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

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Final warning by Lisa Bellear‏

Our Elders, Olders, respected warriors
have thought and fought for generations.
They have requested I inform this country
of an impending official war. Sadly I am
to convey, there seems to be no alternatives.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Over 1 million take to streets in Italy to back anti austerity General Strike‏

Hard on the heels of yesterday’s general strike in France, today Italian trade unionists have followed suit. The CGIL union federation is reporting mass support for today’s strike against Government austerity measures:

200 attend the Northern region launch of the Public Services Alliance - report‏

With standing room only 200 activists from throughout the region - from Redcar in Cleveland in the south to Northumberland in the North and Cumbria in the East and all the major unions were represented - CWU, FBU, GMB, PCS, Unite, NAPO, UCU. NUT. NASUWT and NTUC as well as UNISON.‬‪

Public Services Alliance launched in the North East‏

A Public Services Alliance was launched yesterday in the North East of England in response to the immediate and ongoing attacks cuts in public spending and the impact on public services. The initiative has arisen from discussions between the Northern TUC, UNISON, PCS and Unite. "The coalition government has made a declaration of war on public services, public sector workers their families and a declaration of war on the unemployed, elderly and vulnerable.... We will resist we will fight we will strike", UNISON's Clare Williams told the launch.

UNISON smeared by Israel lobby‏

Last week at UNISON NDC delegates overwhelmingly reaffirmed the union’s longstanding policy on Palestine and endorsed an emergency motion condemning the brutal military assault on the Gaza aid flotilla, when Israeli commandos killed nine peace activists. http://www.unison.org.uk/conference2010/news_view.asp?did=6190

Massive mobilisation in France in response to attacks on pension rights‏

Yesterday industry, media and public services were disrupted across France as unions staged protest actions against regressive pension reforms. Over 130 000 marched in Paris with up to 2 million people involved in hundreds of other demonstrations in all parts of the country. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-06-24/france-disrupted-as-unions-protest-pension-reform.html

Kingston hospital double whammy against freeze on pay and filling nursing posts

Kingston hospital’s decision to freeze front-line nursing posts will hit patient care hard as well as adding to the burden on existing over-stretched staff, said UNISON nurses at the hospital yesterday. The nurses condemned moves to cut the number of nurses on wards as part of a jobs freeze at the hospital, saying that it flies in the face of pledges to protect front-line NHS staff. The Trust management have stated that they will not replace nurses who leave unless they are “critical”.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

"You cannot hide from the responsibility for the disaster privatisation will bring"

Edinburgh UNISON members demonstrated at a Council meeting this morning against plans to privatise services and up to 3,500 jobs. The Branch hit out at the record of some of the companies being considered for contracts and demanded the Lib Dem/SNP coalition councillors face up to their responsibilities.

General strike in France over pension reforms‏

A one day general strike is being held in France today in protest at pension reforms. The co-ordinated action by 6 union federations follows on from nationwide protests and rallies on 27 May. http://bit.ly/9YWkK5  In a massive show of resistance to anti-worker austerity measures being imposed by the Sarkozy Government, 198 demonstrations will be held across France. >http://www.retraites-cgt.fr/2010/06/20/24-juin-2010-la-france-manifeste-contre-la-réforme-des-retraites/
For more information read: http://unisonactive.blogspot.com/2010/05/french-unions-protest-against-pension.html

The vultures of the public services industrial complex are gathering‏

In spite of all the global and UK evidence that outsourcing fails to deliver it has taken just a matter of hours for Jonathan Cridland to profess that to save money the public sector should look to competition to make savings. It is a thinly veiled call to return to the bad old days of CCT. http://www.publicservice.co.uk/feature_story.asp?id=14466


This Saturday UNISON will be joining MPs from around the region, local councillors and Hartlepool residents to make a public stand against the coalition Government’s decision to cut the funding for a new hospital for North Tees and Hartlepool. The rally, to be held at the cenotaph, opposite the civic centre, in Hartlepool at 2:30pm on Saturday 26th June, will give people an opportunity to sign a petition protesting against the cut as well as signing a letter to be sent to Prime Minister, David Cameron, asking him to reverse the decision.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Budget will lead to public sector jobs carnage - FT‏

The FT reports that ‘hundreds of thousands of public sector jobs look set to go as government departments other than health face their biggest and fastest spending reductions of modern times – a mighty 25 per cent reduction over four years’. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a27ee922-7dfb-11df-b357-00144feabdc0.html?ftcamp=rss

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Save Our Services‏

Around 200 people gathered in Newcastle this afternoon to protest against the harshest budget in recent times. A protest including UNISON, UNITE, GMB, PCS, FBU, CWU, UCU and community groups set out an alternative agenda, and a plan of united action against these austerity measures.

Budget will create poverty across north-east England.‏

Public sector cuts 'war' claim. The Unison union claims public sector cuts announced in the Budget will create poverty across north-east England. http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/1/hi/england/tyne/10381795.stm See pictures at http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/tyne/hi/people_and_places/newsid_8754000/8754851.stm Kenny Bell, from UNISON, said the cuts would devastate the region where almost third of workers are employed in the public sector.

Indexation stealth attack on public sector pension Income‏

With one swish of his pen the millionaire Osborne reduces our income as public sector pensioners. How? By linking our pension income rises to the Consumer Price Index and not the Retail Price Index.


Nurses will not take this lying down - James Anthony‏

UNISON NEC member James Anthony asks “what have we done to deserve these attacks?” in an article on the Guardian’s comment is free website.


UNISONActive Instant Reaction - A budget for the Rich by the Rich to keep them Rich

Note the headlines from today's Budget by the Tories and see if they vary in any way from the predictions offered last week by our own UNISON conference.

Dave Prentis re-elected as UNISON GS with emphatic 102,000 winning margin‏

What a way to celebrate UNISONActive's 1,000th post! After a 6 month long election campaign, Dave Prentis has been elected to serve a third term as UNISON General Secretary.

Dave Prentis re-elected as UNISON General Secretary

Dave Prentis has been re-elected as General Secretary of the UK’s largest public sector union. Voting in the ballot, released today was as follows:

Tackling tax avoidance by the rich would avoid any need for cuts

Tackling tax avoidance by the rich would avoid any need for cuts, Green Party leader Caroline Lucas writes in a letter to today's Independent http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letters/letters-energy-and-austerity-2006770.html

What strange creatures crawl on the net?‏

The internet is awash with unbeliveable nonsense about public sectorpensions, how has a crisis started by bankers ended up with it being blamed upon public sector pensions? Well the answer maybe found on the blog of a publically funded BBC journalist Robert Peston. Doing his duty for the cause of mass hysteria and mistruths about our pensions he claims that the recently announced Public Sector Pensions Commission's duty is to save the country from bankruptcy. http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/robertpeston/

Apocalypse now‏

Today’s budget is not about deficit reduction. It is about right wing ideology. A deficit reduction strategy would pay heed to numerous economists, notably Blanchflower, who warn that the measures proposed will see the UK plunge into a double–dip recession.

Monday, 21 June 2010

That was the week that was - now the fightback must begin

It’s the Monday morning after the weekend recovery programme that’s always necessary after NDC. Today’s its grievances , disciplines and day-to-day negotiations , or business as usual. Generally there is a feeling that what happened at Conference stays at Conference. But not this year.

Controversial ex-Defence Minister Juan Manuel Santos elected President of Colombia‏

Colombia’s presidential elections on Sunday 21st June saw ex-Minister of Defence Juan Manuel Santos win a landslide victory over his rival candidate Antanas Mockus. Santos was congratulated by President Alvaro Uribe, and vowed to continue with Uribe’s hardline security and neoliberal policies. Santos gained 69% of the votes to Mokcus’ 27.5%, with an abstention rate of 55%, and will take power on 7th August.

2nd ITUC World Congress‏

The 2nd World Congress of ICTU opens today in Vancouver and runs until Friday: the Congress theme is ‘now the people – from the crisis to global justice': http://www.ituc-csi.org/congress-guide.html  UNISON is not represented on the British TUC delegation although former General Secretary Rodney Bickerstaffe is attending as a special guest of the ITUC. Reports on proceedings are being posted over at the TUC’s Stronger Unions website:

Support the 'day of dissent'in Higher Education‏

Unions in Higher Education including UNISON members will today hold workplace protests at over 70 institutions nationwide. Events will be held across the country, including a meeting in parliament at 12pm. A full list of what is happening can be found here.

Emergency budget – will public sector pay cuts be imposed in 2011?‏

Prominent in yesterday’s papers were reports of the Prime Minister’s warning that ‘the public sector will bear the brunt of the cuts’. http://bit.ly/94Pa8n

CBI lobbies to tighten legal straitjacket on unions‏

Synchronised political lobbying should be marked down as a future Olympic sport. Following on from months of ideological attacks on the public sector, the CBI is now placing collective and individual union rights in the political spotlight. http://bit.ly/dmwKoO

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Austerity measures on the way‏

Observer cartoonist Chris Riddell hits the nail on the head: 'never in the field of Government budgets will so few feel the effects of the spending cuts they're going to impose on so many'.

The UNISON alternative budget - a last chance to go where we've not been before?‏

UNISON's decision to come up with an alternative budget is an important one.http://www.unison.org.uk/asppresspack/pressrelease_view.asp?id=1890

Casualty by Seumas Heaney‏

He would drink by himself
And raise a weathered thumb
Towards the high shelf,