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

Saturday, 16 June 2012

New LGPS 2014 (and the old Miserablists)

'LGPS 2014 is potentially a bloody good deal won by our negotiators and our collective action. A perfect deal? No deal is ever perfect but this is really as good as it gets. But the members should decide.' John Gray's blog analyses the deal and slams 'sectarian' opposition as UNISON's Local Government Service Group gears up to debate the issue tomorrow. http://grayee.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/new-lgps-2014-and-old-miserablists.html

Central Banks Fire Up the Printing Presses

On the eve of Greek elections, Europe's central bankers are hoping to avert a financial panic by signalling their readiness to create money to support banks. While continuing to use austerity programmes and attacking the living standards of working people. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18444253

Arcadia by Miggy Angel

When a bloated tower-block for the rich
is erected in a rundown neighbourhood
the locals stand at the perimeter
looking up at the solar reflections
in a thousand clear panes
like enchanted pagan witnesses
of Aurora Borealis

Friday, 15 June 2012

Workfare - it don't work and it ain't fair

The TUC has rejected this week’s Government proposals to extend the mandatory work activity scheme - which will force people without jobs to work for free - as ‘punishing people without jobs’
  A useful TUC Charter on work experience can be accessed here:

Thursday, 14 June 2012

TUC polling exposes pitfalls of regional pay

It is widely believed that Con Dem plans to introduce regional pay variations in the public sector will have a detrimental impact on the UK's regional economies, according to extensive polling conducted by the TUC.
  TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said ‘This research shows that the government really needs to stop, listen and think again on regional pay. These are plans that could see over two million public sector workers suffering an almost permanent pay freeze. Taking money out of the pockets of hardworking dinner ladies, teachers and nurses will not only increase the financial pressure on already hard-pressed families but in undermining their spending power will hit also local high streets hard’

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Power for Scotland's People. A Labour Movement View

A debate on the Left alternative to the ‘sterile argument between unionists and nationalists’ on Scotland’s future will be launched by the new ‘Red Paper Collective’ at a seminar in Glasgow on 23 June. Reflecting the UNISON and STUC positions of starting with the position of it not being about powers but what we want to do with them to create the kind of Scotland we want to see for our people, the collective takes this a step forward to look at the detail of how best this can be achieved.

Economic crisis a pretext to attack workers’ rights across Europe

The European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) has published a working paper which maps the deregulation of labour law across Europe. Flexibility in labour markets is a central tenet of neo-liberalism and the report highlights a common trend of deregulation ‘either triggered by the crisis or introduced using the crisis - falsely - as an excuse’ including attacks on collective bargaining, eroding protection against individual and collective dismissal, weakening of working time safeguards, rolling back equal rights for workers on fixed term contracts etc: :http://www.uniglobalunion.org/Apps/uni.nsf/

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Privatisation of the public realm

Excellent research by the Guardian highlights the ever increasing areas of public space falling into private ownership – removed from local authority control and under the absolute control of corporate vultures. A prime example being the 42.5 acre Liverpool One complex owned by the Duke of Westminster’s Grosvenor Company - with its own private security force and no public right of way. The Guardian is asking readers to add to its map of privatised public spaces in Britain :

Monday, 11 June 2012

As union membership falls, inequality rises. Fact.

Professor Colin Gordon, writing on the Economic Policy Institute blog, charts the impact of declining union membership on income inequality in the US and finds that declining unionisation accounts 'for about one third of the increase in equality in the 1980s and 1990s':

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Massive economic benefits from Tertiary Education

Research commissioned by the University and College Union (UCU) has found that £227,000 is injected into the economy for every student the state puts through A-levels and a degree. The report states that “as tough strategic decisions are made about where to invest state funds in the lead-up to the next spending review, it is imperative that government and policymakers consider the contribution of tertiary education to creating growth in the context of an uncertain economic outlook and an increasingly competitive global economy”  http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=420223&c=1

While Watching the Clock at Work, I Contemplate the End of Entropy by Carol Tarlen

And what will the rapture look like?

Will files dissolve into dust devils

and swirl off my desk

leaving piles of ashes beside the phone?

Will invoices melt in the xerox?