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

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Congress Voices 2012 - It’s that time of year again!

#tuc12 The TUC is providing a useful one-stop shop for news and views on its 2012 Congress which starts in Brighton tomorrow – a must read website during the next week:

Home of the slave, land of the sleaze by John Tomlinson

My name is truth; but you may know me as justice, honor or even common sense.
I don’t know your individual names - there are just too many of you to remember.
You didn’t listen when I told you they had decimated the Bison
you ignored me when I spoke about their genocide of Native Americans
you suggested that plantation owners did not have slaves

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Women bearing brunt of Con Dem austerity - O'Grady

#TUC12 Ahead of next week’s annual Congress, Frances O’Grady, TUC General Secretary designate, sets out her stall in a wide ranging Guardian interview today. The impact of con Dem austerity on women workers is strongly highlighted: "You'd be forgiven for thinking that this was part of a back-to-the-kitchen-sink campaign. When you look at what's happening, with women being hit hardest by job losses, service cuts, threats to take away employment rights, pay depression, rising bills and lack of childcare … You could be forgiven for thinking that there is a plan here."

Red Paper alternative- independence or people power

As the SNP again launches its independence campaign with no more detail than the last few launches, a new left campaign in Scotland rejects the SNP’s version of independence while also rejecting the policies of those content with the status quo. "The referendum offers an opportunity to ask more far reaching questions about the future of Scotland and what type of society we want to live in", says a  Red Paper Collective pamphlet.
..Redpaper.net is a group of trade union, academic and left activists looking at the national question in Scotland from a class perspective.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

ETUC condemns 'Troika' austerity madness

The ETUC has slammed the harm that the forced EU-ECB-IMF 'Troika' austerity programme is causing to Portugese workers and citizens and that has "impoverished millions of citizens in Europe and stifled all opportunities for recovery."

Zero-Hours Contracts are undermining decent employment in the NHS

We have been told by the Government that the NHS reforms are about improving quality, and patient choice. The reality though is about increasing privatisation and delivering services with less national funding. Already there is an increase in the pace and breadth of privatisation, seeing the likes of Circle Healthcare, Virgin Health to name just two taking over the running of services.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Colombian trade unionists' lives in danger

The TUC's Brendan Barber has written to the Colombian ambassador expressing concern for the safety of President Oscar Arturo Orozco (pictured) and Secretary General Wilson Jaramillo of the Caldas branch of Central Unitaria de Trabajadores (CUT) after they were shot at on the way to a meeting with local fishermen.

Patricia nobbles minister on welfare cuts

The latest issue of Union Post carries a pic of UNISON Northern Ireland regional secretary Patricia McKeown button-holing Stormont health minister Edwin Poots as he rushed back to work during the unions' June 25 protest against welfare cuts. See the story and more ICTU news at http://www.ictu.ie/publications/fulllist/union-post-august-2012/

Suffolk police petition at Burston as Crow calls for cuts strike

UNISON Suffolk police branch members took their petition against cuts and privatisation to the Burston Strike School Rally on Sunday as over 1,000 gathered at the annual event celebrating the longest-running strike in British history. The RMT's Bob Crow told the rally "It's 98 years since Burston yet the same attacks are taking place now. We should be doing what the Spanish workers have done and the Greek workers have done and have a general strike."

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Communities rise against fascists

Racists were sent packing in Dundee and Walthamstow yesterday as communities joined together to drive hate off our streets. The numbers, hope and inspiration of people who joined ‘Dundee Together’ and ‘We Are Waltham Forest’ dealt another major humiliation to the SDL/EDL hatemongers.

Making sense of the Con Dem Destruction of Education

The education system in England will have changed beyond recognition by the time of the next General Election in June 2015. Over one thousand education institutions will have been dismantled or reformed into academies, free schools or studio schools beyond the reach of local education authorities. The privatisation and shared service agenda is rampant and today’s ‘Academy Chains’ are tomorrow’s private sector monopoly education providers. Professor Diane Reay in a CLASS think piece explains what it may take to achieve a socially just education system - ‘there is a damaging ‘poverty of aspiration’ in Britain that lies not in the working classes but among our political elites. Yet what UK society needs, more than anything else in the contemporary moment, is greater equality and less social and economic distance between its citizens’

It won’t work out this way by Maya Sarishvili

It won’t work out this way,
Even if you tip over a whole forest,
You won’t be able to find a single root anywhere.
The universe, when not fixed to the earth,
Is like a terrible dream.