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

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Insourcing - when privatisation inevitably fails, bring it back!

Computer World UK reports that Tory led Somerset County Council is set to bring back in house 160 staff from its £400m Southwest One outsourcing venture with IBM - 'the move follows a review by the council, which concluded the venture was failing': http://www.computerworlduk.com/news/public-sector/3342802/somerset-insources-160-staff-from-troubled-southwest-one/

There is a discernable and very welcome trend towards insourcing due to contract failures. In December 2011, Sefton Council on Merseyside terminated a £65m highways and technical services contract with Capita Symonds (a division of the Capita Group), because it failed to deliver expected savings:

Transparency: An Address by Iain Bamforth

Civil society, must we visit you the hard way?
Our diplomatic baggage gets lost in transit.
We don't read much now except on the qui vive.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Money for the Banks - Pain for the People - Time to Switch it Around

Never be fooled by the claim of politicians that the government has have run out of money…why? Because the central banks under their control can create money at will. Witness European banks who have borrowed at almost zero interest rates €529bn from the European Central Bank in the second tranche of its three-year long-term refinancing operation.  Simply put the European Central Bank has created this money and offered it to the banks.

Health Workers in Swindon demand respect from private contractor

Hundreds of workers employed by the private contractor Carillion are striking against the bullying and harassment conduct of their managers and the company. Their action is based on the need to protect themselves. Many of the workers have English as a second language and family in other parts of the world. Over 109 complaints have been submitted by members of the GMB, Carillion's headquarters have been lobbied in London and the manager at the centre of the allegations has resigned: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-17298750The current 5 day strike is the latest escalation of action at the PFI Hospital:http://www.socialistunity.com/strike-rally-in-swindon/

Thursday, 8 March 2012

The Origins of International Women's Day

The massive bloody strike on 8 March 1857 of the female workers in the textile industries of New York who - demanding the reduction of the work hours to 10 hours per day, equal pay of men and women and health and safety conditions in the work places - were brutally attacked by the government and the employers, motivated the 2nd International Conference of the Socialist Women in Copenhagen in 1910 – held with the initiative of the great German communist Clara Zetkin - to call for the celebration of the 8 March as the International Day of Women: http://www.wftucentral.org/wp-content/2012_03_05_statement_wftu_international-womens-day.pdf

London demands that Coalition drop NHS Bill

Last night a packed Central Hall in Westminster demanded that the Con Dem Government drop their pernicious NHS and Social Care Bill. Trade Union leaders, health workers, patients, politicians, celebrities and doctors queued up to give an unequivocal message, that this Bill will destroy the NHS and we may have less than two weeks to save it. http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/mar/07/save-nhs-rally-health-bill

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

All together to save the NHS

Today thousands of health workers will descend on Central Hall in Westminster for a rally mobilising opposition to the Con Dem NHS & Social Care Bill which the TUC says is 'the biggest threat the NHS has ever seen.' The rally starts at 6PM and speakers include UNISON NEC member Mary Locke and General Secretary Dave Prentis: http://www.tuc.org.uk/

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

ETUC denounces the adoption of the permanent austerity treaty

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) stresses that it opposes the new treaty which has just been signed by 25 countries at the European Summit. This treaty will impose even greater budgetary austerity in Europe and hamper the recovery in employment. The European trade union deplores the fact that growth and employment are not the focus of detailed commitment in the same way as budgetary rigour.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Scottish Labour – redefining core values?

The weekend’s Scottish Labour Conference heard UNISON seek to redefine the party’s focus onto the basic issues of unfairness and inequality, somehow lost in the normal anodyne New Labour media-speak.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Manchester demands Coalition drops NHS Bill

Over 1,000 people packed Manchester's Albert Square yesterday in a rally to save the NHS. Organised by NW UNISON and supported by NWTUC and NW Labour Party, the rally called on Cameron, Lansley and Clegg to listen to the voice of the nation and drop their NHS and Social Care Bill.

Minister for Exams by Brian Patten

When I was a child I sat an exam.
This test was so simple
There was no way i could fail.