Socialist Worker

John Burgess is the candidate for rank and file Unison union members

by Raymie Kiernan
Issue No. 2476

John Burgess

John Burgess (Pic: Duncan Brown)

Nominations are in for the election of the next general secretary of the Unison union. Many union activists are clearly looking for a change of leadership. 

Incumbent Dave Prentis has a third of the nominations he got in the last election. Over 200 branches back him.

National official for local government Heather Wakefield has 89 nominations. Left wing candidates John Burgess and Roger Bannister have 69 and 25 respectively.

These could change. A number of nominations have been challenged. Branches can appeal until the end of October.

Bannister has called on the other two candidates to discuss fielding one “anti-Prentis” candidate.


But Tower Hamlets Unison branch secretary John McLoughlin (pc) told Socialist Worker, “We need a genuine rank and file candidate, not just an anti-Prentis one.” 

Despite having the fewest nominations, Bannister is still standing. 

The left should be united in this opportunity to challenge the leadership. Wakefield is tainted by the same failures as Prentis.

The key task now is to build John’s campaign and to leaflet Unison workplaces when the ballot opens next month.

National organising meeting, Sat 31 Oct, 1-4pm, Room L67, Lower Ground Floor, Main Soas building, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG. 
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