Thanks so much to all those UNISON activists in the Higher Education sector who, during a short period in the holiday season went out of their way to encourage nominations, convincing nine branches to back the election campaign.
It's a really humbling experience to stand for election and I've been overwhelmed by the kind words and encouraging messages of support I've received over the last few weeks.
Getting nominations from a range of branches was important - from outside London (where I'm based), as well as within, from old and new universities, and from male and female activists - and we achieved that too.
Politically, this election is an important one: we've got tough times ahead, and UNISON members will be feeling the pressure over the next year. So it's an important time to put a left, fighting candidate on to the ballot paper. And whilst there are some on the right who think struggling universities - like London Met - should be left to go under, it's right to have a candidate from an 'ex-Poly' with financial problems, standing up for the underdog.
Although in fact eleven branches agreed to nominate 'Max Watson for NEC', in the end the following nine branches got their papers in before the deadline (follow links for endorsements):
- King College London (KCL)*
- London Metropolitan University
- London South Bank University*
- Middlesex University
- School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)
- University of Birmingham
- University of Brighton*
- University of Cambridge and Colleges*
Both Westminster and University of College London (UCL) had also voted to nominate but their papers were not received in time or were disallowed (e.g. no email voting precedent had been set). Thanks for agreeing to nominate anyway despite redundancy situations and so on. Hopefully not too many more nomination papers are ruled out of order in the next week (make sure your minutes are all typed up and approved).
If you're a UNISON member of any of those branches above, or from any HE branch with active UNISON members, then get in touch to find out how you can help (in a personal capacity).
If you work Higher Ed but aren't yet a member, then join UNISON.
Thanks again for all the nominations. The next steps are timetabled here (pdf):
5pm, 13 August 2010
The deadline for candidates to withdraw their nomination.
The deadline for the original signed paper meeting nomination forms and candidate
forms, which were sent by e-mail and fax by 6 August 2010, to be received by MLU.
The deadline for candidates to be told whether election addresses were received.
20 August 2010
The deadline for candidates to be told about whether they can stand in the election.
5pm, 27 August 2010
The deadline for written appeals and supporting evidence from candidates to be received by the Returning Officer.
7 September 2010
The deadline for any appeal decisions made by the Returning Officer.
20 September 2010
Branches are told the details about the election.
27 September 2010
Ballot papers are sent to members. Ballot starts.
5 October 2010
The start of the Ballot helpline for members.
12noon, 19 October 2010
The end of the Ballot helpline for members.
5pm, 22 October 2010
5pm, 29 October 2010
The deadline for written complaints and supporting evidence to be sent to the Returning
12 November 2010
The deadline for the Returning Officer to investigate and respond to complaints.
16 November 2010
The candidates are told the results.
17 November 2010
The public are told the results.
Should be home in time for Xmas then! So, it's time for a holiday. As of next week until mid September... Hope you've all had/ will have a good holiday too? Get in touch with ideas for the election campaign via email or Facebook.