Socialist Worker

Unison activists raise concerns over general secretary election

Issue No. 2482

As voting in the Unison union general secretary election was coming to a close this week, activists were raising concerns about incumbent Dave Prentis’s campaign.

Branch secretaries received an email from Prentis’s campaign team seeking their support. It also asked them to pass it on to their members.

This would appear to go outside of the union’s own election rules as it could mean Prentis’s campaign has used union resources.

Each candidate was given a list of emails of every Unison branch secretary. This was for their use only when seeking nominations.

Left candidate John Burgess

Left candidate John Burgess (Pic: Duncan Brown)

Complaints are being made to the Electoral Reform Society (ERS), which is running the election.

John McLoughlin, Unison branch secretary in Tower Hamlets in east London, spoke to Socialist Worker in a personal capacity.

“I received an email from Dave Prentis asking me to pass on his request for support to the members in my branch,” he said.

“I want to know why branch secretaries’ emails have been used in this way.

“The votes are counted as they come in. Does this mean that Prentis is worried about how his vote is going?” John added.



Socialist Worker backs John Burgess, the branch secretary of Barnet Unison in north London.

John has pledged to build a fightback against austerity if he’s elected.

Activists have leafleted hundreds of workplaces as part of John’s campaign.

The election was set to close on Friday of this week. The result is set to be announced on 17 December.

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