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

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Labour’s 5 point economic plan

Ed Balls writes in Tribune that ‘evidence is now mounting by the day that the Tory austerity plan – spending cuts and tax rises which go too far and too fast – is hurting but not working.’ He advocates five simple measures to generate demand in the economy and boost public finances, including ‘bringing forward long-term investment projects – schools, roads and transport – to get people back to work and strengthen our economy for the future.’ http://www.tribunemagazine.co.uk/2011/10/out-of-touch-government-and-do-nothing-ministers/

Now Sing by James Scully

NOW sing: the guards howling
beat him with obscenities.
        But he did.
His legend is
He was singing
when they shot him.
Even for them, it was too much

they killed him,
they couldn’t kill him enough.

Victor Jara
               sin guitarra,
who’d held out with bloody stumps
                                            and sung

Friday, 14 October 2011

Herbert faces sword of Police & Justice

The Coalition Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice Nick Herbert was given a rough ride yesterday at the first conference of UNISON's reconfigured Police and Justice service group held in Chester.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Jobs crisis in North East: Claire Williams' TV interview

11.3% of the North East workforce are now out of a job - the highest rate since 1995 and the highest of any region in the country, with 142,000 people out of work. UNISON's Claire Williams is interviewed on Tyne Tees Television. http://www.itv.com/tynetees/unemployment-black-spot41491/

Flags Ahoy!

Visitors to Euston Road will be met today by 3 new flagpoles outside the UNISON Centre taking the union’s campaigning message on pensions to the travelling public along London’s busy inner ring road.

Youth bearing the brunt of Con Dem Austerity

Yesterday's announcement that youth unemployment has risen to 991,000 - the highest since records began in 1992 and 21.3% of under 25's eligible to work - is not unexpected, says David Blanchlower, writing in the New Statesman, 'the rise in youth unemployment is hardly a surprise given the government abolished the Future of Jobs Fund and the Educational Maintenance Allowance and reduced the number of university places. This coalition appears to be dead set on creating a lost generation'

The case for a YES vote on Pensions - Dave Prentis

If you can't see this video, go to http://www.unison.org.uk/

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Video of Rene Gonzalez, Miami 5 prisoner, being released from prison

René González -- one of the Miami Five -- was released from prison on 7 October 2011 following 13 years of unjust incarceration. This film -- filmed by relatives of René -- documents the moment the Cuban antiterrorist left Marianna prison in Florida at 4.30am.  http://youtu.be/Ojh-ocSutnw

New poll shows minority support for Con Dem cuts

According to new polling and analysis by the Fabian Society, around half of Conservative voters disagree with the “Conservative ideology of rolling back the state”. 69% of voters (including 56% of Conservative voters) think the spending cuts should only be temporary and that “the Government should increase spending on public services again when the public finances are in better shape”
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tory-voters-believe-cuts-should-only-be-temporary-2330907.html The full analysis can be read here: http://www.fabians.org.uk/images/stories/pdfs/Polling.pdf

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Here we go - pensions ballot underway - Vote YES!

#Nov30 Today marks the opening of UNISON's industrial action ballot in defence of the NHS pension scheme and the LGPS. Over 1.1m UNISON members will receive ballot papers over the next few days. By voting yes in large numbers we will do three critical things:
· We send a powerful message to government
· We show solidarity with all public sector unions balloting or preparing for industrial action on November 30th
· We give negotiators new strength to support our demands

Con Dem public sector jobs massacre worse than expected

A new report by the Chartered Institute for Personnel Development (CIPD) confirms that since April the public sector has shed jobs at five times the rate predicted by the Office for Budget Responsibility. Dave Prentis said in response “the Government’s cuts policy means that public sector job losses are heavier than expected. Every redundancy is a personal tragedy and despite Government claims, the private sector is not able to come to the rescue. There are simply not enough jobs to go around"

Why US unions back ‘Occupy Wall St’

Mary Kay Henry, leader of the 2.1m strong SEIU, the largest trade union in the USA, explains in the Wall Street Journal why unions are supporting the nationwide protests for economic and social justice – ‘the anger of the American people has been brewing for quite some time, and now that it's boiled over there's no bottling it up. The importance of Occupy Wall Street can't be measured by any set of demands. What's more important to understand are the values that unite the protesters and their authentic understanding of what has gone wrong in our economy. We can begin to right the wrongs of our economy and respond to the growing demands of the American people by putting our country back to work and by holding Wall Street and big corporations accountable for the damage they've inflicted on us all’

TUC support for Palestine provokes predictable backlash

Iraq war apologist and professional iconoclast Nick Cohen fulminates in the Jewish Chronicle against the near unanimous decision of last month’s TUC Congress to call for an end to NATO bombing in Libya and for the TUC to review relations with Histadrut, the Israeli union federation:

Monday, 10 October 2011

Westminster Bridge blocked - now the Lords must block the Bill!

Yesterday's blockade of Westminster Bridge by UK Uncut was a tremendous success with over 3000 supporters of the NHS taking part. The Health & Social Care bill will go before the Lords this week and all health unions including UNISON will be mountinng a rearguard action to persuade peers to block the bill:  http://union-news.co.uk/2011/10/unions-join-westminster-blockade-against-plans-to-break-up-nhs/

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Shoot the Fox (metaphorically speaking)

It was arch right wing Tory Liam Fox MP who announced to his US masters back in September 2010 that this country would be committing £20 billion to replace the Trident nuclear missile system at their behest – just as the Con Dem government was gearing up to implement £81 billion cuts in public expenditure by 2015 (with the loss of 490,000 public sector jobs). His current trials and tribulations couldn’t be happening to a better man.....

A right wing 3 way dance on union facility time

Today’s Sunday Telegraph offers the latest instalment of the sustained attack on the statutory right of union representatives to paid time off for trade union duties - waged by the reactionary triumvirate of the Tories, the Tax Dodgers Alliance and the Telegraph Group of newspapers over the past two years:

Cut war not welfare

Among the speakers at yesterday’s 5000 strong London protest to mark the 10th anniversary of war in Afghanistan was Billy Hayes, General Secretary of the CWU, who referred to this year's TUC Congress, and the overwhelming opposition to the war in Afghanistan and support for an end to the bombing of Libya. Billions of pounds had been spent ‘uselessly’ in Afghanistan and billions more would be wasted if the British withdrawal is delayed to 2014 as planned by the Con Dem government:http://www.cwu.org/billy-hayes/?p=376

Rise and Share by Thobile Maso

I am a human being and demoralised
I do things not because I like to
I do things because I have to
I am separated from the soil and the tools