Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/675/12226
Unison NEC elections - left retakes lost ground
The results of Unison's national executive council (NEC) elections give the left 17 seats. Socialist Party members in Unison fought these elections in an electoral alliance with the United Left.
Unison's largest region, the North West, showed the most dramatic swing. All the contested seats went to left wingers, and Socialist Party member Roger Bannister topped the poll with 7,561 votes.
One shock result in this region was the defeat of key right winger Bob Oram, whose initial election to the NEC was swiftly followed by his election to the influential position of chair of the staffing committee.
But the shadowy world of Unison's ruling clique means little to ordinary members facing attacks on jobs, and pay.
They voted Oram out by a thumping majority of 950 votes!
The leadership of the North West region acts as organiser for the national leadership, rallying support for their policies at conferences etc.
But these elections make it clear that there is no support for these activities at the base of the union in the region.
Socialist Party members Jean Thorpe and Vicky Perrin topped the polls in their respective regions, (East Midlands and Yorkshire and Humberside), and April Ashley's 37,827 votes in the Female Black Members seat was the top vote in that section.
Even where socialists were not elected, it was often by slim majorities, such as Angela Waller who missed election in Yorkshire and Humberside by only 161 votes.
Unfortunately Hannah Walter was unsuccessful in retaining her Northern region seat, after the bureaucracy responded to her victory two years ago by transferring members out of the region in order to reduce the number of NEC seats available!
The four Socialist Party members on the NEC will work with other left NEC members wherever possible to promote fighting policies to defend members from the Con-Dem attacks, and will argue for an end to wasting members' money on Labour MPs and councillors who are not prepared to oppose cuts.
A Unison member
In The Socialist 15 June 2011:
Fighting the cuts
NHS news & campaigning
National Shop Stewards Network
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis