Bristol Citizens | 02.12.2010 22:22
Below is an email sent at 11.36pm yesterday to all Unison South West branches by the union's regional office bureaucrat Joanne Kaye. The timing of the email suggests she may have been pissed. The tone confirms it. While the language - LIES!! ATTACKS!!! DAILY MAIL!!! - is absurd and frankly embarrassing coming from the UK's largest public sector union. If this is the best they can do ... Well, really ...
Joanne says two things of vague note:
1. "we are committed to fighting these cuts and not getting sidetracked by sectarian disputes."
Fine. So come on then Joanne list what the fuck it is you're actually doing beyond firing off demented emails when you're pissed out of your head. Come on we're all ears ...
2. "Any branch is entitled to affiliate as long as they are able to verify the constitution of BADACA and the rights and responsibilities that affiliation involves."
That comrades is a victory. Two weeks ago the neo-liberal apologists of Unison South West were refusing branches the right to affiliation to the anti-cuts movement.
Onwards and upwards comrades ... All out on 9 December ... Occupy Parliament ... Seize the council chamber ... Tar and feather Dave Prentis, the useless Labour sell-out ...
From: Kaye, Joanne [mailto:J.kaye1@Unison.co.uk]
Sent: 01 December 2010 23:16
It is with regret that I have to bring to your attention serious attacks made on this union by an organization known as Bristol Citizens, made worse by the circulation of these attacks by the Bristol Anti Cuts Alliance.
Bristol Anti-Cuts Alliance circulate a web publication by Bristol Citizens on a regular basis – below are some of the extracts referring to UNISON:
Strong rumours are circulating that Bristol 's Unison Health Branch, that looks after workers in hospitals, clinics and healthcare in Bristol , have been instructed not to join the Bristol and District Anti-cuts Alliance by the union's regional office.
Lucky Unison members this week received a glossy publication - 'the six hundred thousand' - about "600,000 public service jobs at risk".
The introduction by Unison President Angela Lynes cheerily explains how she "wants to make a difference" before cutting to the chase and announcing "Unison disagrees with the depth of the cuts".
This explains a lot. Presumably then, Unison members who are losing their jobs, experiencing pay cuts or having their terms and conditions rewritten without any protest whatsoever from Unison are simply victims of cuts that aren't too deep in Unison's view? Unfortunately the union hasn't, as yet, published their list of unacceptable "too deep" cuts and acceptable "shallow" cuts. Why not?
Rounding-up the publication, Unison General Secretary, Dave Prentis - a man so out of his depth his membership should club together to buy him a rubber ring and armbands for Christmas - supplies a rambling conclusion to this maifesto of capitulation. "We'll stand together," he says, "to protect not just our members but the vital services you provide."
Alas, Dave neglects to say how he intends to do any of this. Does he have a strategy for his million members?
UNISON Strong rumours are circulating that Bristol 's Unison Health Branch, that looks after workers in hospitals, clinics and healthcare in Bristol , have been instructed not to join the Bristol and District Anti-cuts Alliance by the union's regional office.
CORRECTION: UNISON Last week's story claiming the country's largest public sector union, Unison had prevented its Bristol Healthcare branch from joining the local Anti-cuts Alliance was inaccurate. The truth is that the salaried bureaucrats of the union's South West Regional Branch office have instructed all their local branches not to affiliate to any Anti-cuts Alliance anywhere. Instead, the union think the best strategy available to fight the gravest assault on the welfare state and collective values ever is to hire an open-top bus and drive it around Bristol waving a few placards containing some non-offensive messages of protest carefully drafted by Ian Ducat in consultation with his Labour Party friends and family.
We first became aware of the circulation of these lies and attacks on our union by an email sent by Bristol Anti Cuts Alliance which was sent to all its supporters on 29th November 2010. This is reprinted below
Dear Supporter We regularly forward to you a news bulletin sent to us from "Bristol Citizens" which is full of very useful information. The last issue contained an item about disquiet amongst union members that some union officials may be blocking affiliation to anti-cuts groups. We have done some checking and the position is as follows: Unite - Len McClusky, the newly-elected General Secretary of Unite, attended the Coalition of Resistance conference on Saturday. This is the national body of anti-cuts groups. He pledged that Unite regional secretaries will be instructed to support anti-cuts groups. GMB - we have a GMB official on the Steering Committee of the Bristol & District Anti-Cuts Alliance and she has told us that this is not happening in this region. The GMB supports the Bristol & District Anti-Cuts Alliance. Unison - we have heard from a number of sources that a Unison regional officer is hostile to the Anti-Cuts Alliance. However, large numbers of our supporters are in Unison and some branches have affilliated. We will check on the official position of Unison and ask for a meeting with them if there is a problem. We have the support of the Bristol Trades Union Council and the South West TUC. The Secretary of the South West TUC spoke at the recent anti-cuts rally in Gloucester . If any supporter encounters hostility to the Anti-Cuts Alliance from the officers of any trade union, please let us know so we can contact them and address their concerns. Best wishes Admin BADACA
We have written in the strongest terms to BADACA to demand a full apology and retraction. At a time when we are facing the biggest challenge to the public sector any of us have seen, it is appalling that certain groups choose to attack unions, especially those who work for them, in a manner entirely similar to the type of anti public sector worker bile that is printed by the Daily Mail.
We will keep you informed of the response from the Anti Cuts Alliance. I hope you all know how committed we are to fighting these cuts and not getting sidetracked by sectarian disputes. However, when these attacks come from those who claim to be on the same side as us, we need to defend ourselves vigorously.
I have also informed the Anti Cuts Alliance that any branch is entitled to affiliate as long as they are able to verify the constitution of BADACA and the rights and responsibilities that affiliation involves. I have also asked them to provide this information and will keep you informed of any response
Please do get back to me with any questions
Original article on IMC Bristol: http://bristol.indymedia.org/article/702346