Unison NEC elections – Socialist Party position strengthened

Socialist Party members on Unison’s National Executive Council (NEC) now number five, one more than was the case on the old NEC.

This is despite the unfortunate loss of Jean Thorpe’s East Midland Female Seat to a right-wing candidate.

Other existing members: April Ashley, (Black Members Female seat), Roger Bannister (North West Male seat) and Vicky Perrin (Yorkshire and Humberside Reserved seat) retained their seats, Roger again achieving the highest vote for a regional seat across all regions.

They will be joined by Dave Auger who defeated a sitting right winger in the West Midlands Male seat and Jacqui Berry who did the same, taking one of the South East Female seats.

Sixteen Socialist Party members contested these elections, and in Yorkshire and Humberside Mike Forster lost out on the Male seat by only 19 votes! In Cymru Wales Jamie Davis came within 294 votes of unseating the chair of Finance.

Many people will be disappointed that Glenn Kelly, one of the victims of the vicious witch-hunt was not able to regain the seat from which he was illegally thrown out.

The Socialist Party contested these elections in a bloc with the United Left and other individual lefts, under the banner Reclaim the Union.

These elections are held every two years, and in 2011 all the contested seats in the North West went to left candidates, the only region where this is the case, and a matter of concern to the regional leadership.

In the North West all the sitting left NEC members held their seats, the only exception to this trend being in the Reserved seat, taken by a right winger in an unopposed election.

This clearly calls into question the credibility of the region’s right-wing leadership, that clearly has little base of support among the rank and file members.

The right-wing slate of candidates circulated a leaflet with a photograph of them all standing together proclaiming themselves to be “A New Voice For The North West”! One Unison member likened this leaflet to something the Mormons produce, with the inevitable happy family shot!

Joking aside, the Wirral branch breached the election rules by displaying this leaflet on the branch website.

Given the record of politically biased application of sanctions in Unison, it is doubtful whether any action will be taken.

Overall the elections show a slight strengthening of the lefts on the NEC. Over the next year Socialist Party NEC members will work with other lefts to argue for action to defend members’ jobs, pay and conditions of service, including arguing for implementation of the general strike decision of the TUC, and for a national demonstration to defend the health service.

see: http://covcouncilsocialists.wordpress.com for an interview with Dave Auger

Unison conference Socialist Party meeting:

“Why we need a 24-hour general strike against austerity”

Wednesday 19 June 7pm

Liverpool Hotel, James street L2 7PQ (opposite museum of Liverpool)

Speakers include Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party general secretary