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

Saturday, 26 December 2009

UNISON members to strike against Sodexo & North Devon NHS Trust‏

UNISON members at the North Devon hospital Trust employed by Sodexo have voted by a massive 97% in favour of strike action over unpaid wages and conditions going back over 3 years to 1st October 2006.

Friday, 25 December 2009

Agency Workers – stop talking start doing‏

The TUC has published its response to Government consultation on draft Regulations which supposedly implement the EU Temporary Agency Worker Directive into UK law. The TUC correctly concludes that ’the new Regulations must include more effective anti-avoidance measures to prevent unscrupulous employers and agencies avoiding the new rights by moving agency workers between jobs within the same workplace, or by rotating agency temps on short-term assignments between different employers’.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Public Library service under review‏

On 1 December 2009 the Government launched a two month consultation seeking the views of a wide range of people on the future of public libraries.The Bookseller reports that UNISON is to hold a "People's Inquiry" into the public library service in the New Year.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Butcher Mandelson cuts £500m from universities funding‏

Yesterday’s announcement that English universities will have £500m less to spend in 2010/11 has been fiercely condemned by the leading higher education unions UCU and UNISON.

TUFI - interfering in the internal affairs of Palestinian trade unions‏

Delegates at trade union conferences in Britain may have come across the Trade Union Friends of Israel (TUFI), the insidious apologists for the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine. TUFI is always on the outside looking in at trade union events and it is widely understood that its influence in the higher echelons of the Labour Party and TUC is inverse proportion to the presence of TUFI supporters in democratically elected rank and file delegations.


Venezuela has expressed deep disappointment with the Copenhagen talks on climate change. President Chavez stated that developed countries - especially the US – should have acted more decisively as they bear the major historic responsibility for causing climate change.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Competition 'efficiencies' cost consumer £11 per parcel!

As the private sector, and right wing politicians continue to demand more competition in the delivery of public services, one consumer of postal delivery services - a service that has been exposed to competition - has found that 'choice' has meant an extra cost of nearly £11 per parcel this Christmas. See Dave Watson's story at UNISON Scotland

Eurostar - a highly effective strike which the media buried in snow‏

Last Friday Eurostar staff walk out on a 48 hour weekend strike after talks over pay collapsed. Intransigent management boasted that "Eurostar will operate normally over this weekend and the Christmas period. Threatened industrial action by one UK rail union will not affect Eurostar services". 70 members of train drivers' union Aslef took strike action over pay differentials in the company. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/6837897/Eurostar-staff-walk-out-on-weekend-strike-after-talks-collapse.html

Sign Alison's Gaza letter today

To John Ging, UNRWA Director of operations in Gaza
As people living in Scotland we are writing to let you know of our support for what you peacefully and constructively are trying to do in Gaza, in very difficult circumstances, to fulfill the mandate of UNRWA in caring for the welfare of Palestinian refugees.

The rat-race is for rats - the BA judicial coup explained‏

A timely analysis on the 21st Century Socialism website explains in detail the judicial coup d'etat against the BA workers. It is both a case study in the politics of the British judiciary and a call to arms for BA workers to perservere with the struggle.

ETUC says Copenhagen was an anti-climax‏

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) considers that the outcome of the Copenhagen climate negotiations is a failure at both the environmental and social levels. It is also and above all proof of the institutional collapse of the international negotiation system. For the European trade union movement, the European Union must make a commitment to an urgent resumption of the negotiations. http://www.etuc.org/a/6797

Monday, 21 December 2009

IBM takes on services in Essex as part of £5bn privatisation deal‏

Today's Times reports on a new strategic partnership between IBM and Tory controlled Essex County Council. Reminiscent of the 'front line' councils which formed Thatcher's praetorian guard in the 1980's this contract is undoubtedly an experiment with profound implications for UNISON branches throughout Britain.

Revolting Reform is wrong again‏

'Cut 109,000 civil servants, Scots told' read a headline in yesterday's Sunday Times followed by a sub heading claiming that 'think tanks says widescale redundancies would save money and boost ailing services'.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

6 Months are a Long Time

If this government is serious about addressing the issue of youth unemployment, then a commitment and a clear plan is required of them to support these young people, rather than letting them float back to the dole queue after their placement is completed see Graham's UNISON Blog http://grahaminunison.blogspot.com/2009/12/6-months-is-long-time.html

Tiresome Tories & the Labour-Union link‏

The FT, via its political gossip columnist Jim Pickard, reports that once again the Tories are 'set to attack Labour on ties to unions'. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7c21a60c-ec29-11de-8070-00144feab49a.html In a supposed Tory 'offensive' (a Conservative political strategy which pre-dates the very existence of a Labour Party) the Tories are setting out to attack the collective right of organised workers to have a political voice. Possibly emboldened by last week's vitriolic press attacks on the BA workers the Tories see slandering unions as a way of neutralising Labour's effective criticism of their links to Eton and the aristocracy.

Cuba and Copenhagen "Solar Energy is the energy of socialism"‏

Poor and Emerging States Stall Climate Negotiations" by John M.Broder, in the New York Times 12-17-2009 says it all: "If the United Nations climate talks here [Copenhagen] are entering their final two days in virtual deadlock, it is in large measure because of delays and diversions created by a group of poor and emerging nations intent on making their dissatisfaction clear."

Pre-Budget Report 2009: APSE Analysis and impact on local government‏

http://www.unison.org.uk/images/home/pensions1009t.jpg The Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) has produced a detailed analysis of the recent Pre-Budget Report of Chancellor Alistair Darling. It can be accessed on the APSE web site via the following link: