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

Saturday, 4 October 2014

As TTIP danger looms larger - take action on 11 October

#noTTIP Discussions between EU and US officials on the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are ‘making progress’ according to a BBC report. Widespread opposition to the inclusion of public services appear to be yielding concessions although the final outcome remains to be seen as the talks are clouded in secrecy and texts of the draft treaty are not available for public scrutiny. On Saturday 11 October there will be a European day of action against TTIP with protests organised in many places across Britain.

Wasteland by Sarah Lipton

Skyscrapers pierce the sullen sky,
Smoke from factories chokes the air
Settling on houses making their bricks black,
A weeping willow hangs with despair
Over a pond the color of coal,
There are no longer any birds to feed,
Instead rubbish floats on the pond,
And a dustbin lid lies by the road.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

A pay ‘proposal’ so bad it’s unbelievable

#njcpay2014 UNISON has called on the employers side of the local government National Joint Council (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) to reconsider their current pay proposals and come forward with ‘improved ones which begin to tackle the hardship facing all of our members.’

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Vile and pernicious Tories

At the Tory party conference yesterday the fringe was awash with Tory delegates – scoffing the free food and wine amply provided by their corporate sponsors. To be fair it is the same at all party conferences – what was particularly appalling though was this spectacle of excess was played out just minutes after Iain Duncan Smith played to the docu-soap stereotype of a feckless under-class swigging away their benefits on cider and squandering the kids teas on a packet of fags.
    The reality for the poorest families is many are working but subject to in-work benefits because successive governments have pandered to industry and supressed worker rights and wages. Poverty will never be solved by denying a few fags and a glass of cheap plonk to anaesthetise the pain of life on the bottom. Radical progressive policies, addressing child poverty, worker rights, a decent living wage and full employment costs a few quid more in tax but then again if we attack the spivs and speculators who will fund those nice Tory lunches? These proposals are utterly vile and pernicious. The nasty party is back with a vengeance.
Anna Rose

Local Government employers lose trust of workforce

A new report published by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) paints a damning picture of employee trust in local government. And the challenge for trade unions – to raise and restore pay levels – is a factor.
The September ILM report, “The Truth About Trust”, measures employee trust in their organisations through a methodology that charts positive opinions minus negative opinions to produce a net high trust figure. In simple terms, if there are more positives than negatives then an employee, on balance, trusts their organisation. If it’s the opposite then an employee, on balance, does not trust their organisation.  

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Enough is enough - why Britain needs a pay rise

National industrial action on pay in both health and local government is only two weeks away. Labour Research examines the backdrop to the upcoming TUC demonstration - hard on the heels of the pay strikes - on 18 October in support of the demand that Britain Needs a Pay Rise: ‘In what is one of the slowest recoveries on record, earnings have fallen in value to an unprecedented extent. And, as TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady points out, the economy seems to be very good at creating low-paid jobs, but is struggling to create better-paid work. Action is needed to make work pay’  http://www.lrdpublications.org.uk/publications.php?pub=LR&iss=1735&id=idp2221712&fromopp=y

Would you buy a second hand war from this man? by John Tomlinson

Want to buy a second hand war?
Want to buy the war in Iraq?
We went there for oil, made Iraqi blood boil
now we’re asking what for
and wondering how we ever get back.
The profits have gone and hope is forlorn
it’s preloved, it’s used and we feel abused
want to buy a second hand war?
We killed Saddam, it was a great plan
want to buy a second hand war?
We’ve bombed the people, the mosques and the steeple,
we’ve displaced many poor as we wage this war.
We had a great dream but now it would seem
that we are bereft of ideas.
We’ve bombed Shiites, Sunni and Kurds
we killed mothers and left children in tears
want to buy a second hand war?
We’ve murdered at will or just for the thrill
want to buy a second hand war?
We have oil leases but the country’s in pieces
our soldiers are dying, their mothers crying
please buy this second hand war!