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

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Campaign to elect Dave Prentis – website launched‏

A website has been launched in support of the campaign by Dave Prentis for a democratic mandate to continue to lead UNISON as General Secretary: http://www.electdaveprentis.com/

Dave Prentis for UNISON General Secretary: Dave has been General Secretary of UNISON, the public service union, for nine years. He has helped build it into the strong, effective force it is today. In 2005 UNISON members re-elected him into post with an overwhelming 77% of the vote. Today he is asking for their support again, as he faces a potential third term in office. Branches, regional and national bodies can nominate from 4 February 2010 and the nominating period runs until 1 April 2010.

Meanwhile indications are emerging of the factional opposition to Dave. Although the discredited Socialist Party has yet to announce its customary candidate, it appears that the SWP linked ‘united left’ faction is supporting Paul Holmes, branch secretary of the Kirklees branch in Yorkshire & Humberside region. This branch is SWP dominated and has been a long term advocate of SWP demands at regional and national level. Holmes himself is an un-influential member of the UNISON NEC. He does not serve on the leading organisational or policy committees. At the 2009 NDC he opted out of attending as a representative of the NEC and sat all week holding court in the café areas of the Brighton Centre - presumably at the expense of Kirklees branch member subscriptions. UNISON staff union representatives report that his tenure as Kirklees branch secretary has been beset by industrial relations problems with branch employed staff.

At 1230 today branches were circulated by 3 times past loser Roger Bannister, who is seeking GS nominations despite losing the vote at Saturday’s London factional meeting (which brought together ultra left members of the NEC, SGE’s and a few regions).

A Socialist Party source has stated that the meeting ‘didn’t go as planned’ but nonetheless the arch sectarians will proceed as planned - on a stale platform which conflicts with UNISON rules in several respects: elect all officials, break the link, etc. Essentially it is a non competent Socialist Party model NDC motion masquerading as a Socialist Party General Secretary manifesto. When will they ever learn?