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

Saturday, 5 July 2014

All systems go for July 10 national pay strike!

#J10strike Enormous momentum is building for next Thursday's NJC pay strike in England, Northern Ireland and Wales with UNISON being joined by GMB and Unite in a united front that has often proven elusive in recent years. Many UNISON branches are reporting high levels of recruitment since last Monday's call to action. Membership confidence has been lifted by decisions this week by the FBU, PCS and NUT to strike and make 10 July a very welcome day of co ordinated action. Each of those long running disputes are broader than the NJC pay strike involving pensions and workload issues but the root cause is of course the same - austerity and the offensive launched against public sector workers launched by the Con Dem government since its first spending review in October 2010:

Bread and Roses by James Oppenheim

As we come marching, marching in the beauty of the day,
A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray,
Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses,
For the people hear us singing: "Bread and roses! Bread and roses!"
As we come marching, marching, we battle too for men,
For they are women's children, and we mother them again.
Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes;
Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses!
As we come marching, marching, unnumbered women dead
Go crying through our singing their ancient cry for bread.
Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew.
Yes, it is bread we fight for -- but we fight for roses, too!
As we come marching, marching, we bring the greater days.
The rising of the women means the rising of the race.
No more the drudge and idler -- ten that toil where one reposes,
But a sharing of life's glories: Bread and roses! Bread and roses!


Friday, 4 July 2014

Avoiding a stooshie becoming a stramash

From a Scottish Correspondent: There's a referendum going on in these parts and it's caused in UNISON what we call a stooshie.

A leading UNISON figure has come out for independence (big surprise) in 'a personal capacity' and 40 Scotland national conference goers (out of 281 - big news) have signed one of those petition things for independence - also in collective personal capacities (if that is not a contradiction).

All this has precipitated a message on the UNISON Scotland website reminding activists that:

Thursday, 3 July 2014

David MacLennan – Plays, Politics and Popularity

I was in Italy when the news came through via a friend on Twitter. David MacLennan, the theatre writer, director and producer, had lost his short battle with Motor Neurone Disease. The co-founder of 7:84 Theatre Company and Wildcat Productions, the man who had been part of the foundation of MayFest, and who created the Play, Pie and a Pint format, who was in a new ascendancy with the National Theatre of Scotland (NToS) commissioning him and David Greig to co-curate The Yes, No, Don't Know, Show, had left us and in particular, left a huge hole at the centre of Scottish Theatre, Political Theatre and Popular Theatre.