s since when the proportion of the workforce in low paid jobs has doubled. Stewart Lansley writing in the Guardian spells out these facts and concludes that a continuing squeeze on pay 'is merely likely to prolong the crisis, while opening an even wider pay gap and taking Britain further down the road of a low-paid economy'
Tuesday, 7 August 2012
UNISONActive has endorsed the democratic process of the union in relation to the ballot on the LGPS proposals for England and Wales, particularly in regard to the Local Government Service Group. This was not a process imposed on the union by officials. It was the decision of the local government conference.
The Observer ran a good feature this past weekend on the women changing the trade union movement, though disappointingly they failed to acknowledge the work of Heather Wakefield of UNISON who has presided over two major industrial disputes in local government which saw more women than ever take action in modern Britain. However the piece on women in the movement is a case of bitter sweet.
Monday, 6 August 2012
Women officials have the visibility.
Women as shop stewards, branch secretaries and at regional level have the real power.
Because women are taking charge in the workplace.
For details of the London event (which will be chaired by Jeremy Corbyn) and others throughout the UK see the CND website: http://www.cnduk.org/get-involved/events
Sunday, 5 August 2012