Now I'm sure it won't come as a surprise that I'm supporting the re-election of our current General Secretary, Dave Prentis.
Over the past 9 years I think Dave has done us proud as General Secretary. Not only because he's well respected, passionate, and dedicated to our members, but he's got the instincts and experience to steer a massive organisation like UNISON to continued success.
You only have to look at Dave's record, membership increasing year on year (particularly healthy Young Member recruitment which I know Dave is very committed to), the unions resources increasingly been shifted towards directly organising our members, high profile campaigns which have successfully got the public on board from Keep the NHS Working to our current Million Voices campaign, in Health our historic Agenda for Change agreement putting all our members in the NHS on an equal footing, developing our commitment to the international agenda supporting sisters unions across the world, and the list goes on.
And Dave is a strong and effective voice for our members to Government. You just need to look at what happened in the summer when the NHS Co0operation and Competition Panel produced their guidance that only a quarter of local health services could be retained by the NHS otherwise it would 'damage the markets', Dave's personal intervention (including leading a delegation of NHS Together unions to meet the Health ministerial team) meant that position was more than reversed with the Health Secretary announcing the NHS was the 'preferred provider' of services.
When you look at the ragtag bunch also seeking nomination, it'd be easy to think there's no contest. As my Branch Secretary put it, 'There is no other choice, it has to be Dave.' But there's no room for complacency.
Our union is about to enter the most important and most difficult period since we came together as UNISON. Public spending is set to be squeezed whoever wins the next election, with our members in the public, private and community sector set to bear the brunt of the pain if we let it. But with a Tory Government (heaven forbid) those cuts will come quicker, be deeper and they've already indicated would come hand in hand with attacking our ability to resist from cutting facility time to further restricting our right to take industrial action.
And in this tough time ahead, UNISON doesn't just need a steady hand at the tiller. We also need and strong determined fighter who can truly serve the interests of our members and not their own factional interests.
That's why I'll be supporting a nomination for Dave at the NEC, my Regional Council and my Branch AGM.
Join us and give your support:
- Find our more about the campaign and sign up
- Get in touch with your Branch and ask them how and when they're making their nomination (Dave's letter seeking nominations)
- Support Dave at the nominating meeting (either Branch Committee were your' represented by you steward who you should ask to vote for Dave or Branch Meeting where you can go along and vote)