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

Saturday, 19 April 2014

2% breakthrough in HE pay talks

Higher education unions have secured a 2% pay offer for 2014/15 with a minimum rate equivalent to the living wage in negotiations with Universities and Colleges Employers Association. This follows a long running national dispute against pay restraint in the higher education sector which included three days of national strike action in recent months by UNISON, UCU, Unite and Scottish academics union EIS. Unions will now consult on the offer which marks a turning point after five years of falling wage levels:

A Betrayal by Kunwar Narain

Pull him out first. Uproot his house
from its foundations
and make it stand on its side like a cot;
    then lift him up
    and place him
    on the closed door.

    He will be bewildered.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

UNISON Health conference calls for mass action on pay

#uHealth14 After some infantile posturing by the ultra left who embroiled conference in a farcical row with standing orders committee about the structure for yesterday’s crucial pay debate, delegates finally got the chance to show their anger at the Con Dem's attack on NHS workers’ pay.

Christina McAnea, UNISON’s Head of Health moved the emergency motion ‘launch a national challenge to Hunt’s divisive pay strategy’. The motion calls for an emphatic rejection of the government’s pay package for 2014-15 and to make NHS pay the major focus of the Service Group for 2014. Christina announced that there will be a day of action on 5th June.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Moment of reckoning for UNISON in health

#uHealth14 There is a beautiful blue sky and the sun is dancing on the gentle waves lapping the Brighton shore line. All appears calm. But hundreds of UNISON activists are pouring into the Brighton conference centre for the national Health Conference. The delegates are angry and rightly so. It is clear from the off that this year's conference will be dominated by pay.
    Standing orders has admitted an emergency motion on pay from the SGE. Early speeches by the SGE Chair and the General Secretary set the scene and anticipation of the pay debate has hung over the proceedings as delegates appear itching to give the go ahead for a broad based campaign on pay within the service.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Collective bargaining a force for social justice

#stuc14 Collective bargaining is now essential for our economy, UNISON's Jane Carolan told the STUC annual congress in Dundee today.

In a 'back to basics' speech she called for a new manifesto for negotiating rights.

"These rights must be enforced and enforced together-we should not accept half measures or other attempts to distract us", she said.

NHS - A workplace powder keg

#uHealth14 UNISON's 2014 health care conference starts today in Brighton with members reeling from an unprecedented government onslaught. This month a two year 0% pay award was imposed with only a minority of NHS workers at the top of pay grades receiving a non consolidated 1% payment. And this year tens of thousands of health workers face transfer out of NHS employment under a much weakened TUPE regime providing limited protection to pay, pensions and contracts. Christina McAnea, UNISON head of health, writes in today's Morning Star that 'members are angry and that’s why we will be calling for a ballot for industrial action, because enough is enough. It is very rare for NHS staff to contemplate strike action because patients are their number one priority. But rarely have staff felt so strongly about they way they are being treated and rarely have they had so many reasons to feel that way.'

Sunday, 13 April 2014

The more you attack us, the stronger we become says Lenin of UNISON

UNISON members employed as cleaners at London's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) are mounting a long running dispute to secure the same terms and conditions as other staff working at the University. They were outsourced to ISS and under the terms of their contracts they receive statutory sick pay instead of the occupational sick pay offered to SOAS employees. They also receive only minimum annual leave entitlement and do not have access to the university pension scheme. A video of the third period of strike action can be viewed here:

From Street To Street by Vladimir Mayakovsky

The boule-
of years
your faces
grow steely.