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

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Governments are not households - the failure of Con Dem austerity policies

John Lanchester, writing in the London Review of Books, takes a scalpel to the UK's economic performance under the Con Dem's and concludes that austerity policies are failing on their own terms. When creative accounting is reversed and interest from quantitative easing is discounted, the structural deficit stands higher then when the Coalition Government took office in May 2010:

Let there be peace by Lemn Sissay

Let there be peace
So frowns fly away like albatross
And skeletons foxtrot from cupboards:
So war correspondants become travel show presenters
And magpies bring back lost property
Children, engagement rings, broken things.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Statutory Recognition Procedure - Diminishing returns for Unions

'The central trend has been the decline in applications and this may result from the operation of the procedure which has been to discourage unions from making applications, but it also reflects the capacity of the unions to organise. The operation, but more importantly the design, of the procedure places few restrictions on employer advantage in the workplace, whilst an examination of union strategies suggests their limited capacity to generate new recognition claims. Both are a function of the wider landscape of work and employment relations and its political and legal context. This interaction suggests it is unlikely that CAC applications will increase substantially in the future' writes Professor Sian Moore in a preview of a forthcoming book evaluating the statutory trade union recognition procedure which came into force in 2000:

Final session Russell Tribunal on Palestine

The final session of the RToP will take place in Brussels on 16-17 March 2013. The jury of the tribunal during this session, will issue a final recommendation/finding which will take the four previous session of the tribunal into consideration. The following jury members have already confirmed that they will attend: Roger Waters, Angela Davis, Dennis Banks, Michael Mansfield QC, Mairead Maguire, Ronnie Kasrils, John Dugard, Judge Martin Pallin, Miguel Angel Estrella, Stephane Hessel, Cynthia McKinney and Lord Anthony Gifford.
 On Saturday 16th in the evening (from 7.30pm) a cultural night will be organised with bands (TBC) and speakers. So save the date and spread the word!
Frank Barat

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Hunt for excuses... Oppose NHS private firm tax haven proposals

The NHS operates for the public good. Private firms operate for the good of their shareholders. It is entirely legitimate for the state to therefore not collect tax from itself on behalf of itself to then re-spend on the same public services. That would be bureaucracy gone mad. It is entirely legitimate in a fair society to demand those making a profit contribute back into society through taxation.

Monday, 14 January 2013

NHS tax haven for profit hungry private health firms?

The NHS is on course to become a tax haven for private health care companies. Monitor, the NHS 'regulator and promoter of competition' is reportedly sympathetic to private sector demands for an exemption from paying corporation tax on their profits. This is further evidence of the public services industrial complex calling the shots in public policy - this time in a Government commissioned review of competition in the health service. Andrew Street, professor of health economics at the University of York, states in the Guardian that Monitor had "been influenced by industry. This looks like pandering to special interests to me. If companies wanted to provide NHS hospital services and not pay tax then they could do so by becoming charities"

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Ugly face of UKIP

Today's Sunday Mirror does a great job exposing the anti-gay, racist and xenophobic views of some active UKIP members: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/ugly-face-of-ukip-sunday-mirror-1531879

Abominable betrayal of generation who founded the welfare state

John Ashton, the incoming president of the Faculty of Public Health is widely recognised as a health professional who stands up for the NHS - an NHS UNISON members would recognise. He spoke on many platforms last year to oppose the Health and Social Care Bill as it made its disgraceful progress through Parliament where the LibDems led by the saintly Shirley Williams ensured it became law.

Human Beings by Adrian Mitchell

(for the company of the truthful
and beautiful Red Red Shoes
by Charles Way, staged by the
Unicorn Theatre for Children)