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

Saturday, 22 June 2013

UNISON backs 'We Own It' campaign

#undc13 in a wide ranging composite on outsourcing and privatisation, UNISON conference called on the NEC to 'promote the value of public services as the best vehicle for public services and as best value for money for the public purse.' Conference unanimously backed composite B which welcomed the emergence of the national 'We Own It' campaign against privatisation and called for the union to provide financial support to enable its 'campaigning work to continue and develop'

Driving a harder bargain against austerity

#undc13 A key debate on bargaining through austerity noted that UNISON members are faced with 'the most severe economic and political challenges for a decade' leading to widespread attacks on pay and conditions. Clare Williams of Northern region called for UNISON to be 'at the forefront of campaigning and challenging at local, regional and national level.' Full speech below.

Never Mind by Catherine Wagner

The terms given you were: Breathe. That starts it.
Then, do as you’re told, to please them
    and don’t, to discover your mind.
Then you are imperfect
 child, a wanton.
Whence came this agon? Snot and tears,
 hot face, and wretched powerless,
 except to cause annoy. So cause annoy.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Conference stands up for employment and trade union rights

#undc13 Pat McDonagh North West regional delegate moved the first motion of conference, composite G on employment and trade union rights. Pat outlined the Con Dem attack on workers’ rights including fees for employment tribunals and capping of compensation. Full speech below.

'Conference, the Coalition Government is attacking the historic achievements of the labour movement. Our public services, our welfare state, and our employment rights.

International Cleaners Day Sweeps the World

UNI Global union reported that its Action Day for Cleaners has brought out protests and actions all over the world as expected and some are still taking place now. The action was called by a network of shop stewards employed by ISS the Danish multi national (which has many cleaning contracts in the NHS)

Time to sweep the Coalition from power‏

#UNDC13 UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis sets the scene for National Delegate Conference with a scathing indictment of the Tory led coalition government's record in office: ‘Our fight with the Tories isn't just about pay or jobs, nor is it just about opposing privatisation and outsourcing - it's about the kind of society we leave to our children. It's about protecting and defending the rights that our grandparents fought for - our NHS, our welfare state. We will challenge the broken ideology that says markets know best. And we will build support over the coming months among communities and unions to reject Tory Britain and sweep this wretched coalition from power’ http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/134306

Monday, 17 June 2013

Conference Preview - Time to Twist and Shout

#undc13 Oh this year UNISON Conference is off to sunny.... Liverpool. Ferries cross the Mersey, the glories of eating scouse (possibly deep fried, the Liverpool/Everton rivalry, and as much Beatles memorabilia as you can possibly want. What more could the UNISON delegate require? Well, a memorable conference would help.

Platform bashing over pay papers over the cracks

#ULGC13 The high octane after-the-event rhetoric of yesterday's local government pay debate failed to address the elephant in the room.
   Namely the 59% of respondents in the recent consultation who voted to accept the pathetic 1% offer. The 3 minute wonders with their contrived puns and snide attacks add nothing to the ongoing pay campaign.
   Why pose difficult but strategically important questions about the lack of membership support or the GMB's opting out of the pay campaign when you have the opportunity to slag off your own union leadership?
    The solution to UNISON's inaction on pay lies in the branches and regions. Unless you believe in the ultra left theory of the leadership magic wand.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Baby boomers & social care

#ULGC13 #UNDC13 Heather Wakefield UNISON National Secretary for local government took part in today’s The Big Questions on BBC1. The subject for debate was social care and other participants included a representative of right wing think tank Reform.

UNISON to the fore in Belfast G8 protests

Yesterday’s protest in Belfast ahead of next week's G8 summit included a large contingent of UNISON members. The Belfast rally was chaired by UNISON’s Pamela Dooley, Chair of the Northern Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions said ‘there is an obligation on the trade union movement and civil society to stand together to demand a different and better way. We know that we are facing the consequences of a corrupt capitalist system bereft of moral standards. It is a system which puts profit before people and always will. It is a system for the few and not for the many.’

Labour must repeal bedroom tax – Joe Anderson

#UNDC13 #ULGC13 The directly elected Mayor of Liverpool and UNISON member, Joe Anderson, opened the local government service group conference this morning. Trade union rights, blacklisting and facility time featured prominently in Joe’s speech as well as austerity and its devastating impact on his city which is hardest hit by local government funding cuts.

Solidarity with Cuba more important than ever - CSC AGM report

“We are not terrorists, have never been terrorists. We are the victims of terrorists, of illegal invasions, of plane bombings and other attacks. The US should be number one on the list of the ‘sponsors of terrorism’. Not us. Cuba does not belong on that list” said Irelia Lopez from the Cuban Embassy to huge applause from a packed CSC AGM in London yesterday. It was a theme that threaded through all the different contributions on the day.

Undetonated Cluster by Denise Bergman

Tossed, dropped it freefalls
so easily

through the willing, complicit sky
A slender wind