Men fight and lose the battle, and the thing that they fought for comes about in spite of their defeat, and when it comes turns out not to be what they meant, and other men have to fight for what they meant under another name. (William Morris - A Dream of John Ball)

Friday, July 07, 2017


I see that some of my fellow complainants in the recent case at the Certification Officer concerning the last General Secretary election in UNISON have lodged an appeal with the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT).

I haven’t.

I don’t want to comment on the legal merits of an appeal. I’m not a lawyer and it’s never wise to prejudge a case that hasn’t been heard yet. However a Certification Officer decision can only be altered by the EAT if it involves an error of law or if findings of fact are so unreasonable as to be perverse.

At any events, my decision not to appeal was not based upon any assessment of the legal merits of so doing.

My reason for not pursuing an appeal is that I fear that further litigation will just be used to delay UNISON facing up to the precise recommendations and damning conclusions in the decision of the Assistant Certification Officer (with which regular readers of this blog will be familiar).

There are those within UNISON (including a larger number of members of the National Executive than ever before) who are motivated to pursue change within our trade union, particularly in relation to the conduct of overzealous supporters of the successful candidate in the last General Secretary election.

Others, however would rather not have to confront these issues. Whatever happens at the Employment Appeal Tribunal, the recommendations which both UNISON and the complainants asked the Assistant Certification Officer to make stand to be considered.
There will also be another election for UNISON General Secretary, in 2020 if not before, as well as biennial elections to the Service Group Executives (this year) and the National Executive Council (next year).

As an ordinary rank and file UNISON member, holding no office or position in the trade union, I very much hope that my friends and comrades in the UNISON Action Broad Left will continue to make headway in all these elections.

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