Socialist Worker

Vote John Burgess to get a real fightback in Unison

by Raymie Kiernan
Issue No. 2474

Nominations for the general secretary election for Britain’s largest public sector union, Unison, end on Friday of this week. 

At least two candidates will challenge incumbent Dave Prentis.

Left wing challenger John Burgess is branch secretary of Barnet Unison in north London.

The branch has fought council attacks, resisted privatisation and encouraged solidarity with other workers.

The other challenger is Heather Wakefield. With Prentis she has failed to lead a real fight against the Tories.

Unison members made their dissatisfaction with their union leadership clear at a national conference and a special local government conference this year.

Wakefield is the national officer for local government—the sellout over local government pay in England and Wales happened on her watch. 

Women workers would have benefitted greatly had the Unison leadership led a real fight over pay and pensions. Instead it called strikes off after one day.

Electing John can encourage real resistance, and boost confidence across the labour movement. 


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