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

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Labour should not embrace Con Dem spending plans

Such is the intensity of Con Dem propaganda about the 'profligacy' of Labour Governments prior to 2010, it's often forgotten that Labour's 1997 General Election contained a manifesto pledge to accept Tory spending plans for its first two years in office. As the next election draws closer, there are conflicting reports about Labour's plans for 2015 onwards. Yesterday's Independent ran a welcome report that 'Ed Miliband and Ed Balls will reject the more cautious approach – adopted by Tony Blair in 1997 – of sticking to the Tory government’s public spending limits in favour of a “new economic settlement” for Britain.'

Evaluation by Fiona Ritchie Walker

When I ask her age she shrugs.
She is very old, her neighbour says.
The translator raises the palms of his hands.

Maybe we can calculate
using dates they remember.
A flood, fire, even times of violence.

So I sit while they discuss
happenings in their village and country,
then write in my notebook
about 50.


Friday, 19 April 2013

Mutually exclusive?

As local authorities are now obliged to consider employee bids to run local services under the guise of coops or mutuals, and also obliged under the same provisions in the Localism Act to disclose senior pay levels, it is logical to assume that pay transparency reaches across all those delivering public services. It seems not.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

NHS Section 75 revised regulations a charter for privatisation

A coalition of charities, including Marie Curie Cancer Care, Sue Ryder and Help for Hospices, have come out in opposition to Con Dem plans to privatise the NHS. Today’s FT reports that Government plans to impose a requirement on GP led commissioning groups to tender almost all services will result in in the traditional NHS voluntary sector being squeezed out by private sector companies:

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

The creeping attack on the right to strike in public services

A defining feature of successive Thatcher led governments during the 1980's was their systematic attacks on trade union rights. Now the TUC is raising the alarm about a new round of anti union legislation starting with the Crime & Courts Bill which will remove the right to strike from 3000 civil servants working for the National Crime Agency:

Key Irish Unions reject austerity driven concessions

Membership ballots of general union Siptu and teachers union INTO have decisively rejected the proposed new 3 year agreement between the Public Services Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) and the Irish Government. The proposals would lead to longer working hours, an increment freeze, pay cuts for higher earners and other detrimental measures. Previously the Government had threatened to impose cuts through legislation and - given the failure to secure sufficient workforce consent for a €1 billion reduction in the public services pay bill - such an approach could lead to unprecedented levels of industrial action after years of social partnership in Ireland:

Red Wednesday

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Stop the Con Dem public sector jobs carnage!

A new report by economist Dr John Philpot estimates that a further 340.000 public sector jobs will be cut by the time of the next General Election on 7 May 2015. This doomsday scenario is based on Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) projections that almost as many public sector jobs will be cut in the next two years as have already been cut in the three years since 2010. This gives added urgency to union campaigns against austerity measurers and for stronger resistance to job cuts at local level:

Monday, 15 April 2013

Venezuela – respect the will of the people

Following the election of Nicolas Maduro, a close ally of the late Hugio Chavez, in yesterday’s Venezuelan Presidential election, 150 British politicians, trade unionists and leading people from public life have called for the result to be respected: “it is for the Venezuelan people alone to choose their next government, free from any external intervention and that governments around the world should respect the official results”

Sunday, 14 April 2013

So here I am sane by David Floyd

I am a council-sponsored professional discharging my duty to make positive small talk and change the subject