Sunday, April 12, 2015

UNISON Greater London Regional Office breached UNISON Rules

‎As we face elections to UNISON's National Executive Council (NEC) in which - in the London Region - candidates drawn from lay activism face candidates supported from the Regional Office - it is important to note that our Regional Officials were responsible for undemocratic conduct which forced the Union to concede that UNISON had acted wrongfully in litigation brought legitimately by one of our members.

After the unfortunate and misconceived disciplinary action which the Union brought against four activists following events at our 2007 National Delegate Conference (and which eventually led to a comprehensive legal defeat for our Union), officials in the Greater London Region eagerly took control of the Bromley and Greenwich local government branches.

This eager affront to trade union democracy, informed by a rotten political tradition still expressed by the remnants of the Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist), was plainly driven by a continuing agenda to control union branches in our Region (on behalf of people whose only interest is in their control over our union not in the ability of our union to fight for our members).

Thanks to the diligence and determination of former Greenwich branch chair, Roger Barton, we now know that our officials acted shamefully in breach of the law and - more importantly - of UNISON's Rules. 

Those UNISON members who approve of paid officials undermining our democracy and breaching our Rules can safely disregard the fact that our Union conceded that the conduct of London Regional officials was unlawful, and will doubtless happily vote for my opponent and the other right-wing candidates in the NEC elections.

If, on the other hand, you are a UNISON member who wants a trade union which fights for, and is controlled by, its members then I would suggest that you vote for the "Reclaim the Union" candidates in the NEC elections.‎

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the EE network.

1 comment:

Roger Barton said...

Hi Jon It brought me no pleasure to take a union to the Certification Officer. At its simplest UNISON officials removed myself and most other Greenwich Branch officers when they suspended Onay Kasab as Branch Secretary together with the other three activists from other branches after the 2007 Conference. As none of us amongst the Greenwich officers were involved in the production of the "Three Monkeys" leaflet which was the pretext for their action, this was an affront to any democratic principles. There were all kinds of threats made against me by officials which I will not recount here. Suffice to say at the earliest opportunity I made clear my desire to stand for re-election as UNISON Chair for Greenwich when the courts ruled against the lawfulness of the original suspension of the four activists noted above. Most of the other Greenwich officers had left UNISON by this point. When I was told there was no intention to hold an election soon I threatened to take an injunction to force one. Some time later an election was held, and it is now accepted by UNISON that the process was not properly constituted and "somehow" I was not informed of the nominations nor were the normal channels used to advertise the election so I missed my opportunity to stand. As it happens by coincidence I was suspended by my employer for the several months around this time for raising with the Information Commissioner an issue of leaks of private Data by Greenwich. It is therefore a very bittersweet success in showing the lack of control the lay membership has and like yourself would urge members to seriously consider their options when voting and reclaim the union for the membership by picking candidates who are committed to that.