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

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Osborne's Austerity Exposed As Lies - Treasury Stops Paying Interest on QE bonds

In a move of enormous cheek and deceit the Treasury has changed its accounting rules so it does not have to pay the Bank of England £35bn in interest payments on the government bonds the Bank bought, by creating electronic money, for its Quantitative Easing (QE) programme.

Small Cogs by Louise Wilford

the days wind on,
the teeth of small cogs
driving the larger one
but there are other rooms
where pirate men in ties
cut out our hearts,

Friday, 9 November 2012

Pay the Piper, Call the Tune

A report in the Health Investor magazine is a text book example of the Public Services Industrial Complex at work. A new research study ‘Partnerships for healthy outcomes’ finds that NHS commissioning is 'not fit for purpose' and that 'too few services are delivered by private companies or voluntary sector organisations'. Given that the report was funded by SERCO the outcome is not surprising. What is appalling however is that the panel endorsing the report included not only private sector vested interests but senior NHS managers and the Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation - a body which purports to 'speak for the whole of the NHS':

Thursday, 8 November 2012

National Minimum Wage should rise to a Living Wage - UNISON

UNISON's submission to the Low Pay Commission for 2013/14 on National Minimum Wage rates states that in October 2013 there should be a 'substantial increase to reflect the increased cost of living' and beyond 2013 'the National Minimum Wage should move in stages towards a living wage for all workers' - in current terms this would mean a £1.26 increase in the rate outside of London

Tories hand in glove with SW NHS Employer Cartel

Steve Walker has blogged an interesting account of yesterday's two Parliamentary debates on regional pay in the NHS and the South West NHS employer cartel plotting to break away from the Agenda for Change national agreement. Steve reports on two responses from Anna Soubry MP, the Tory Under-Secretary of State for Health, in which she let slip advanced knowledge of the machinations of the South West employers - comments conveniently omitted from the Hansard record of the debates.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

SEIU hails Obama victory

SEIU President Mary Kay Henry has hailed the re-election of Barack Obama as a 'victory for working people, whose voices were heard despite some of the most coordinated and insidious obstacles to their participation in our democracy in history. When the right wing flooded our electoral process with obscene amounts of money, working people mobilized to energise voters around a better vision for America. When extremist state legislators tried to suppress the votes of broad swathes of Americans, working people responded by standing up for their constitutional right to cast their votes.' Over 100,000 SEIU members took part in canvassing for Obama - making a decisive intervention in swing states behind a union agenda of 'creating good jobs now, requiring the rich and corporations to pay their fair share, to invest in healthcare, education and other vital services and by creating a pathway to citizenship for immigrants'

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Con Dems' attack Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme

Tribune reports on Con Dem proposals to make massive cuts to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. Tory Justice Secretary Chris Grayling MP is driving through the changes which will abolish or severely restrict compensation payments for victims of attacks at work ('including people with sprained wrists and those scarred by knife attacks'):

Monday, 5 November 2012

14 November 2012: European Day of Action and Solidarity

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) is calling for a European Day of Action and Solidarity for employment and against austerity on 14 November.

Pay Freeze is a roadblock to a Living Wage in local government

Living wage week had a high impact launch with yesterday’s Observer article by David Miliband MP and UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis, which stated that ‘poverty pay has no place in the 21st century’ and noted that 200,000 workers in local government are paid below the living wage of £7.20. There is a collective bargaining solution to this scandalous situation. The NJC pay claim submitted last month calls for ‘a substantial flat rate increase on all scale points as a step towards the longer term objective of restoring pay levels and achieving the living wage as the bottom NJC spinal column point.’ What better way for politicians of all colours to institutionalise a living wage in local government by abandoning the pay freeze and holding meaningful negotiations on the union side claim?

Why is there so much debt?

Positive Money blog has uploaded a video which explains that there is so much debt because almost every pound in the economy has to be created by a bank and lent to us. There has to be as much debt as there is money, and the more we borrow, the more money there will be. It’s actually impossible for the public to reduce their total debt as long as banks are allowed to create money as debt. Watch here:

Sunday, 4 November 2012

The market cannot solve the UK's housing crisis

Islington Labour Councillor James Murray writes that the Con Dem Government's hands off approach to the housing crisis (in terms of affordability and scarcity) is failing and calls for state investment in social housing:
  'A comprehensive response means investing in new social housing, with councils – who in many places are landlords with huge stocks – helping to solve the crisis. Investing in new social housing, rather than spending on benefits to subsidise private rents, would help raise the number of new homes, of the sort we need in the places we need them. Regulating the private rental market should play a role in any solution, whilst potential home buyers could be helped through financial regulation, and by looking at new solutions like cooperative models of ownership'

The Knowledge By Dave Hall

And I have been
A Supply Teacher,
Yes, I have known.