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

Saturday, 1 March 2014

UNISON members fight pay cuts at Care UK

On Thursday UNISON members employed by Care UK in Doncaster Yorkshire, commenced seven days strike action in protest at pay cuts. The 150 learning disabilities workers are facing up to 50% loss of earnings following transfer from NHS employment to the private sector care provider. Agenda for Change conditions of service including annual leave entitlement and weekend enhancements are being attacked:

Late Night Bulletin by Dorothy Hewett

Oh! put the Geiger counter on
The fish from Galilee,
Christ's walking on the water
And the fallout's in the sea.

Anchored off the Marianas,
Raising sleepy eyes,
Japanese fishermen
Saw a false sunrise.

Friday, 28 February 2014

Consultation on next steps in HE pay dispute

#UNHE14 Yesterday the UNISON higher education conference decided to consult branches on next steps in the long running joint union 2013 pay dispute before committing to further strike action. Following three days of joint union national strike action and selective walk outs by academics union UCU, a commitment has been secured from the employers to enter into exploratory talks on the 2014/15 pay round. These talks offer the potential for a breakthrough pay settlement which will address staff grievances about low earnings in the sector. If not, further action will be necessary including a possible UCU marking boycott in April:

Thursday, 27 February 2014

The madness of NHS data mining

An unbelievable report in Tuesday’s Daily Telegraph reveals that Atos has been given the contract to extract patient records from GP surgeries as part of the NHS data sharing scheme. The data is already open to data mining by pharmaceutical firms (arguably an ethical dimension for research into health/ill health correlations on issues like obesity) but would anyone seriously trust ATOS? These are hugely complex (and commercially valuable) data sets with every risk that swathes of data that could be depersonalised and end up being in the public/commercial domain!

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Why Labour needs to commit to LEA accountability

It is not surprising that the Academy experiment is showing serious signs of failure. Deregulated education models, a laissez faire approach to standards and replacing experienced education professionals with enthusiastic amateurs is a recipe for the failure we are now seeing with no less than ten E-Act academy schools seeking ‘new sponsors’ after Ofsted raised serious concerns.

Monday, 24 February 2014

The servant problem

Just when you thought that you had read the ultimate drivel justifying welfare benefit cuts, another idiot makes the blood reach boiling point. The case in point this time is Janet Street Porter in Sunday’s Independent. In case you missed it, the entire piece is reproduced here:-

"One in four households now have servants, paid to carry out tasks we haven't the time or can't be bothered to do, according to a survey. Since the recession, more homes have three or more generations living together. In spite of this, more homes now hire in labor than in Victorian times; in 1870, one in six homes had paid help.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Unpaid overtime rife in public services

‘Unpaid overtime is more common in the public sector, with more than one in four public servants doing unpaid overtime compared to around one in six of workers in the private sector. More than a quarter (27.4 per cent) of public sector staff did unpaid overtime of at least an hour a week in 2013, up from 24.8 per cent in 2003. The average amount of unpaid overtime done by these staff is 7 hours 42 minutes a week’ according to a new analysis of official figures published by the TUC:

Greencard by Yehia Jaber

Who needs a visa
To cross the Atlantic
America is coming
And we are all waiting
Inside the Wimpy Cafe