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

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Right Hand/Wrong Ink by Laura Taylor

A ragged-arsed philanthropy
fuelled by knowledge based on faith;
a myth-making ‘reality’ echoes in your throat.
The Money Trick you swallowed
works your tongue and teeth and lips,
and you claim a status eagerly,
handed down by men insane
with greed and acquisition:
“This is how it’s Always Been”

Union organised trams roll out in Edinburgh

The first trams for 60 years rolled out in Edinburgh this morning with 95 per cent of their workers members of a union.
   The success was recognised by the STUC in April when it awarded Unite reps at Lothian Buses the first STUC organising award. The reps were praised for helping tram colleagues set up union structures long before the first passenger was carried.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Declining Pay – What solution to a long term problem?

There is no quick fix solution to reversing the long term decline in the share of wealth received by workers over the past 30 years argues Stephen Smellie, Deputy Convenor of UNISON Scotland. While the current upsurge in pay militancy is a welcome antidote to the low levels of industrial action since the national pensions in 2011, the labour movement must commit to ‘a sustained strategic, political and industrial campaign to change the structure of wealth distribution, workplace democracy and relative power within the workplaces and society. No matter the result of the current ballots, the campaign for a fairer distribution of wealth to the workers through higher wages and increased benefits and universal services must be built and continued’

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

First they came for the Police Federation? Not quite..

Does Theresa May’s authoritarian attack on the non-TUC Police Federation last week herald an intensification of the Tories’ war on trade unions? The Guardian appears to think so - ‘it's a fair bet that, if they are in power again after next May's general election, they will go after other public sector unions, the Prison Officers Association, Napo, and the Fire Brigades Union; before long even Unison and the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) could be under siege.’

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Probation services on death row

A new TUC report examines the outsourcing of offender management in England and Wales, including privatisation of prisons, probation and the supervision of offenders in the community. The report, based research undertaken by the New Economics Foundation, calls for The Transforming Rehabilitation reforms (currently decimating probation services) to be put on hold while an independently evaluated pilot is carried out. The TUC calls for a ’unified, locally accountable, public probation service should be in place to ensure one agency has overall responsibility for risk management whilst maintaining important links with local communities’. The big question is whether Labour is listening to that call as the 2015 General election draws nearer?

Liberty by Dambudzo Marechera

the waters rushed down
upon the gnarled bush
writhed in profile

the waters unleashed their scything
flood powers
wild scattering of primeval beasts
rose into hoof-pounded
crescendo, as –