UNISON’s 1.3 million members begin voting on 25 January in the election for the union’s General Secretary. Current General Secretary Dave Prentis is expected to win — not least because there are two left challengers, who will split the vote for change.
Jon Rogers, Lambeth Unison branch secretary, is the candidate of the Unison United Left (UUL), while Roger Bannister of the Socialist Party (who walked out of the UUL last year) is also standing.
Prentis’s record is strong on rhetoric, but short on delivery. He promises a fight over public sector pensions in all of his election material, but the current Unison leadership show no initiative over the issue, and don’t seem to have learned lessons from the failures of their campaigns against PFI or foundation hospitals. Unison members need something better from their leaders than promises of efforts to extract better deals from the third term Labour government. We need action now to defend our existing pension rights, and to take to the offensive over issues such as privatisation.
All Unison activists should unite behind Jon Rogers — he’s the candidate of the United Left, and he’s the candidate best placed to challenge Prentis, having received 50 nominations.
While Bannister and the Socialist Party are trying to make the election focus on “breaking from Labour”, Rogers correctly points out that the union’s political fund could be an enormous force for change — if it was being wielded by a union leadership 100% committed to fighting for its members’ interests.
Vote Jon Rogers for Unison General Secretary!