Tony Staunton, Plymouth branch secretary and leading Unison union activist in the south west of England, has been informed that he cannot stand for election to the union’s national executive committee.
Tony is currently suspended from his elected positions following allegations – which he strongly contests. A disciplinary hearing is scheduled for early April.
But Tony is being penalised even before he has had a trial!
He is barred from the election even though the Unison rule book’s section on disciplinary procedures (page 71, section 24) states, “Any penalty imposed on a member will not take effect until the expiry of the time limit within which the member can submit an appeal or, if an appeal has been submitted, until such time as the appeal has been determined.”
The rulebook’s section on suspension (pages 7-8, section 7.4, 7.4.1 and 7.4.2) covers only the possibility of suspension from local office – not being barred from standing for election.
Barring Tony will prevent a democratic contest between Tony and Steve Warwick, national chair of Unison’s Labour Link.
Unison members should protest against this affront to union democracy. It will set a very dangerous precedent if Tony is barred.
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