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

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Public sector should challenge north-south Pay divide, not reinforce it

Today’s Guardian reports that in next week’s Budget the Con Dems will be announcing the introduction of regional pay rates, initially in some central government departments, and that ‘the Treasury intends to spread the reforms beyond the civil service across the public sector in the years ahead as staff come out of the public sector pay freeze’

Life and Time by Hasina Gul

We grow up
but do not comprehend life.
We think life is just the passing of time.
The fact is,
life is one thing,
and time something else.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Austerity is undermining standards of home care for older people

A survey by Which has exposed serious deficiencies in the quality of home care services provided to older people. It reports that ‘agency staff, working through council contracts, were often in such a hurry to complete their tasks within allotted 15-minute “units” that they forgot even basic tasks’http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/elderhealth/9146796/Elderly-left-sitting-in-the-dark-by-stressed-to-tears-carers.html

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Nothing progressive about Progress

As the mainstream press reports of ‘demoralisation’ at Labour Party HQ, concerns are growing in the labour movement about the disproportionate influence in the party of the right wing, pro neo-liberal Progress faction. Socialist Unity blog reports on a recent decision of trade unions in Yorkshire, supported by UNISON, to ‘take all practical steps to oppose the organisational and ideological aims of Progress’ http://www.socialistunity.com/progress-a-party-within-a-party/

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Anne Donnelly - Union Woman

The Derry Journal has published an excellent profile of long serving UNISON Joint Regional Convenor in Northern Ireland Anne Donnelly - a union and political activist steeped in decades of industrial and political struggle: http://www.derryjournal.com/news/local/women-in-politics-anne-donnelly-always-there-to-help-1-3618661

UNISON Scotland NHS staff strike on pensions

NHS UNISON members in Scotland kicked off a new round of industrial action on NHS pensions yesterday. Selective strikes started with Ayrshire and Arran and will roll out to Glasgow and Lothian throughout March.
The action is designed to put pressure of the Scottish Government for a Scottish solution to all aspects of pensions changes. This includes the Year 1 increases to employee contributions of up to 2.4% - a pensions tax on health workers. http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Lord Wedderburn Co-founder of the Institute of Employment Rights - Obituary

The Guardian today includes an obituary for one of the names, although possibly unknown to most trade union activists, that was one of the most influential in the UK in the world of employment law.

Speak up for Libraries - today in Parliament

#savelibraries UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis and writer Kate Mosse will be among the speakers at today’s lobby of Parliament and rally to highlight the importance of libraries in providing access to learning and as a vital lifeline for many communities. Library services have borne the considerable brunt of public spending cuts since the Coalition government took office in 2010. Of the 4,612 libraries in the UK, an estimated 10% are currently either closed or under threat of closure.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Con Dem ‘private sector led’ economic recovery is not happening

The Independent on Sunday yesterday reported that ‘public sector job losses are not being matched by new work in private firms.’

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Gateshead rallies against Liberal Democrat betrayal of NHS

Yesterday's rally organised by the Northern TUC and Public Service Alliance drew trade unions, community groups, Labour MPs, and campaigners to send a loud message to the Lib Dems' meeting in Gateshead. The broad range of campaigners shows the strength of feeling against the policies of this coalition government which are having a devastating impact on our communities.

Lowdown on the ‘Underperforming’ Academy Sponsors

The Con Dem Education Minister Michael Gove has named 96 Primary schools and 65 secondary schools which are to become sponsored academies.
The Anti Academies Alliance examines the credentials of those empire-building organisations taking over the schools branded in derogatory terms as ‘underperforming’ by Gove and finds that all that glisters is not gold: http://antiacademies.org.uk/2012/03/who-is-gove-giving-our-primary-schools-to/

On my way to work by Victor Jara

On my way to work
I think of you,
through the streets of the town
I think of you,
when I look at the faces
through steamy windows
not knowing who they are, where they go...
I think of you
my love, I think of you
of you, compañera of my life
and of the future
of the bitter hours and the happiness
of being able to live
working at the beginning of a story
without knowing the end.