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

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Greek society on the point of collapse?

The Greek prime minister, Antonis Samaras, who highlighted the rise of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party. Has said that Greece is teetering on the edge of collapse with its society at risk of disintegrating unless the the State is shored up with urgent financial aid, the country's prime minister has warned:

The Next Break by Geoff Hattersley

Working for this
stupid agency
they like me too
tired to think straight.

Friday, 5 October 2012

You can’t tackle poverty in Wales without a living wage

The Jury is still out on Gordon Brown but during his tenure as Chancellor poverty amongst those families without work in Wales began to fall to similar levels to those in working but low income households. Top up benefits will never be the answer to all ills but they provided a necessary band-aid on child poverty issues amongst workless families: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-19828167
Now we see the starkest of cuts in Welsh Local Government with a new WLGA report that warns of continuing decline in funding possibly until 2021.

Con Dems set to attack support for the under-employed

The TUC calculates that 3.3 million workers are under-employed in the UK (a figure which has increased by 42% since the 2008 economic crash). Under-employed describes those workers who are doing part-time jobs because full-time ones are not available or who want more hours in their current jobs. The Guardian reports today that 1.2 million people will be affected by loss of state benefits next year when the Universal Credit benefit payment is introduced unless they find an additional job or secure higher wages in their existing job!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Live stream for Russell Tribunal NY session

You can watch all of the expert testimony and jury questioning at the Russell Tribunal on Palestine (RToP), taking place in New York City, October 6–7, 2012, on live stream at Free Speech TV http://www.livestream.
 and on the Russell Tribunal's Web site starting at 10am (5am GMT) each morning and ending by 6PM (1pm).

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

UNISON political fund a 'model example' of transparency

#lab12 A report by the Unlock Democracy pressure group has held up the UNISON political fund - which provides members with the the option to be a member of a General Political Fund, a Labour Affiliated Political Fund, both or none at all, as a model example of transparency:

Social justice key to constitution debate

UNISON's Scottish Council discussed Scotland's future on Saturday. The debate was teed up by Scottish Secretary Mike Kirby's Article in the Morning Star. UNISON has to focus on the vision of social justice we want for our members and without that the whole debate will be a missed opportunity. He makes the eminently sensible point that rushing to endorse either pro or anti - independence camps will do the trade unions' vision no favours.

Progressive tax the answer to funding services

Johann Lamont presented the people of Scotland with some very difficult and very pertinent questions last Tuesday on the future provision and funding of public services. She was absolutely correct that world class public services cannot be provided when funding is being cut.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Political influence must be a two way street

#lab12 At last weekend’s North West UNISON policy weekend an emerging theme was the need to communicate UNISON messages effectively; however it was also obvious to many that those working in the public sector understand it better than those in charge of delivering political leadership.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Labour front bench support for pay freeze 'morally wrong and economically wrong'

#lab12 UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis, in moving composite 2 on the economic alternative to austerity, condemned the Con Dem pay freeze and said that public servic workers expect Labour to do the same. In a clear response to the pre-conference spinning of Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls,  Dave said “to those who believe that driving down further the pay of public service workers will save jobs, I say you are wrong. Wrong morally and wrong economically"  http://www.unison.org.uk/asppresspack/pressrelease_view.alabsp?id=2827 This is, of course, the same Ed Balls who wrote in 1991 that a national minimum wage 'could make poverty worse'! http://unisonactive.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/balls-opponent-of-nmw-supporter-of.html

‘Quantitative Easing? – Let’s have some in our pay packets’ Steve Warwick tells Labour

#lab12 In the first session of the 2012 Labour Party conference, UNISON NEC member Steve Warwick intervened in a constitutional debate to make the case against the public sector pay freeze: ‘members talk to me about how hard it's getting to get by and telling them that Labour's going to freeze their pay isn't going to get them excited." If changing the terms of the debate would make it easier for a future Labour Government Steve said "I don't want a pay rise - I just want to be quantitatively eased!"

French left demand a referendum on EU’s permanent austerity treaty

Tens of thousands of protestors marched through Paris yesterday in opposition to French ratification of the EU Fiscal Compact and in demand of a referendum. President Hollande had famously declared upon his May election that ‘Europe is watching us, austerity can no longer be the watchword’ but next week he is set to secure parliamentary approval for the treaty - negotiated by his conservative predecessor Sarkozy and German Chancellor Merkel - which the ETUC has condemned as ‘leading to permanent austerity’

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Miliband defends the link with union members but not Labour’s federal structure

#lab12 There was a telling emphasis by Ed Miliband when talking yesterday to the BBC’s Andrew Marr. Pressed on the union link, the Labour leader talked up the party’s links with those individual trade unionists that pay the political levy - but gave no acknowledgement of the collective input of unions at all levels of the party in terms of leadership, people and resources:

Child Abuse by Dave Bryan

If we are all
God’s children,
isn’t it about time
the Social Services
paid him a visit?