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Gains for left in Unison national executive election
Socialist Party members in Unison
The outcome of the Unison national executive council (NEC) elections is significant. At the time of the general secretary election in 2015 the Socialist Party recognised the significance of the split in the bureaucracy and a split in a wing of former supporters of Dave Prentis, Unison general secretary. We proposed seeking one candidate to try and defeat Prentis.
The outcome of that election further confirmed this as, for the first time, Prentis failed to secure over 50% of the vote.
It was off the back of this that we took the initiative to reach out to other candidates to see if we could gather all anti-Prentis forces, leading to the launch of Unison Action at last year's Unison conference. We set ourselves a first target of pulling together a wider left slate and had 47 candidates standing under the Unison Action banner.
In the NEC elections, for the first time, the Prentis camp has not won a majority of the NEC seats (30 out of 67).
Unison Action increased the left's vote to 29 seats. The Socialist Party increased our numbers on the NEC to seven.
It is clear from the positive response that many left activists are very enthused by the election result. It shows it's not all about numbers but the perception of an organisation that's achieved success at its first outing and will only help it to grow if it adopts a fighting and democratic programme.