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

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Preview - UNISON Local Government Conference 2013

#UNDC13 Centre stage Sunday and Monday is the Local Government Service Group Conference. Having been at the apex of coalition cuts under Eric Pickles’ chisel for three years there should be no shortage of serious issues to discuss.
    Sunday morning sees debates over attacks on union facility time and a wide ranging composite from Scotland, the SGE and North West on Welfare Reform. These are followed by Pension Scheme governance, childcare, Free Schools and support staff training.
   After this gentle hors d’oeuvre Sunday afternoon is given over to all things pay.

Picket Line by John Tomlinson

Oh we're relaxed and comfortable
Yes we're doing fine
we are relaxed and comfortable
out on the picket line.
I know you said you'd govern
you'd govern for all of us
we'd be relaxed and comfortable
and there'd be no fuss.
Well we are relaxed and comfortable
and so say all of us:
yes, we're relaxed and comfortable
we're feeling mighty fine
we are relaxed and comfortable
out on the picket line.

Friday, 14 June 2013

The disease is a dying economy: the cure is local government

#UNDC13 Whilst the coalition have presided over the deepest cuts ever to local authorities, progressive economists have argued for economic stimulus and the need to create resilient local economies. In an excellent new report commissioned by UNISON from the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) these arguments are given extra weight by a detailed analysis of the impact of cuts in local areas.

Mass Academies programme a waste of public money

Ahead of the Spending Review planned for 26 June, former Labour Minister John Healey highlights the trail of destruction waged on the state education system by the ConDems and questions the waste of £100's of millions of public money. ‘After three years, the evidence on cost simply doesn’t support the government’s flagship policy of mass academies. The independent Academies Commission, in the most in-depth study of the academies and free schools programme so far, found substantial progress among many Labour-era 'sponsor academies', but no marked evidence of improvement in more recent waves’

Thursday, 13 June 2013

NJC Pay consultation – we got to do better next time!

The NJC committee met this morning and the outcome of consultation on the 1% offer was a 59% to 41% majority to accept. So in a week when a report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) claimed that wages have fallen more in real terms during the current economic downturn than ever before, the 3 local government unions (GMB, UNISON and Unite) will be signing up to a further erosion in real pay levels for hundreds of thousands of local government workers.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Unions and Scottish Independence

'With over 650,000 members in Scotland, the unions may become an important battleground for the Yes and No camps. What will make this more interesting is the unions will not be passive, for as the referendum nears, they are likely to put conditions on the price for any support they give to either side'. Gregor Gall analyses at the constitution debate in Scotland's unions. http://www.scotsman.com/the-scotsman/opinion/comment/gregor-gall-you-won-t-get-me-as-part-of-the-union-1-2961519 - See more on the independence debate at http://unisonactive.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Independence

International Justice Day for Cleaners – A Labour Movement Event – 17 June 2013

On 17 June Cleaning Workers from all over the world will be holding protests and events to mark their own International Justice for Cleaners Day. Covering airports across Europe, the US and Australia, over 35 International airports and national railway networks will be taking part in the action.
    The events have been organised by the ISS Cleaners Activists Network. The activists have been meeting with the assistance of UNI Global Union and the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI).

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Do not be deceived by the statement – we’ve run out of money – there is an alternative to austerity

The current economic debate amongst most politicians is there is a need for austerity because we’ve run out of money. Cameron recently said ‘there is no magic money tree’, he lied the Bank of England is an organisation with money creation powers. Now both the Eds, Miliband and Balls, have said that a future Labour government will have 'less money to spend' and as a consequence will have to continue the Coalition's austerity programme.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Cuts ridden Councils at breaking point

Austerity cuts driven through by the ConDem Government are leaving many councils on the brink of collapse according to a report by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee. Its Chair Margaret Hodge MP said 'Central government is cutting funding to local authorities by more than a quarter over four years but does not properly understand what the overall impact will be on local services. 'This will not be news to UNISON members working in local government:

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Fighting back at Walmart

The small rise in membership in 2012 gave some cheer to the British trade union movement although the 2.6m trade unionists in the private sector represent only 14.4% of the workforce. The situation is much worse in the USA where overall private sector density levels have fallen to below 7%. However workers are fighting back and Red Pepper reports on the impressive Organisation United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart) campaign which is building collective worker organisation in an environment where the odds are stacked against unionisation:

Power to the People by Jim Burns

And the people voted in a new government,
but it wasn’t much different from the old one,
so nothing really happened,