Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Numeracy Hour for the negative campaigners

I am sure that UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis is ashamed of those of his over zealous supporters who have allowed their vitriol at rank and file challenger Paul Holmes to spill over into untruthful attacks upon Paul's Kirklees Branch, thereby bringing our Union into disrepute.

The blog set up to attack Paul in Yorkshire claimed that the UNISON Density in Kirklees is only 58% and that this refutation of claims for the Kirklees branch was a blow to Paul's candidacy.

The attack was then picked up anonymously by factional blog "Unison Active" who repeated this nonsense.

Unfortunately none of those gleefully attacking UNISON in order to attack a rank and file worker with the temerity to put himself forward to lead our Union bothered to remember that a meaningful fraction needs an accurate denominator as well as a numerator.

The Kirklees branch has around 8,600 members employed by their main employer.

Of the approximately 15,000 jobs in the Council, 4,000 are held by teachers and 500 by craft workers. UNISON is not recognised to negotiate for either group and to calculate UNISON density by including these groups in the denominator is to deliberately understate the strength of our Union. I can see why the employers might do that, but not genuine trade unionists.

There are around 10,200 workers holding the approximately 11,000 jobs in respect of which UNISON is recognised (since some 400 workers have two or three different jobs with the Council) so that figure should provide the denominator, with the membership figure as the numerator.

Now, bearing in mind that all these figures are approximate, I reckon that's a UNISON density figure around 84.5%.

It may be that instead of counting teachers as part of the workforce UNISON should be organising the authors of these attacks upon UNISON ought to have had a word with one or more teachers of mathematics?

I can at least categorically refute the rumour that the London Region Finance Convenor was involved in any of the calculations!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just for clarity - how many members are there of Kirklees branch not employed by the Council?