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

Saturday, 21 May 2011

One battle at a time

The Con Dem Employers' Charter, launched in January by Business Secretary Vince Cable, is not the fundamental attack on workers' rights we expected writes Gregor Gall. Instead the Government is prioritising its attacks on the welfare state: http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/104873

When it's a notion by Bertolt Brecht

When it's a notion
When it's still vague
It is praised.
When it looms big
When plans are in motion
Objections are raised.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Keep Up On Pensions

While as a union our main focus has been on the threat to our occupational pensions, there is a wider context to the debate that is around the state pension. UNISONActive recommends http://www.touchstoneblog.org.uk/2011/05/more-broken-promises-women-and-the-state-pension-age/  to keep up with the debate

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Making a reality of the Palestinian right of return

Amidst all the coverage of the Arab Spring, equivalent developments on the Palestinian question have perhaps received less attention. In this Guardian article Karma Nabulsi highlights how a new generation of Palestinian refugees trying to make "the right of return" more of a reality than a slogan: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/may/19/nakba-day-palestinian-summer?INTCMP=SRCH

UNISON Centre opening ceremony

Yesterday UNISON NEC members, regional convenors, past Presidents and all national staff met at 130 Euston Road London to mark the opening of the union's new national centre. General Secretary Dave Prentis and President Angela Lynes unveiled a plaque and made brief speeches outlining their pride in the union's achievements over the past 18 years and addressed the difficult challenges ahead:

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Greek Public Sector Workers Face Mass Sackings and Privatisation

With fury mounting from EU bankers over the lack of progress the recession-hit country has made in implementing reforms in return for loans, the government said on Tuesday that it would forge ahead with mass layoffs in the one million strong state-sector.

Young Members Organise!

In Cardiff last weekend, about a hundred young members came together for UNISON's national young members weekend. In a change to the normal workshop format, delegates this year had the chance to put theory into practice there and then - out in the streets!

Trident announcement Wed 18 May

On the afternoon of Wednesday 18 May the UK Government will announce their plan to spend several billion pounds over the next five years on new nuclear-armed submarines. The statement will be made to MPs in the House of Commons.

The Co-op good with food. Bad for public services

The co-operative ideals of mutualism and fairness allowing affordable food, local distribution and the payment of a dividend (the famous co-op ‘divvy’) have long been held in warm regard by the left across the UK and indeed in Europe. But perhaps it is time for the left and the Blairite caucus (aka David Miliband's resurgent acolytes) to take off their rose tinted glasses and look at this latest development from Co-ops UK: http://www.egovmonitor.com/node/41983

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Is The Labour Party In Scotland Worth Saving? UNISONActive debate

UNISONActive has previously analysed the elections results in Scotland pointing out that the electors voted against the cuts by supporting the party making them, the SNP, and fell for “The SNP’s unashamedly populist fib that we can have public services without paying any taxes (latterly borrowed by Labour)”.

The Non March for No Alternative

From a UNISONActive reader: You had a brief mention of the Tax Dodgers Alliance et al's rally for the Creation of Public Squalor (or whatever they called it) on Saturday.

Monday, 16 May 2011

UNISON Report: Case for PFI even weaker

UNISON has produced a new report that warns about the high cost of PFI. The report shows that PFI is not value for money but the Coalition and the Scottish Government are both continuing the “chronic waste of public money”, despite strongly criticising it in opposition.

UNISON Young Members hit the streets of Cardiff‏

This weekend saw nearly 100 UNISON young members on the streets of Cardiff spreading the word about the union's Million Voices campaign, and getting members of the public to sign up in support.

ETUC holds Congress as Social Europe falls apart at the seams

The ETUC Congress, which is held every 4 years, opens today in Athens. Proceedings will be dominated by the austerity measures implemented by Governments across Europe which are all, regardless of their notional differences as conservatives, liberals or social democrats, committed to neo liberal policy prescriptions of draconian cuts in public services, pay, pensions and social security: http://www.etuc.org/a/8588

Pay restraint is holding back economic recovery

Chris Wright, writing on the TUC’s Touchstone blog, argues for an economic strategy based on increasing wages to help stimulate demand: http://www.touchstoneblog.org.uk/2011/05/collective-bargaining-and-wage-driven-growth/

UNISON highlights continuing PFI waste

The FT reports on UNISON criticism of the Con Dem Government for pressing on with billions of pounds worth of private finance deals for public projects - despite a Tory manifesto commitment to dump PFI. UNISON's critique of PFI has been supported recently by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1d8d0c36-7f25-11e0-b239-00144feabdc0.html?ftcamp=rss#axzz1MSJVZ29a

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Banners bright on 26 March

Gregor Gall comments on the roll call of banners on the 26 March demonstration in London. 191 from UNISON branches and regions were logged in the survey conducted by the Socialist Worker newspaper: http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/104635

The four minute war by Heidi Williamson

The four minute warning is over. It was a test.
The birds are gone. The grass grows towards the sun.
The snow is not ashes from the blast. It was a test.