Sunday, June 21, 2009

Personal report of the NEC meeting at the close of Conference

I am being wilfully lazy and not blogging further information about UNISON National Conference just yet. I will however publish the following brief report which I have circulated to UNISON branches in the Greater London Region;

The first meeting of the newly elected National Executive Council(NEC) was scheduled to take place at the close of National Delegate Conference on Friday afternoon.

This meeting is chaired each year, at the outset, by the General Secretary, since the former President and Vice-Presidents have ceased to hold office and the main item of business is the election of a new “Presidential Team”.

At the commencement of the meeting, General Secretary Dave Prentis noted the presence of John McDermott from the Yorkshire and Humberside Region. John had been a candidate in the NEC election and had secured 4,670 votes. His opponent had secured 4,577 votes but had been declared elected.

Dave requested – but did not instruct – John to leave the meeting. John pointed out (quite reasonably in my view) that he had won the election and was entitled to be present. In response to John’s refusal to comply with his request, Dave invited Deputy General Secretary Keith Sonnet to make a statement.

Keith announced that the meeting of the NEC would be adjourned until 8 July at Mabledon Place and members of the NEC left the meeting room without having elected a President or either Vice President.

I have queried the power used by officers to adjourn the NEC meeting as it was clear to me that there were other options to enable the election of the Presidential Team. I will report to branches on any response. Given the highly unusual circumstances in which the Independent Scrutineer has declared as elected a candidate who did not win their election it may well be that the Union will not be able to resolve this difficult question without the intervention of the Certification Officer. I will report to branches further as information comes to light.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

What options were clear to you as being available???

Anonymous said...

Which rule was quoted to justify removing John from the NEC election?

Anonymous said...

Is there a dispute about John's elegibility to take part in the election?

Louise said...

Sorry Jon, but have I skipped a chapter as I don't understand why a candidate who secures the most votes isn't elected...to quote a line from Eastenders...Wot's goin' on???!!

Anonymous said...

Re point 3, I doubt he'll win on this within the union. There's some loophole somewhere, no doubt, that will justify calling the meeting off.
I do wonder, though, what the point of this action was - as surely it's simply served to marginalise some on the NEC, and I am sure you'll be in no doubt that the man expecting to leave the week "crowned" President would be a bit brassed off with all this?! Was there no other means available to make the point?

Anonymous said...

Do you think John McDermott's actions in this were reasonable and should be supported?

Anonymous said...

Having read John McDermott's account of this matter, I have to say I very much doubt your view that if instructed he would have left the meeting. He does seem rather determined.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a mess that only an independent third party can resolve. The positions are now firmly entrenched!

Anonymous said...

So Jon, do you think John McDermott should have gone into the NEC meeting like he did and refuse to leave?