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

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Pay disputes converging for UNISON's big battalions?

Over the last 7 years or so of public sector pay restraint there have been many references to ‘coordination of pay campaigns’ in motions and speeches at UNISON and TUC conferences. Yet (unlike in the 2011 national public sector pensions dispute) conditions for synchronisation of pay disputes have not materialised. Until now that is. In the last 10 days there has been universal anger amongst health workers at the 'coalition’s clear contempt for NHS staff in refusing to implement the PRB recommended pay increase and this week local government unions rejected a 1% offer with all three unions now consulting members on the possibility of industrial action.
    Convergence of pay campaigns in these enormous bargaining units and unity in action of all TUC health and local government unions could see a long overdue challenge to Government public sector pay policy. There could be no more effective trade union response to the much talked about cost of living crisis being suffered by millions of workers in these sectors.

I'm Explaining a Few Things by Pablo Neruda

You are going to ask: and where are the lilacs?
and the poppy-petalled metaphysics ?
and the rain repeatedly spattering
its words and drilling them full
of apertures and birds?'

I’ll tell you all the news.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Police Scotland staff to hold a ballot on strike action

Police staff in Scotland are to ballot on strike action after relations between the force and trade unions have broken down. On top of existing job losses, members have been hit by plans to close four 999 centres, cuts in redundancy terms and and annual leave restrictions due to the Commonwealth Games. UNISON has long warned that the Scottish Government claim of 1,000 extra police is a sham as staff jobs are cut and police officers are used to backfill them.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Is That It Gideon? Another Budget For The Tories By The Tories

UNISONActive budget analysis: The world that we understand is one where living standards are plummeting as costs increase and public sector wages are deliberately held down, where the greatest growth in trade is in food banks, and where inequality increases daily. In our world, public sector workers are constantly looking over their shoulders to the spectre of redundancy, benefit claimants know that the smallest deviation from the prescribed Ian Duncan Smith regime ends in benefits being arbitrarily withdrawn and an entire generation has been condemned to the horrors of private landlordism.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Invest to grow the economy - UNISON

'In order to provide a positive economic outlook for the country the Government must change its policy towards public spending and investment. Austerity should be ditched in favour of a pro-growth strategy involving job creation and a package of early investment in the infrastructure and services our economy needs. By embarking upon a planned, long-term programme of investment in the housing, infrastructure and green energy production our nation needs we can address the tough fiscal future the UK faces and provide the necessary shot in the arm for British industry' says UNISON in an alternative budget report ahead of today's inevitable neo-liberal chicanery from Tory Chancellor George Osborne:

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

If you do one thing today, sign the petition for a #PeoplesBudget

There is an alternative to the George Osborne austerity budget. The People’s Assembly has launched a petition calling for a budget for the majority, not the minority. The petition states;-
“Sign the Petition: For a #PeoplesBudget
The Government should reverse damaging austerity, and replace it with a new set of policies providing us with a fair, sustainable and secure future. We will no longer tolerate politicians looking out for themselves and for the rich and powerful. Our political representatives must start governing in the interests of the majority. We, the undersigned, demand:

COSATU calls on workers to back ANC in May general election

The Congress of South Africa Trade Unions (COSATU) is calling on its members to back the African National Congress (ANC) in the upcoming general election on 7 May 2014. A new document ‘Why workers should vote for the ANC’ sets out the gains of working people since the post apartheid democratic breakthrough in 1994. ‘We are again calling to workers and their families to vote ANC. Only the ANC has the interest of workers and the poor at heart. Only the ANC has a vision to continue changing our country away from the apartheid and colonial legacy. Only the ANC fought, in the face of hard opposition in parliament, for the advancement and protection of workers’ rights’

Monday, 17 March 2014

A pitiful pay rise will not save one job in the NHS

At Saturday's Liverpool march and rally against austerity, Jean Blevin, chair of North West UNISON's regional health committee, gave a rousing call for action on NHS pay in to last week's unprecedented announcement that the Government would refuse to implement the 2014/15 pay award recommended by the NHS Pay Review Board. Read on for her speech.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Anti austerity message hits streets of Liverpool

North West trade unions staged a well supported protest in Liverpool yesterday calling for fair funding for public services. Over one thousand trade unionists and their families marched from the Pier Head to St Georges Hall. Heather Wakefield and Fiona Farmer, national secretaries of UNISON and Unite respectively, addressed a large outdoor rally chaired by Sefton UNISON’s Glen Williams.

Bob Crow by Attila the Stockbroker

There was a man who held his ground.
Fought every inch, and won the day.
His legacy, his members’ lot:
Good work conditions, decent pay.
By Tories and their tabloid dupes
And those who seek more than their share
Just like Millwall, his favourite team,
He wasn’t liked, and didn’t care.