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

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Public sector productivity - no pride just prejudice‏

The usual suspects at the Torygraph took great delight yesterday in running a piece on a fanciful bit of research by a consultancy house that attempted to portray public sector as wasting two thirds of their working time. It was a stunning piece of PR.

Pathfinder Mutuals - more a Chinese lantern than a pyrotechnic spectacle‏

My youngest daughter had a school holiday nightmare sleepover. You know the ones that start off as a couple of friends over for a movie and a sleep and then you end up with half the neighbours kids, with giggles and fights intermittently until four in the morning. This one was more horrendous than most as she insisted that we let off some Chinese lanterns.

Hear My Soul Speak by Lowkey‏

I was not born under a rhyming planet,
Just a desperate world, obsessed with wealth,
The quest for sales, pressures precious men and girls to reject and disrespect themselves,

Spending Challenge: back with a whimper‏

The Other Taxpayers Alliance reports on the farce of Chancellor Osborne’s Spending Challenge and amidst thousands of banalities spots some progressive demands which have slipped through the Treasury’s net:
• Privatisation costs money
• Support a Robin Hood Tax on banks
• Renationalise the railway network
• Don't cut public sector jobs
• We do not need Trident
• Tax the rich more

Friday, 20 August 2010

Public sector pay strike underway in South Africa‏

COSATU affiliated public sector unions commenced an indefinite pay strike on Wednesday after rejecting a government offer of a 7% rise. Over 1 million workers are taking part in the action.

Con Dem cuts undermine equal pay progress in public sector‏

A Chartered Management Institute report indicates that gender pay discrimination remains deeply embedded in the UK labour market, particularly in private sector businesses. http://www.managers.org.uk/news/equal-pay-women-still-57-years-away

Thursday, 19 August 2010

'WorkChoices' never again! - union message in Australian General Election‏

In the 2007 Australian General Election trade unions played a decisive role in defeating the right wing Government of John Howard, derailing the anti union ‘WorkChoices’ legislation.. On Saturday 21 August, Australia holds another General Election and a united trade union campaign is putting union rights centre stage in a campaign of opposition to a resurgent Liberal Party led by neo liberal Tony Abbot:  http://www.rightsatwork.com.au/

Spending Challenge suggestion scheme scrapes barrel of bigotry & consumerism‏

In a suppose era of austerity and war on waste, HM Treasury is pressing on with its bogus public consultation exercise - the Spending Challenge suggestion scheme. http://spendingchallenge.hm-treasury.gov.uk/

Amplifying the role of women in unions‏

The American Rights at Work blog reports on two recent studies of the role of women in modern unions.http://americanrightsatwork.org/blog/2010/08/18/girl-power-amplyfing-the-role-of-women-in-unions/

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Union fury at even more Edinburgh LibDem/SNP cuts

UNISON's Edinburgh branch has reacted furiously to the City Council’s announcement today to cut a further £16 million with 300 jobs to go. It called for an emergency meeting with the council which taking place as this is posted.

UNISON/ver.di joint delegation to Colombia‏

UNISON's joint delegation with German sister union, ver.di, to Colombia made a five day visit to Bogota and Cali earlier this month. http://www.unison.org.uk/international/pages_view.asp?did=11628

TUC cuts through Con Dem 100 days media hype‏

Great work by the TUC - cutting through the media hype about the Con Dem government hitting the 100 day mark tomorrow - and setting out 100 cuts which impact more on the poorest families in the UK.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

ConDems dividing & destroying the NHS‏

‘The privatisation of the National Health Service has moved from the back door to the front door. Profits before patients is the agenda for hospitals, now that the coalition Government is in control’ writes Jill Palmer in Tribune: http:/www.tribunemagazine.co.uk/2010/08/17/divide-and-destroy-the-nhs-%e2%80%93-how-deeply-despicable/  ‘Abolishing the private income rules pushes foundation trusts further away from the public sector and into the private market. It is a fundamentally flawed policy that will replace co-operation with competition as hospitals fight for lucrative private contracts. It will divide and destroy the NHS as we know and love it.

Audit Commission abolition - more rich pickings for Big 4 consultancy firms?‏

The Tax Research UK blog notes that “the audit functions of the Commission will be moved to the private sector. Its research activities will simply cease. So, rich pickings for the Big 4 firms who spent so much supporting the Tory because before the general election there then..”

Pensions are less than half the minimum standard of living‏

Here is all the evidence we need to start to fightback over pensions and make sure we keep the benefits paid out by the NHS and Local Government pension schemes. Pension pots of workers have continued to shrink alarmingly in the past month, leaving 65-year-olds with half the amount they need for an adequate standard of living in retirement, analysts said yesterday.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Organising lessons from 40 years ago?

Following the death of Jimmy Reid BBC Radio Scotland repeated a programme about the work-in from 2002 - "Fighting and Winning: The Work-in At UCS". It is a blend of interviews with the leading figures from the work-in, as well arhive from the time and details from recently released cabinet papers.

Right wing critics wrong on economic inequality‏

The National Equality Panel’s Anatomy of Economic Inequality in the UK, chaired by Professor John Hills reported in January 2010 that there has been a massive increase in income in the top tier of society since the 1980’s and quite staggering increases for a small (but still numerous) elite since the 1990’s. http://www.equalities.gov.uk/pdf/NEP%20Summary.pdf

FW: The case for a one-off tax of the rich‏

Greg Philo, research director of Glasgow University Media Unit has an interesting article on the Guardian website in which he makes a simple but profound point on the supposed financial crisis: “a one-off tax of just 20% on the wealth of this group (richest 10%) would pay the national debt and dramatically reduce the deficit”. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/aug/15/deficit-crisis-tax-the-rich

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Death by a thousand cuts‏

George Galloway, writing in yesterday’s Morning Star, warns that the Con Dem Government is attempting an ‘epochal shift in the way our society is organised’. http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/94033

The truth about the June 2010 Budget - there is an alternative!‏

“There has been so much spin and distortion about the UK deficit that most people would be forgiven for thinking there is no alternative to public spending cuts” says the East Midlands region of UNISON, introducing an excellent on-line presentation showing that there is an alternative to public spending cuts:

Change by Yannis Ritsos‏

Over here we have to imagine many things—
for instance, a window to look through onto the sea.
We look at the sea differently through a window,
differently than from behind barbed wire.