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From The Socialist newspaper, 22 January 2014

More action needed to defend Probation Service

Probation worker in Unison

I recently attended a Unison seminar regarding the government's proposals around the probation service.

I was very glad to hear my union was doing something as prior to this, Unison had held a 'lunchtime protest' in solidarity with Napo members in my local Probation Service office. I found a beleaguered workforce there lacking confidence.

Some had asked why Unison had not taken the same action as Napo. I could not answer them and felt anger towards my union.

Shortly after the protest, Napo called their strike so I went to the same office to show solidarity. I found a completely different workforce. They came out confidently waving flags and banners with much enthusiasm.

So when Unison publicised the seminar, I believed Unison had listened and were now organising for action. How wrong I was!

The first part of the day outlined what risks the government proposals have for the public and service users.

They are truly shocking and highlighted the need for action.

The Unison officials explained that they had balloted Probation Service members asking if they were willing to take action 'up to and including strike action?'

The overwhelming response was 'yes' (80%) on what Unison said was a very high number of votes cast for a ballot.

But no action was taken from the ballot because we were told: "We have to be realistic about what we can achieve."

The whole experience has highlighted to me how essential it is to reclaim my union for workers and the public who rely on our services.

I encourage all union members to get active within their unions to ensure they are representing their members fully and acting in their interests alone. I know I will!

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In The Socialist 22 January 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Real living wage now

Capitalism is a system in crisis

Pay me - I'm a banker!

What exactly is the point of Labour?

Stop the NHS sell-off

Bedroom tax loophole: Can legal tactics be effective?

Fracking - profiting from environmental destruction

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Egypt referendum: no enthusiasm for new constitution

"Ireland is a success story" rhetoric is based on spin


Education

Stop the student debt spiral - day of action 6 February

Youth Fight for Jobs campaign in Croydon

An open letter to Tristram Hunt


Socialist Party workplace news

Transport workers have power to defeat cuts

Teachers need a date for national action

Teachers strike against threatened redundancies

NUT strikes against management "observations"

More action needed to defend Probation Service

Publicity alone can't save sacked union branch official

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Lincoln marches against racism and fascism

Protest against Atos 'assessments' on 19 February

Salford workers and environmentalists challenge council

Stop cuts in Kent

Carlisle petition


Readers' comments and reviews

Benefits Street: A caricature of poverty

Leeds' forgotten dispute: The 1913-14 Corporation Strike

Robert Burns, insurrectionary poet


 

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