Monday, January 09, 2017

STRONGER UNISON - request for Community NEC Nominations

NEC Elections 2017: Community General Seat & Female Seat Nomination Request

John Gray                                                                                         Denise Charles
RMS 3083288                                                                                  RMS 8688788

Dear Branch Secretary

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 Denise Charles for the Female seat.

Denise is currently the Cymru/Wales Regional representative on the Community Service Group Executive. She has also been a longstanding UNISON activist holding positions as regional Branch Secretary and currently the convenor of Hafal which is the largest Mental Health charity in Wales.  She is an active member of Ymlaen/Forward Branch which has over 4500 Community members in over 400 organisations

John is currently the Community NEC General seat representative and 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 works as a Housing officer and is the Branch Secretary of the Greater London Housing Associations Branch which has over 3000 Community members.

Denise has a background as a support worker for women fleeing domestic abuse. As a Branch Secretary she set up a steward’s network to mentor workplace activists and representatives. On the SGE she has championed equalities and tackling low pay in our sector.

John has served the union as a NEC member on the Policy and Development Committee, Trustee on the UNISON staff pension fund, National Labour link and is a trustee of UNISON “there for you” (Welfare) fund Committee.

Protecting Jobs, Terms & Conditions
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 contracts then try and do their utmost to destroy TUPE protections.

We deserve a Pay Rise
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. In the voluntary sector employers are funding the National Living wage by attacking terms and conditions and increasing workloads.

Both of us as NEC and SGE members 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:-
  • Sector Wage Councils. 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)
  • Defend Pensions. Protect the Social Housing Pension fund and the Pension Trust from further cuts.
  • Access to a decent defined benefit pension scheme for all.
  • Challenging poor health & safety at work in particular stress
  • Recruit & train more activists to support members
  • No public money for “union busters”. Any employer that does not have a trade union recognition agreement should be barred from grants or contracts from local or national governments.
We believe that we would both work together well as your Community NEC team. While Denise's employer is a voluntary organisation, John works for a 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.

Yours faithfully

Denise Charles & John Gray 

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