Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/377/4240
UNISON general secretary election
Break from the party that attacks our pensions
THE ELECTION for general secretary of public sector union UNISON is under way - giving UNISON members an opportunity to register their disgust at their treatment by the Labour government and the Labour Party.
Roger Bannister is the only candidate who is opposed to the union's ties to the Labour Party. He has pledged that, if he is elected, he will ballot members to allow them to have their say on continued affiliation.
GLENN KELLY, secretary of Bromley UNISON told the socialist:
"Every single attack on UNISON members, on pensions, pay, privatisation and cuts, stems from the Labour government and the Labour Party. Roger Bannister is the only candidate calling for an end to UNISON's affiliation.
"He is calling for an end to UNISON members' money being used to fund the Labour Party and for the creation of a new trade union-based party. I urge every UNISON member who wants a leadership and a union which stands up in defence of their interests to vote for Roger Bannister."
As well as his clear position on the Labour Party, Roger:
- Moved the resolution at the 2003 UNISON local government conference to ballot for industrial action to defend pensions.
- Moved the resolution opposing the school workforce 'remodelling' scheme, where UNISON members are used as teachers on the cheap.
- Opposed the employers' attempts to use the Single Status and Agenda for Change agreements to attack workers' wages and conditions.
As branch secretary of Knowsley branch, Roger fought off an attack by the employer who wanted to use the single status agreement to increase working hours. He led a successful strike to win a 35-hour week for all members. This included a reduction in hours for all 37-hour employees.
He has led a strike of over 500 Connexions members, defeating performance related pay and winning improvements in pay and conditions.
Roger is the candidate best placed to defeat Dave Prentis, the current general secretary. In 1995 he secured 58,000 votes in the general secretary election and in 2000 he got over 71,000 votes - nearly 32%.
In The Socialist 22 January 2005: