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

Saturday, 13 October 2012

UNISON's sword of Police & Justice sharper than ever

Representatives of UNISON's police staff, probation services and Cafcass membership gathered in Cardiff over the past two days for a very successful service group conference. The dominant issue was the growing threat of privatisation in the police and probation services. Delegates unanimously backed the union's campaign against privatisation and staged a demonstration outside Cardiff City Hall yesterday (Friday) morning to show the strength of feeling on the issue.

Playground By Les Merton

a single chain swing hangs,
           half of a seesaw is anchored
                        the side is booby trapped.
graffiti sprays
           walls of shelters littered
                       with cans, bottles, syringes.
within trembling silence,
          the sun glances from cover,
                      a skipping song whispers.


Friday, 12 October 2012

Viewing the Labour Union link through a distorted prism

Tribune reports that former Cabinet Minister Ben Bradshaw MP told a Progress rally at the Labour Party Conference that unions are “zombies” – a splenetic response to pressure from affiliated union leaders for a clean break from the New Labour era: http://www.tribunemagazine.co.uk/2012/10/blairite-rump-will-resist-eds-rebranding/

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Dont believe the lie that we've run out of money

How can you run out of money when its created by using a computer? For far too long we've been conned by the idea there is a finite amount of money and that if we borrow more the 'markets' will bring a government down. This is a total pack of lies. Here we link to an article by Ann Pettifor of the New Economics Foundation which supports UNISONActive's assertions that money creation should be used by our government to support the economy, public services, jobs and infrastructure and without paying interest to the bankers: http://www.classonline.org.uk/blog/item/the-chicanery-of-this-weeks-economics

Obama & Romney – Differences that matter

Given that political elites and the main political parties in the US (and across the western world) accept the neoliberal paradigm of markets, deregulation, militarism and the supremacy of the private sector, it is easy to be cynical about the upcoming US Presidential election. Yet a CBS analysis of the different attitudes to organised labour and workers’ rights of candidates Obama and Romney confirms that no matter how small the differences between them in the general scheme of things, they matter a lot to unions struggling to survive in imperialism’s heartland:

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

The under-paid & exploited social care workforce – a national scandal

‘Unpaid acts of love are keeping an underfunded, fragmented and outsourced care system ticking over, but time is running out’ writes UNISON national secretary for local government Heather Wakefield. A new UNISON report ‘Time to Care’ highlights the atrocious pay and working conditions of the 85% of the adult social care workforce which has been outsourced in England. Between 150,000 and 200,000 earn below the National Minimum Wage and 56% in the private or not for profit sectors are employed on zero hours contracts:

Kent miners keep their history alive

They take care of photos and documents and they even have a yearly festival. Although the coal mining industry has disappeared the community spirit is still alive in Kent. "We are not going to let us be forgotten as miners, in spite of that awful woman Thatcher", Gary Cox says. "We are proud to say that our mining communities are still alive and as strong today as it ever was, despite that awful woman dragging innocent workers into a political war.." Swedish journalist Ann-Christin Sjölander writes at http://acsjolander.se/? p=399 See more about the Kent ex-miners community at http://www.movetheminer.org/

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Share Owning Wage Slaves?

#cpc12 Tory Chancellor George Osborne's proposal that workers exchange their rights of unfair dismissal and redundancy for tax free company shares marks a new low in the debasement of employment rights in the UK. But it is likely to be an attractive option for many private sector employers keen to establish a 'flexible' and subordinate workforce. This proposal for a modern form of indentured servitude should be roundly condemned and resisted by the labour movement including the Labour Party:

Monday, 8 October 2012

First they came for the Civil Servants...

#cpc12 The Tory right, including the Tax Dodgers Alliance and the Trade Union Reform Campaign, led by the discredited Aidan Burley MP who broke French law by wearing a Gestapo uniform in public, are cock-a-hoop at reports that Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude is to launch a draconian clampdown against trade union rights. Arbitrary limits will be placed on time off for union duties and the employment rights of union representatives will be infringed, barring them from promotion. All trade unionists must speak out against this attack - as a matter of principle and in our own self defence - the Tory right are now demanding that the anti union measures be extended across the rest of public sector and basic union facilities such as access to noticeboards be discontinued:

Sunday, 7 October 2012

10 key facts about Venezuela’s Presidential Election Today

Today Venezuela will vote in their Presidential election. In total there are seven candidates but the main choice is between the Hugo Chavez, backed by a coalition of parties of the left and Henrique Capriles Radonski, a state governor backed by a number of right-wing parties in a coalition known as the M.U.D.
Below are 10 key facts for all interested in Venezuela’s presidential vote.

Outsourcing & Austerity - a recipe for crisis in the Third Sector

On Friday a conference organised by the TUC, UNISON, UNITE and representatives of Civil Society organisations, National Association of Voluntary and Community Action, (NAVCA), and National Coalition for Independent Action (NCIA), heard first hand reports on the devastating impact of the government's austerity measures and legislative programme on charities, voluntary organisations, and public services

One Nation?

'There are 10,000 multimillionaires living in Britain with a combined wealth of £700bn, an average of £70 million each. The richest 1,000 people - 0.003 per cent of the population - have actually added £155bn to their personal wealth in the last three years,' writes Graham Stevenson in an incisive critique of unequal Britain ahead of today's lobby of the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham. 'We need a Plebs League for the 21st century that perhaps even the Police Federation could join - once it's affiliated to the TUC':  http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/124697

Dockers' Umbrella by Copland Smith

'They should never have knocked it down,'
he'd say. The Overhead
ran from the docks down-town