Vote for "real change" in Unison

Submitted by AWL on 27 April, 2021 - 6:51 Author: Ruth Cashman
Paul Holmes

The ballot to elect the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the public services union Unison opens on 4 May 2021. The NEC is made up of representatives elected from Unison’s regions and service groups, plus seats for four Black members, two young members and two disabled members.

After left candidate Paul Holmes (above) delivered a strong result in the general secretary election, the left in the union have the potential to make big gains in the NEC election. Unfortunately some of this may be squandered by the inability of much of the Unison left to cooperate.

The previous electoral alliance, Unison Action, was dismantled by three rival left General Secretary campaigns. The group around Paul Holmes proved the most viable, securing the highest vote, winning whole union service groups, and organising rallies and meetings to promote its campaign. Workers’ Liberty Unison activists will be supporting that group’s candidates, running as #TimeForRealChange, and pushing for an approach which in future brings activists together on a programme for the union, rather than a left based on backroom deals and tantrums.

The union, which organises in local government, education, health, and care, will need to defend workers against cuts and privatisation in the next two years, and seek to break the pay freeze. Having recruited care workers in the pandemic, we need a combined political and industrial campaign for public ownership, NHS-level pay and conditions for care workers, and a thorough transformation of social care.

The election runs until 27 May 2021. The results will be announced on 11 June 2021.

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