Monday, February 13, 2023

UNISON NEC Elections 2023: John Gray Statement for Community General Seat (Ballot papers drop 17/4/23)

"I work for a housing association and deal with complex anti-social behaviour, domestic abuse and tenancy fraud. As a housing worker I understand first-hand the stresses and difficulties of providing public services. As a steward and National Convenor, I work hard every day to help members when they need it most, representing them in disciplinary, sickness absences and grievances as well as negotiating with my employer on pay, terms and conditions.

Too often the community sector is overlooked and underestimated. We often have much worse terms and conditions than those directly employed by hospital trusts or local authorities. Community workers need a government that respects our sector and the important services we provide.

My special interest is pensions and I represent UNISON on two pension boards. Everyone should have the right to a fair and decent pension, our sector often suffers from lower employer contributions and worse benefits. 

As well as being a front line worker I am an experienced activist. I’m the National UNISON Convenor for my employer and a Community Service Group Executive member, and former NEC member. I’ve been an active member of both local government & community branches for over 29 years, I’ve previously been branch secretary, treasurer, and health & safety officer.

As your NEC member, I promise to tackle the issues that matter and put our members’ front and centre- as I've always done.

Please also vote for Denise Thomas (Community Female seat)

If elected, we promise to:

Put Community Members First - We will represent every one of the 82,000 plus UNISON members raising the issues that matter most to Community members and branches. We will also make sure Community members get a high standard of representation, legal advice and support from UNISON when they need it most.

Tackle the Cost of Living Crisis - we need a decent pay rise in every third-sector employer and increased resources for branches to do so. We have the lowest pay, worst terms and conditions and are expected to survive on good will and our passion for our sector. We need proper, long-term funding and respect for the important services we provide.

Stand United and Reject Division - We will work with, and support, Christina McAnea, the elected General Secretary to deliver for all members. Last year’s vote of no confidence in the current NEC shows that what matters most is working for positive, progressive change in our union - not pettiness and protecting individuals.

Make sure everyone has a voice in UNISON - Community has over 80% Women and over 20% Black members with a diverse workforce across all regions and nations. UNISON must represent all members and the NEC should be led by those that do.

Fight Discrimination and put it at the heart of UNISON- No-one should ever experience racism, misogyny, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, ageism, disability or any other form of discrimination in either the workplace or the union. We promise to work with all the Self- Organised Groups to support their priorities".

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