UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.
Saturday, 11 February 2012
Tribune reports on ominous findings by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) that only six per cent of cuts planned during the current Parliament have been implemented. The IFS says Chancellor Osborne’s autumn statement confirms that two more years of austerity than originally intended will be needed, so its own projections should not be seen as controversial. “Since the financial crisis and recession began, a £114 billion hole has become apparent”: http://www.tribunemagazine.co.uk/2012/02/they%e2%80%99ve-only-just-begun-millions-are-feeling-the-pinch-but-94-per-cent-of-the-coalition%e2%80%99s-cuts-have-yet-to-take-place/
Friday, 10 February 2012
It is the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens and one has to wonder what the author would make of today’s housing conditions? In the fifth richest economy in the world the lives of 1.6 million children are still blighted by poor housing. The feedstock for poor housing is the demand for social housing that is not being met.
Many critics of the Con Dem Health and Social Care Bill have warned of the dangerous consequences of a US style health care system in Britain. This week the Camden New Journal reports that a GP surgery in Camden is to close four years after being taken over by the biggest health company in the United States, UnitedHealth. http://www.camdennewjournal.com/news/2012/feb/gp-surgery-was-sold-us-health-company-set-close
Thursday, 9 February 2012
UNISON Scotland has called for a review of local government funding to prevent further loss of vital local services and job following news of local council budgets approved across Scotland today. http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/news/2012/janfeb/0209.htm
Beyond the Frame is a ground-breaking exhibition aimed at raising awareness around the case of the Miami Five organised by the Cuba Solidarity Campaign.
The exhibition features special works by Antonio Guerrero and Gerardo Hernández, two of the Miami Five. Antonio has contributed a selection of drawings and paintings whilst Gerardo has contributed a series of cartoons.
Wednesday, 8 February 2012
Despite the orthodoxy that outsourcing produces financial savings, the outsourcing industry giants can offer little evidence to support their claims. The same is true of the Government departments who suggest outsourcing will generate savings but then can’t identify these supposed savings on any public accounts.
The Commons Public Accounts Committee has just published a damning report on the Government's Whole Government Accounts 2009-10, which contain a mine of information including the staggering facts that 'the accumulated value of future commitments under PFI schemes was £131.5 billion - four times the value of the assets secured through the deals' and 'the amount of unpaid tax written off by the government was as high as £10.9 billion' http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/feb/07/whole-government-accounts-public-accounts-committee
http://entertainment.stv.tv/music/296693-ucs-40th-anniversary-concert-is-late-highlight-of-celtic-connections/ For more on the work-in see http://unisonactive.blogspot.com/search/label/UCS
Tuesday, 7 February 2012
This year’s National Black Members' Conference took place in Brighton, which was not so sunny, but more akin to the arctic! There were 315 delegates attending conference which is a slight decrease on numbers from 2011 and you could have counted the number of young black members who attended conference on one hand.
A new report, trailed in the press by David Miliband MP, highlights the costs to individuals and the economy of youth unemployment which ACEVO ( the report authors) estimate will cost the public purse at least £4.8bn in 2012 and potentially £28bn by 2022. These are eye watering figures but the loss of dignity and hope to the individual young unemployed is surely incalculable? http://dn56eaq5gsh5n.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/The-crisis-we-cannot-afford_Website-version.pdf
Monday, 6 February 2012
'Those who argue that unions wanting to negotiate – the majority – have ‘sold out’ and undermined trade union solidarity need to get to grips with the complexities of public sector pensions, serious areas of weakness in membership density and organisation, sectoral bargaining arrangements in the public sector. Only when they have done that should they decide whether there is a route to getting everything we want through industrial action', says UNISON's Heather Wakefield in a Red Pepper response to those who, despite the objective realities, believe their own propaganda that industrial action alone will safeguard decent public sector pensions: http://www.redpepper.org.uk/n30-and-after-was-that-it/
It is a notable success for Bury UNISON that it has won a settlement of thousands of Equal Pay claims against Bury Council in the North West of England. A combination of hard work on the ground and the backing of the Region's Equal Pay Unit delivered for the low paid women of Bury Council.
Sunday, 5 February 2012
'Cuts are wrong and nothing will be gained by saying there's any merit in them' said Manchester Central MP Tony Lloyd in a keynote address to UNISON's North West Regional Council meeting in Liverpool yesterday.
The clinking clanking sound is of it disappearing from sight not flowing into our pockets! The Bank of England has published the latest UK Money Supply figures and they show the sharpest drop on record. The data is painting a very grim picture of life in Britain as draconian fiscal austerity drives that economy into the ground. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/economics-blog/2012/jan/31/all-eyes-money-supply
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black body swinging in the Southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.
Pastoral scene of the gallant South,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolia sweet and fresh,
And the sudden smell of burning flesh!
Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for a tree to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.