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

Saturday, 1 January 2011

A happy and peaceful new year

A happy and peaceful new year to all comrades and friends from UNISONActive. "Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings...While poverty persists, there is no true freedom"  Mandela 2005.

Mother by Nancy Morejón‏

My mother
had no patio garden
but rocky islands
floating in delicate corals
under the sun.
Her eyes mirrored no clear-edged branch
but countless garrottes.
What days, those days when she ran barefoot
over the whitewash of orphanages,
and didn't laugh
or even see the horizon.
She had no ivory-inlaid bedroom,
no drawing room with wicker chairs,
and none of that hushed tropical stained-glass.
My mother had the handkerchief and the song
to cradle my body's deepest faith,
and hold her head high,
banished queen –
She gave us her hands, like precious stones,
before the cold remains of the enemy.


Friday, 31 December 2010

Unions talk tough in New Year messages – 2011 will be the year of reckoning‏

“There are many elements to a campaign. Leadership is number one. Everything else is number two” Bertolt Brecht: The New Year’s message by GMB, UNISON and Unite is a welcome statement of intent and unity by the leadership of the UK’s ‘big 3' unions. It sets out a clear alternative programme to the ruinous policies of the Con Dem coalition government: http://www.unison.org.uk/asppresspack/pressrelease_view.asp?id=2105

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Health pay cuts condemned by RCN – UNISON to decide on 10 January‏

The Daily Mirror reports on strong opposition within the RCN membership to proposals by the NHS employers, backed by the Con Dem ministers, to make pay cuts of approximately £1000 by withholding increments from some NHS grades for the next two years. This being in addition to a Government imposed pay freeze for all NHS workers with salaries over £21 000.

The Con Dem wreckers can be beaten - and so say all of us‏

There has been a surprising but welcome resonance to the various new year messages from leaders of the British labour movement. There is a consensus about the need to fight back against the Government's attack on public services and the welfare state. And recognition of the political fragility of the Con Dem coalition if sufficient public opposition is generated against their destructive policies.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

2011 - the year to take on the Tory Toffs‏

Kevin Maguire predicts that 2011 will be a year of resistance to 'tax rises, benefit cuts, wage freezes, job losses, evictions, bus and train fare increases and so many axed services it’d take me until New Year’s Eve to list them all': http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/opinion/2010/12/29/let-s-make-2011-an-annus-horribilis-for-david-cameron-115875-22812634/

NHS Direct at breaking point on busiest day

NHS Direct faced its busiest day of the year yesterday, with UNISON warning the service was close to breaking point after £20 million worth of budget cuts, reports the Morning Star http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/99248

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Party Funding - the sidelining of Labour's affiliated unions begins?‏

Today’s Independent editorial is cock-a-hoop at its own speculative report that Labour is about to make key concessions on the Union Labour link. It reports that evidence given to the inquiry into party political finance being conducted by the Committee for Standards in Public Life by outgoing Labour General Secretary (and soon to be Lord) Ray Collins has made key concessions on introducing a cap in individual donations (and therefore union affiliation fees):

Monday, 27 December 2010

The reconstruction of Haiti - Cuban solidarity an example to the world‏

As we approach the anniversary (12th January) of the earthquake that killed 230,000 Haitians, injured 300,000 and left 1.2 million people homeless let us reflect and ask why is the situation is no better now than it was then?

The NHS is not safe in Tory hands‏

Before the election it now seems that both parties in the Coalition Government made pledges they had no intention of keeping. The Tories, knowing the public still remember the Thatcher days of the NHS, were at great pains to promise that the NHS would be safe in their hands. As can now been seen these promises were false.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Counter-song to 'The friendliness of the world' by Bertolt Brecht‏

So does that mean we’ve got to rest contented
And say ‘That’s how it is and always must be’
And spurn the brimming glass for what’s been emptied
Because we’ve heard it’s better to go thirsty?