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From The Socialist newspaper, 22 April 2009

Unison: a fighting and democratic union needed

Important elections are taking place for the national executive of Unison, elections that could have a decisive effect on the future of the public sector union.

The existing leadership is trying to strengthen its grip on the union through witch-hunts and other bureaucratic means. But the Reclaim the Union campaign, initiated by the Socialist Party, is putting forward a list of left candidates for the national executive. The ballot is now underway and runs until 15 May.

Unison members need a fight for a decent pay increase that reflects the real cost of living and a campaign to stop the cuts and privatisation in the health service and local government.

The Reclaim the Union campaign is standing candidates who have a record of listening to and fighting for their fellow workers, including on pay, pensions, terms and conditions. This includes Glenn Kelly, one of the four Socialist Party members now being witch-hunted by the union's leadership.

The current leadership's record also includes refusal to consult on whether the union's funding of New Labour should continue. Instead, Unison is seen more and more as a union that follows the dictates of New Labour, doing little to challenge the government's anti-working class policies.

The Socialist Party members standing are:

National black member seats: female seat, April Ashley; male seat, Hugo Pierre
Health care service group: male seat, Roger Davey
Local government service group: male seat, Glenn Kelly
East Midlands region: female seat, Jean Thorpe
Northern region: female seat, Hannah Walter
North West region: male seat, Roger Bannister
Yorkshire and Humberside region: female seat, Vicky Perrin

Listed below are Unison NEC candidates standing for a fighting, democratic union.

National Black members seats

Female seats April Ashley Lorraine Mngadi
Male seat Hugo Pierre

National young members seat

Chris Leary

Health Care service group

Female seats Kate Ahrens Karen Reissmann ;
Male seat Roger Davey
General seat Stephen lintott

Local Government service group

Female seats Phoebe Watkins Marshajane Thompson
Male seat Glen Kelly
General seat Paul Holmes

Higher Education Service Group

Barry Blinko

Police staff service group

Female seat Rachel Hemingway

Water & Environment service group

General seat John Jones

Eastern region

Male seat Martin Booth

East Midlands region

Female seat Jean Thorpe ; Sharon Vasselin
Male seat Richard Buckwell
Reserved seat Ann Macmillan-Wood

Greater London region

Female seats Mandy Berger ; Sonya Howard;
Male seat Jon Rogers

Northern region

Female seat Hannah Walter
Male seat Alan Docherty ;

North West region

General seat Alex Mcfadden
Female seats Bernadette Gallagher Fran Kelly
Male seat Roger Bannister ;


Male seat Gordon McKay

South East region

Female seats Diana Leach ; Jessie Russel
Male seat Mike Tucker

South West region

Male seat Nigel Behan
Reserved Seat Kath Budd

West Midlands region

Female seats Sue Gallagher
Male seat Clive Shakespeare
Reserved seat Claudia Campbell

Yorkshire & Humberside region

General Seat Brian Steele
Female seats Helen Jenner Vicky Perrin
Male seat John McDermott

For more details about the witch-hunt see

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In The Socialist 22 April 2009:

Fight the cuts!

Environment and socialism

New Labour's environmental ploy: How green are electric cars?


Visteon workers stand up to bosses

Taking the Visteon struggle forward

Basildon workers picket Ford showrooms

Solidarity with the Visteon Workers

Enfield workers say: "Do a Visteon!"

Disbelief at Visteon bosses' offer

Socialist Party election campaign

European elections: a workers' alternative to New Labour takes shape

No2EU - yes to democracy

Socialist Party youth and students

Youth Fight for Jobs

Socialist Party campaigns

G20 Summit death: Independent inquiry into police violence, now!

Tesco: Every billion helps

CIA torture

International socialist news and analysis

Tamil action to stop the war continues

Ireland: Budget savages workers

Marxist analysis: history

Betrayals that led to Thatcher's victory

Hillsborough - 20 years on

Socialist Party workplace news

Stead McAlpin: Protesting in London

Unison: a fighting and democratic union needed

Postal workers' solidarity action

Wales FE funding: Victory, but keep the champagne on ice

National Shop Stewards Network conference

Saturday 27 June


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