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

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Public enquiry into banking - sign the e-petition now!

Here is your chance to get the public enquiry we need on the UK's banking system. Four years since the crash and no one has been made accountable for the destruction of our economy, our lives and our children's futures. This week we have found out the scandals continue with interest rate manipulation and the mis-selling of loans to small businesses. It's time we stopped and opened a public enquiry into the banking system and its cronies. Sign today and pass on to your friends, family and colleagues...we need 100,000 people to sign! Go here now! http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/35421

New Con Dem Bill will undermine worker protections & rights

Despite talk of it being watered down following a universally negative reaction to the Beecroft 'fire at will' proposals, the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, which is making its way through Parliament, contains important changes which will undermine worker protections and rights. These include the use of so called settlement agreements rather than employment tribunals to resolve disputes, the introduction of a rapid resolution scheme for some workplace disputes, a reduction in workplace inspections and enabling powers to enable the repeal of regulations:

Bertolt Brecht in Exile by David Eyre

I know it's an affront
to walk this same promenade
every day past pretty boats
tethered in a foreign harbour

Friday, 29 June 2012

Pay – a fertile battleground to fight on

Gregor Gall has picked up on last week’s NDC speech by Dave Prentis in which he pledged a campaign leading to industrial action on the public sector pay freeze. Although Gall is wrong in his generalisation that pension contributions went up across the board in April (in LGPS there has been no increase), he is correct to identify 3 reasons why a fight on pay has more potency and unifying potential than pensions – its immediacy, its equal impact on all workers’ living standards and the recurring nature of pay bargaining:

Thursday, 28 June 2012

It's no surprise that banks fix interest rates - 15 things you didn't know about money!

As everyone scrambles to condem Bob Diamond and his Bollinger bankers let us step back and consider its no great surprise...this is not the actions of a few corrupt people but the system of private money creation as debt...so here are 15 things about money that will help you understand why this so called scandal happens and will continue to happen unless the system is radically reformed:

Council pay cuts are a false economy

In a Guardian article to mark this week’s Local Government Association (LGA) conference, Heather Wakefield highlights how much local government workers, their families and their local communities are suffering as a result of the unfair decision to freeze local government pay. Local government workers have suffered a 15% pay cut in the past three years and now earn 10% less in real terms than they did in 1996:

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

It's Fair Pay Day in Scotland

Thousands of Scotland’s council workers will be calling on their local councils today to implement the living wage of £7.20 for all staff – a commitment made by both Labour and the SNP prior to the election – and to put an end to the ongoing pay freeze. http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/news/2012/mayjune/2706.htm

GMB & UNISON launch 2 million strong alliance to fight austerity

Hard on the heels of Paul Kenny's very well received address to UNISON NDC last week, the GMB General Secretary has joined forces with Dave Prentis to announce a 'powerful new alliance to campaign against the Tory-led coalition’s damaging austerity agenda'

Workplace Debate: Beecroft v Barber - would making it easier to sack staff create UK jobs? - Telegraph

Brendan Barber takes the lead in vote against venture capitalist Beecroft on whether making it easier to sack people would create jobs. Only takes a minute - if you can bare to read The Telegraph! http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financevideo/9346568/Workplace-Debate-Beecroft-v-Barber-would-making-it-easier-to-sack-staff-create-UK-jobs.html

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Cameron: The Mask Slips Further - The True Horror Revealed

After carefully positioning his party under the brand of “compassionate conservatism” before the 2010 election, little that David Cameron has done in office has demonstrated that he has any understanding of the concept of compassion, that involves empathy, consideration and concern.

Mobilise for 20 October in London

#oct20 The TUC website ‘A future that works’ has been updated with promotional artwork and arrangements for the national demonstration on 20 October. As on 26 March last year, the march will assemble along Victoria Embankment on the Thames from 11AM moving off around noon. http://afuturethatworks.org/

Monday, 25 June 2012

Low Wattage sheds dim light on Union-Labour link

Former Labour Party General Secretary, Peter Watt, writing on the Dale & Co. Blog, accuses the affiliated unions (including UNISON) who have questioned the excessive influence of the Progress organisation, of being bullies, hypocrites and ‘threatening the long term health of the Labour Party’: http://www.iaindale.com/posts/labour-and-the-trade-unions 

Sunday, 24 June 2012

NHS reform could bring Government down - Toynbee

The Reclaiming Our NHS conference held in Central London yesterday, was a major success. A packed hall at Friends Meeting House heard keynote addresses from Frances O’Grady, TUC Deputy General Secretary, and Dr Jacky Davis of the BMA. After eight wide ranging break out sessions and report backs, a Question Time panel session was held including Guardian journalist Polly Toynbee who stated that ‘NHS reform could be the issue that brings down the (Con Dem) Government’:

The Myths of a Green Economy

Greenpeace and global trade unions have slammed as a 'missed opportunity' the Rio+20 UN climate change summit, which ended on Friday.

In a discussion paper written to mark the summit, Ulrich Brand of Germany's Rosa Luxemburg Foundation questions the magic formula of the green economy - 'people have been rhapsodising over the greening of capitalism. At the same time it is clear that somehow sustainable development is not faring so well. CO2 emissions are increasing. Biological diversity is contracting. Famine, impoverishment and social inequality are increasing in many countries'

The Leader Seeks to Retire by Alan Dunnett

from the Civil War series of poems
Then we started fighting among ourselves,
disagreeing about what should be right.
All this while, we had not been getting fat
as the gruel was thin, thinner by far
than the thick, rich soup the sleek burghers smeared
on their soft, plump lips as they slurped it down.