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

Saturday, 30 July 2011

UCS Work-in - 40 Years on

The work-in began 40 years ago today..“We’re taking over the yards because we refuse to accept, that faceless men, or any group of men in Whitehall or anywhere else, can take decisions that devastate our livelihoods with impunity. They’re not on...The Shop Stewards on behalf of the workers are in control of this yard. Nobody and nothing will come in and nothing will go out without our permission” Jimmy Reid, John Brown's Shipyard 30/07/11 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0wSoRu-Sko

Enforced competition will cause chaos in NHS

‘Competition may make capitalism thrive – but collaboration is more often the key to NHS progress’ comments Polly Toynbee in a review of the battle of ideas which will determine the future of the NHS in England.

What Were They Like? By Denise Levertov

Did the people of Viet Nam
use lanterns of stone?
Did they hold ceremonies
to reverence the opening of buds?

Friday, 29 July 2011

Support the Southampton Strikers - their fight is our fight!

UNISON has launched a national appeal for donations to the Southampton branch hardship fund: http://www.unison.org.uk/

For the latest news on the long running joint UNISON/Unite dispute in opposition to imposed cuts in pay and conditions, visit the regularly updated branch website:

A Warning From History - As Norway Mourns

As a salutary reminder of the horrors still denied by the far right the Sefton Holocaust Memorial Project has now put the 90 minute documentary on the life of Holocaust Survivor Arek Hersh free to watch on the internet at  http://www.arekmovie.com/

US Debt Crisis & Return of the Greenback

Americans no longer have a government “of the people, by the people, for the people.” They have a government run by and for corporations and the banks who have monopolized the business of issuing the national money supply, a function the Constitution delegated solely to Congress.

Pensions strike looms large - educate, agitate, organise

Yesterday’s synchronised announcement of increased contributions for most workers in the ‘unfunded’ public sector pension schemes was a wilful act of contempt by Con Dem Treasury Ministers towards the trade unions and the scheme by scheme negotiations process: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/jul/28/public-sector-pensions-strikes

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Probation cuts are a false economy

"Like so many public-sector workers, probation staff are crying out to escape a heavy burden of bureaucracy and get out into their communities to do their jobs. But the piles of paperwork will only get worse if the government pushes on with cuts that are leading to so-called back office staff losing their jobs" says UNISON’s Ben Priestley: http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/107572

Israeli soldiers attack Jenin Freedom Theatre

Special Forces of the Israeli Army attacked the Freedom Theatre in Jenin Refugee Camp early yesterday morning, according to British production manager Jacob Gough and the theatre’s Swedish co-founder Jonatan Stanczak.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

30,000 public sector jobs lost in North West England

‘The treatment has turned out to be worse than the disease' says Alan Manning of North West TUC commenting on the devasting impact of Con Dem austerity measures on the regional economy:

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Hope Not Hate: Sign the condolence book

I dag er vi alle nordmenn. Today we are all Norwegian. Sign the Hope Note Hate book of condolences at http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/page/s/today-we-are-all-norwegian

Con Dem austerity hurting but not working - TUC

‘The truth is that Osborne's policies have exacerbated, rather than diminished, Britain's economic problems’ writes New Statesman’s George Eaton in response to today’s figures from the Office for National Statistics which confirmed that the UK economy grew by just 0.2% in the second quarter of 2011 – 0.6% short of the 0.8% growth required to meet the Office for Budget Responsibility's 1.7% growth forecast for the year (which Eaton points out has been downgraded three times):http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2011/07/economy-grew-osborne-growth

Recognise Palestine! Deadline today.

The Palestinian people are calling on the world to recognise Palestine as a state. Over 120 countries have endorsed the call, but the US and Israel are opposing and key European leaders are on the fence. If we can persuade Europe and the UK to support this non violent, legitimate bid now, it could spur a dramatic shift towards peace. Click to sign the urgent petition: http://www.avaaz.org/en/independence_for_palestine_uk/?cl=1183972651&v=9727

Monday, 25 July 2011

Beware the politics of the last atrocity

We are all, rightly, Norwegian today. The inhumanity of the events is overwhelming - only tempered by the humanity of the collective response.

Growing income inequality in Britain

A study by the Resolution Foundation has found that the share of the national income going to the bottom half of earners has fallen rapidly over the past 30 years. Workers in the bottom half of the earnings scale have seen their share of GDP fall by a quarter, at the same time as the share going the top 1% of earners has increased by half:  http://www.resolutionfoundation.org/publications/missing-out/

Con Dems split on public sector pension changes

Welcome reports in today’s Daily Telegraph that Tory Health Secretary Andrew Lansley MP has attacked the government's public sector pension changes in a private letter to Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander. He said that parts of the reforms were "inappropriate" and "unrealistic" and that the proposals would hit female health workers in particular: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-14270831

Who Does America Owe?

As the far right republicans and the powerless Democrats drag us all toward another meltdown of the monetary system here’s a quick and fascinating breakdown by total amount held and percentage of total U.S. debt, according to Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider.com/who-owns-us-debt-2011-7

Sunday, 24 July 2011

After Norway - time for the Fascist Redwatch site to be banned

This weekend’s news that the massacre of Norwegian Labour party youth members was carried out by an organised Neo-Nazi – with links to European wide far right networks – is a salutary reminder of the blight on British democracy caused by the fascist Redwatch website.

A home grown alternative to NHS privatisation

Professor Colin Leys, writing in Red Pepper, identifies that powerful evidence against privatisation exists on our own doorstep – namely, the fact that in Scotland and Wales the NHS is working well as a publicly provided and managed system, based on planning and democratic accountability: http://www.redpepper.org.uk/healthy-alternatives/

Notes towards charmed lives by Mike Barlow

for the beautiful
the modesty of a hellebore