NEC elections – make sure you use your vote

UNISON’s National Executive Council elections open on Monday 17 April. All UNISON members who joined before the 17 January are eligible to vote and you should expect to receive a voting pack to your registered home address, including details of the candidates and a prepaid return envelope. 

We’d encourage all members to vote in this very important set of elections – the NEC takes vital decisions about the running of the union in between conferences and this is your chance to decide who sits on it. 

If you haven’t received a voting pack by the 25 April, call UNISON direct on 0800 0 857 857 and they will be able to check your address and send you a replacement. Your vote needs to be received by the independent scrutineeer by 5pm on the 19 May.  

It’s up to you who you vote for and you can exercise your vote for all of the seats detailed on your voting paper. Please do also look out for the text explaining how many seats are up for election – you will get two votes for some seats.

Branch nominations 

Decisions on nominations were made back at a meeting we held back in January. 

In general we nominated candiates who made firm commitments to change our union for the better, which includes increasing strike pay, improving the legal services offered to members and reviewing the union’s resources and staffing structures. In general all are committed to putting power and resources in the hands of members and branch activists, so we can get on with the work of fighting and winning for you

Higher education seats

We decided to nominate Jo Tapper and Kath Owen for the Higher Education seats – these are the seats that represent workers in Universities and other higher education employers from across the whole country. Kath is a current NEC rep and is standing for re-election to the female seat. Jo is a new NEC candidate standing for the general seat. Both are massively dedicated activists from very active branches, and they have a clear track record of standing up for members and making sure our voice is heard in the union. As well as the general commitments above, the specific HE commitment that persuaded us to nominate Jo and Kath is ensuring we take a strong position nationally on sorting out the shamefully low level of pay in higher education. 

West Midlands regional seats

For the regional seats, we have nominated Caroline Johnson and Mandy Buckley for the two female seats that are available, both from our sister branch Birmingham Local Government UNISON. We have nominated Tameka Hewitt for the reserved seat and Mike Vaughan for the male seatAll four are dedicated and experienced local activists, and they are signed up to change our union for the better. 

Black members’ seats

For the black members seats, we’ve nominated Shazziah Rock from Sandwell local government branch, and April Ashley in the female seats (again two seats are available). We nominated existing NEC member Julia Mwaluke in the reserved seat and Hugo Pierre for the male seat. All of these candidates inspired us in their nomination requests, and all seem enthusiastic about changing our union for the better.

Disabled members’ seats

For these seats we decided to nominate Andrew Berry for the general seat and Tara Thomas for the female seat. They are both excellent candidates standing on a platform of continuing the change the NEC and union sorely need. To pick out a couple of examples – Andrew speaks strongly in his nomination statement about the importance of proper sick pay for keeping all workers safe and Tara makes some really interesting points about the intersectionality of disability and race, 

Make sure you use your vote in these really important elections!

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