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

Saturday, 23 October 2010

We don’t believe your lies – and we won’t accept your cuts

Expectations were high for the Edinburgh demo. All the signs were that people were building for it. But even then, the turnout exceeded expectations, such is the widespread anger against the unfairness and savagery of the cuts. The anger at a government that “blames the excesses of the privileged on the poor”. Colourful and lively, over 20,000 people marched along iconic Princes Street with one clear message. There is a better way. http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/

20 thousand say there is a better way

20 thousand trade unionists, community groups and members of the public are rallying under Edinburgh castle to say there is a better way.

Edinburgh march under way. Great turnout

Thousands gather in Edinburgh against cuts

UNISON regional convenors hold annual seminar‏

On 21/22 October lay leaders from the 12 UNISON regions held their annual seminar at the NUT education centre in Stoke Rochford.

Sheffield: Some of us more in it than others

"The coalition say we are all in this together. Voters of Manor Castle have already worked out some of us are more in it than others", said Cllr Terry Fox after holding the Sheffield Manor Castle Ward for Labour with 75 per cent of the vote and a 17.5 per cent swing from the Lib Dems. http://www.thestar.co.uk/headlines/Overwhelming-byelection-result-as-support.6594744.jp

Kipling revisited by Alun Rees‏

If you can vote yourself enormous pay~offs
while shutting factories down and sacking staff;
If you can ignore the human cost of lay-offs
and go skipping blithely bankwards with a laugh;

Friday, 22 October 2010

Spending review will hit the poorest 15 times harder than the rich, says TUC

The poorest ten per cent of households will be hit 15 times harder than the richest ten per cent as a result of service cuts announced in the comprehensive spending review (CSR), according to a new analysis published today (Friday) by the TUC.

Deficit deniers? What about cuts deniers?

Nick Clegg was yesterday trying to rubbish the Institute of Fiscal Studies' evidence that, with the exception of the richest 2% of the population, the least well-off would be hit the hardest, and families with children would lose out the most due to ConDem cuts.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Mixed outcome of the vote in the European Parliament on the Maternity Protection Directive‏

“Although we welcome stronger protection for pregnant workers and working mothers, we are disappointed that the vote in the European Parliament on the Maternity Protection Directive would not lead to a fully paid maternity leave in all Member States” said John Monks, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).

We cannot allow the future of our young people to be thrown away

Unions were made for times like these and Kenny Bell's rousing speech to the Northern Public Services Alliance yesterday showed just why. Focussing on the human cost of the cuts, mounting a rallying cry for services, engaging and defending the future of young people and calling for unions, workers, families and communities to stand together against the onslaught, he said Cameron would regret the attacks because "we, united, will win". Read more here and see a video of the speech at http://www.unison-northern.co.uk/ or at http://www.youtube.com/user/NorthernUNISON#p/a/u/1/-FCwN4RS9pQ

North East united against Con Dem onslaught‏

Over 300 people in the North East sent a loud message to the Coalition Government tonight. At a rally organised by the Northern Public Services Alliance the North East sent the message that we are united as trade unions, public sector workers, private sector workers and community groups that we will not sit back and accept the most severe attacks on public services, and the welfare state since the second world war. This is a reigon which understands better than most the impact of Thatcher's policies which destroyed the mines, destroyed our manufacturing base and just did not care a jot about the working people of this region.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

CSR - A disaster for public services, a disaster for employment, a disaster for the UK‏

The mask has slipped- the full horror of the Neo Con government has now been revealed. Those commentators who claimed to see a sleight of hand and predicted that the leaks surrounding the Review were to lay a false trail, so that the actual announcements would not seem so bad should never have a shot at the lottery- their predictive skills would not see a closed door before they bumped into it. At a later date UNISONActive will fully review the economics of the announcement. Today we will concentrate on the politics. http://www.unison.org.uk/acrobat/2010SpendingReviewAnalysis1.pdf

Coalition don't care about housing crisis, says UNISON

From UNISON's Housing News: UNISON has reacted angrily to the housing announcements included in the spending review.  Although the details are still emerging, it seems clear that new social tenancies will cease. Whilst rents and tenancies will be guaranteed for all those currently in the sector, future tenants will pay rents at 80 per cent of the market rate. The coalition have also announced a £4 billion cut to the social housing budget.

Sack half a million: That's the way to create jobs, is it?

Responses from the labour movement to the savage cuts announced by The ConDems today has been swift and unanimous. UNISON's immediate statement that: "George Osborne has condemned the country to decades of hardship and the people to unnecessary wholesale unemployment, with his “ideologically driven, no hope, no ideas, cuts CSR” has been followed by similar reaction elsewhere.

Miami 5 vigil well supported‏

Over 300 attended last night’s vigil at the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square London in an impressive show of support for the Miami 5 – Cuban citizens incarcerated in the USA. An impressive line up of speakers included UNISON DGS Keith Sonnet and London Regional Secretary Linda Perks. Irma Gonzalez, daughter of the imprisoned Rene Gonzalez reported on progress in the campaign to free the 5 and read out a moving message from her father. Many of those at the vigil had come direct from the House of Commons where they had attended the TUC lobby and rlly against public spending cuts. An interview with Irma was published yesterday in the Morning Star and can be read in full on line: http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/96563

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Thousands rally against cuts at Westminster

Thousands of public sector workers have packed Central Hall to capacity with standing-room only as they protest against the coalition government's plans for huge cuts in public spending. Messages from the rally are giving us updates on events.

France - la mobilisation continue‏

A sixth day of action is taking place in France over plans by the Sarkozy Government to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62 and the full state pension age from 65 to 67. On the eve of the final legislative debate in the France Senate mass protests are taking place in over 200 cities and towns across France: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11570828

Challenging the Cuts Consensus - essential reading‏

The Progressive Economic Alternatives publication "Challenging the Cuts Consensus" is now available at:  http://tinyurl.com/challengingcutspamphlet The 40 page e-pamphlet includes articles by Dave Prentis, Frances O’Grady of the TUC as well as a range of economists and leading trade unionists.

Reject the new orthodoxy that cuts in public services cannot be avoided‏

Today union members from all parts of the country will converge on Westminster to lobby Government MP’s about the swingeing public spending cuts anticipated in Wednesday’s Comprehensive Spending Review announcement. The lobby will be preceded by a broad based TUC rally which will be addressed by UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis. http://www.tuc.org.uk/economy/tuc-18533-f0.cfm?theme=alltogether

Monday, 18 October 2010

Venezuelan Opposition Leader Diego Arria denies the Venezuelan coup of 2002 during London visit‏

The leader of the Venezuelan opposition, Diego Arria, has claimed that no coup d'etat took place in the country in 2002 during his current visit to London, despite almost every government in the world recognising  a coup had taken place

Tory Retail Gurus do not know the value of public services‏

Last year plain Simon Wolfson addressed Tory Councillors at the Conservative Councillors Conference and with pseudo guru status was applauded for his analysis of how efficiencies could be delivered in the public sector. Sounding very familiar with Philip Green both men seem to think that their capacity to sell cheap clothes, often made in poorer countries with poor working conditions, somehow gives them inter-galactic powers to understand and ‘fix’ UK public services.

The authentic voice of who really runs Britain‏

The 35 multi millionaire business ‘leaders’ who have co-signed a letter to the Daily Telegraph - opposing any ‘watering down’ of the Con Dem austerity cuts (so called deficit reduction) – are the real rulers of Britain. http://tinyurl.com/34fs8vw  Next time the Conservative Party (or any other governing party) fails to implement maternity leave or agency worker employment rights or, alternatively, tightens up trade union laws on strike ballots or union recognition, this same group and the organisations which represent them, will be calling the shots.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Does Green realise he's arguing against privatisation?

UNISONActive readers will not have missed the irony of Sir Phillip Green advising the government how to save money while quite legally depriving it of the very millions in taxes that could avoid cuts in the first place.

Hang on by Michael Rosen‏

People in power
Hang on;
Dont ask for too much
Times are tough
Don't take more than you earn
Hang on.