You may be forgiven for not noticing that prospective NEC candidates are currently seeking nominations from Branches for the forthcoming NEC elections. The hard-left faction, although trying hard not to fly the unison action broad left flag, are fielding about 50 candidates, if the list they are peddling in their begging letters are to be believed. The most recent of these was circulated at the Black Members Conference.
The list of demands on the leaflet are somewhat confusing, because it looks like they are demanding it of themselves. But let’s be generous and look at each one.
We demand unison action against racism (obviously slotted in to appeal to Black Members) Difficult to understand exactly what they are demanding, as UNISON’s record on challenging racism is pretty solid. Interesting they make this demand, given the fact they allowed racist material to be displayed on their face book page. Hypocrisy of the highest order.
We demand unison action to save our jobs Presumably this is a call for more strikes, as they are clearly failing to recognise the hard work of branches, activists and officers. As a lot of those named are officers and stewards of branches, are they suggesting that they themselves are doing nothing? Well, they are probably not putting the work in were its needed. If your response to everything is strike, you are bound to miss other oportunities.
We demand unison action for decent pay This suggests that UNISON has done nothing on pay, the last time I looked UNISON members voted on pay deals. The hard-left faction do not respect the decisions of members who make democratic decisions. Don’t they trust members to do this? You would think not.
We demand tories out now and a general election Straight from the SWP playbook. This call can be heard at the paste tables of the SWP and Socialist party in most cities. Interesting that they are not demanding this of UNISON, in fact it is not clear who they are demanding it of?
Let’s have a look at some of the comments contained within a unison action broad left nomination request.
The way the nec works must change and It must reach decisions member’s want.
The union works in a democratic way, so by default not everyone is going to be satisfied, It is of course right and proper that democratic decisions are supported by all members of the NEC by virtue of collective responsibility, something the hard-left faction are not keen on.
Given that this individual prefers to segregate themself from the NEC by sitting in a different room, I think I may agree with this one; yes turn up and get involved!
Not content with continuing austerity, members in this region are being forced to work for no pay.
Now forgive me if I am wrong, but isn’t what is described here slavery? Wouldn’t you expect this individual to be reporting this to the police? At the very least you would expect them to do something about it it?
The rule book states we are a member led union. But are we? Or are we led by unelected paid officers, the majority of whom are NOT unison.members. And what about the majority of the current nec? Can they really be trusted to defend our member’s.?
This is a long running claim by the hard-left faction that has no basis in fact whatsoever. It does emphasise their total ignorance of how the union works and given this individual has been a member of the NEC for a number of years, it clearly demonstraits that they have not been paying attention. Paid officers of the union are employees of UNISON, who are free to join a trade union. There are a number of trade unions recognised by unison who make up the staff side just like any progressive employer. Some of them are UNISON members mainly for reasons of solidarity. If UNISON did not employ people it would not be able to function.
Can the current NEC members be trusted? Well I don’t think I would be trusting this individual. I am sure that this sort of rhetoric is the cause of great offence to current NEC members who do work hard on behalf of the members.
There must be no more polical witch hunts. Both branches and members must have the right to campaign against national policy- including opposing pay deals – free from faceing suspension and free from the interference of unelected of paid officers.
Please read my previous blogs on this subject. To summarise, an individual is currently suspended from UNISON and is under investigation. The hard-left faction are claiming it is for speaking out against UNISON policy. The truth of the matter is that they don’t know what the person is suspended for or what the allegations amount to. They have mounted a campaign of support for a reason that is nothing more than fantasy. I am sure that the truth will leak out once ever the formal process has ended. UNISON has specific rules relating to the conduct of its members and where allegations of a breach of these rules are made, it has a duty to investigate. UNISON employs staff who are trained and able to conduct these investigations. The decision as to wether the allegations are upheld is made by lay officials.
The time has come for members to take control of thier union. Yes there has been industrial action but these have been grass roots level action and only belatedly received national backing, what we need is an NEC that leads and not follows. No more letting branches fight alone.
Another old chestnut this one with a touch of the Brexit missive. All industrial action must be approved by the National Industrial Action Committee, having been first approved by the Regional Secretary concerned. There has been industrial action and it has been supported by the wider union and the Regions concerned. If they believe that there has been no industrial action, they must have been living in a bubble.
As I have explained many times before, all industrial action has to abide by legislation to provide protection to both members and the union. The hard-left faction keep ignoring this vitally important point. What they mean by “fighting alone” is that they want secondary action which is unlawful.
What is meant by “an NEC that leads not follows” is beyond me, as to its meaning, perhaps someone could explain it?
Most of the requests that I have seen cover the same territory, some in a slightly different way and many are obviously cut and paste from the same template. The template has probably been penned by the shadowy characters who associate themselves with unison action broad left, obviously fuelled by the SWP/Socialist party.
Having been declared as an outside organisation, unison action broad left are struggling to leave their fingerprints off the campaign, however the cracks are forming. You don’t have to be a forensic genius to to see this.
My advice to you reader, would be to support anyone other than the people that appear on the list. If you care about the union and everything it does, don’t give these people a bigger foothold on your union. They claim they do not want to take over the union; the evidence proves that they do.
Thanks for reading.