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

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Libraries essential to 'equality of opportunity' - Zadie Smith

The Bookseller reports on Zadie Smith's interview on BBC 5 Live on Thursday when she spoke about the importance of libraries as a social resource available to all citizens. "A library is the most simple and open way to give people access to books. I owe my whole life to books and libraries. The library was a place I went to to find out what there was to know." Smith has been an outspoken opponent of library closures which have intensified in the past two years under the Con Dem austerity cuts programme:

Capital Ground by Anick Roschi

Now is the shared time
Of our last riches

To each birth
A drop of water
Thirsty of river

Friday, 31 August 2012

Private Equity’s parasitic grip on social care

'Non-NHS homes are twice as likely to be uncaring or unsafe' was the profound finding of a Care Quality Commission investigation into learning disability care following unannounced inspections of 150 homes for people with learning disabilities. Solomon Hughes, writing in the Morning Star, looks closer at the findings and identifies the transnational private equity firms, some US owned, which are ruthlessly squeezing care standards of the most vulnerable people in society, in of pursuit of high profit returns:

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Cuts hurt everyone

#cutshurt Australia’s Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has launched an impressive Cuts Hurt campaign to resist Government cuts to public services and alert Australians to Opposition proposals to slash and burn the public sector, including an attempt to import Big Society ideology Down Under:

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

A difficult road ahead for Equality

The Labour Research Department has completed the TUC Equality Audit 2012 - which monitors unions’ efforts on equality bargaining - and reports that the political climate of austerity and economic retrenchment is making it more difficult to get employers to address equality issues.
..The 2012 report covers 36 of the TUC’s 54 affiliated unions, accounting for more than 97% of total TUC -affiliated membership. UNISON is one of several public sector unions to report that there has been “a reduction in meaningful Equality Impact Assessments being completed and equality objectives are being diluted”

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Lack of basic infrastructure will make Gaza unliveable by 2020

The UN has issued a report stating that the Gaza Strip, part of the Palestinian Territories and blockaded by Israel and Egypt since 2006/7, is so lacking in basic services that it will be unliveable by 2020. The UN report estimates that Gaza will need double the number of schools and 800 more hospital beds by 2020, and is already suffering from an acute housing shortage:

Pay battle underway in Higher Education

UNISON is gearing up for a UK wide ballot 45,000 members in higher education, including registrars, cleaners, cooks, administration and security staff, following rejection by the HE unions of a 1% offer from the Universities and Colleges Employers. The UNISON ballot will open on 12 September alongside industrial action ballots of UCU, EIS and Unite members:

Monday, 27 August 2012

Debunking the myths and stereotypes about welfare reform

Red Pepper cuts through the prejudices and propaganda deployed by the Con Dem's to justify the Coalition Government's brutal attack on state benefits. For example, the latest Department for Work and Pensions estimates show that in 2011/12 just 0.7 per cent of benefit expenditure was overpaid due to fraud, including a 2.8 per cent fraud rate for jobseeker’s allowance and a mere 0.3 per cent for incapacity benefits: http://www.redpepper.org.uk/mythbuster-welfare-reform/

Sunday, 26 August 2012

In the times of the Phoenix by Carlos Reyes-Manzo

In the presence of hope the royal birds are planetary
they are time space and future
in the imagination of freedom