John Gray & Isobel McVicar
RMS 3083288 & 5260001
8 January 2013
Dear UNISON Branch Secretary
We believe that your branch is entitled to nominate candidates to the two Community
seats for this year's National Executive Council elections. We request that your
branch considers nominating John Gray for the General Seat and Isobel McVicar for
the Female seat.
John has been an activist in UNISON for many years and held a number of branch and
regional positions including Treasurer, Health & Safety, Welfare, Labour Link,
International officer and Assistant Secretary. He is now the Branch Secretary of the
Greater London Housing Associations Branch which has nearly 3500 members.
Isobel has also been a longstanding UNISON activist holding positions of Assistant
Conditions of Service Officer, Publicity Officer and Branch Secretary in the Glasgow
City Branch and International Officer in the Manchester Branch
In 2011 we were the first ever elected Community members to be represented on the
National Executive Council. While on the NEC John has served on the Policy and
Development Committee, Trustee on the UNISON staff pension fund and National
Labour link. Isobel has served on the Finance and Resources Committee and the
Community members are facing amongst the very worse cuts in jobs and attacks on
their pay, pensions, terms and conditions by this Tory led Government.
Care and support staff wages in particular are under threat as unscrupulous employers
deliberately underbid to win Supporting People contracts then try and do their up most
to destroy TUPE protections.
While many Housing management organisations are cash rich after years of inflation
plus rent rises yet still refuse to give their staff decent pay rises.
Many Community members belong to the Pension Trust or the Social Housing Pension
Fund. Some employers are using flawed and discredited accounting measures as an
excuse to try and close their schemes or raise contributions to unaffordable levels.
Both of us have been working and campaigning with branches and regions to oppose
these measures. We believe that Community members must play our part in opposing
Austerity and arguing for an alternative economic policy.
We also believe that there are a number of Community specific campaigns that
UNISON should be pursuing such as:-
• Binding Sectoral Pay Boards - Set up to decide the pay and conditions of all
staff by collective bargaining including a living wage minimum for all Community
workers and agency/sub-contractors.
• Better governance and democracy - increasingly many of our employer
management boards are run by highly paid unelected and unrepresentative
"elites". There should be union employee representation on all Community Trust
or management boards, especially remuneration committees (if applicable)
• Access to a decent defined benefit pension scheme for all.
• No public money for anti-trade union employers. Community organisations that
do not have trade union recognition agreements should not be allowed to bid for
grants or contracts from local or national governments.
We both work together well as your Community NEC team. While Isobel's employer is
a small charity, John's works for a large housing association, so we represent and
complement both of the major sectors in Community.
If you would like either of us to come and attend a branch meeting or Hustings (under
UNISON election rules) then please let us know and if we can, we will be delighted to
come and speak.
You can contact John on 07977 285 297/john.gray2012atbtinternetdotcom. Or Isobel on
07876 561 643/izzymcVatbtinternetdotcom
John Gray & Isobel McVicar
(I'll be posting on other NEC nominee recommendations during the next few days)