I'm delighted to report I've been re-elected to UNISON's National Executive Council (NEC) for a third time.
I received a letter confirming I am the only candidate in the NEC election for the Higher Education General Seat, so there is no need for a ballot: I've been elected unopposed.
In 2010 I fought a successful election campaign in a by-election and shortly afterwards in 2011 I was elected unopposed. I received nine branch nominations in 2010, then 19 in 2011. This year I received 15 branch nominations and no other candidate was able to muster the two branch nominations required to stand against me.
It would be nice to have a fresh mandate from the members, but obviously I'm glad not to have to campaign. And the endorsements I received from a wide range of branches - and the support from branch activists which this represents - I feel is also a strong mandate.
Last month I fought for my own job and won reinstatement. I'm extremely grateful for all the support I received then and glad not to have to fight an election now as a lot of work needs to be done fighting the Tories and their friends (such as the management of London Met) who are dismantling the welfare state and attacking the poor; they are privatising the public sector or cutting it down to the bone; and they are victimizing union reps when they fight back.
So thanks to all those who supported my election campaign again this year, and to those who fought to stop London Met from sacking me and two of my colleagues. There is still a disciplinary against me, so maybe see you on the 17th?
If you backed me for the NEC, please now put all your efforts into getting Tomasa Bullen elected onto the HE Female seat and for all the left candidates standing for the NEC.
Our union needs a fighting leadership to stand up to this vicious government of cuts and privatisation, which is why I think you should vote for me:
The key issue last year was the pensions dispute, which gave us a taste of what we can do when we come together and resist the Government the way we did in November 2011. Public opinion was on our side, and our members felt confident. We discussed bringing members in other pensions schemes (like SAUL) and private sector unions into a 'second wave' of strike action in 2012 but instead the dispute fizzled out, which has demoralised members and activists who feel let down.
We must be determined if we are to break the pay freeze: our members are increasingly feeling the pinch of rocketing food, fuel and travel costs. We must begin to rebuild the unity the union movement showed in the pensions dispute. We need to demonstrate we are serious and will take the action necessary to win, not just another one day strike.
As a militant trade unionist, I've taken leading roles in the London Met branch since 2008, and our branch is now strong and well organised. We fought against job cuts in 2009 and 2011 with successful strike action. We doubled our redundancy pay and had significantly reduced compulsory redundancies. I believe the NEC needs activists with such experience in order to resist the tide of redundancies across the country and support those fighting at branch level.
In 2012 our branch fought a huge battle against 'Shared Services' which was an unprecedented attempt to privatise the back offices of our University – the entire non-academic staff were at risk of transfer to a new company managed by a private company. We refused to accept 'the inevitable' and we fought their proposals with a vibrant campaign, which mobilised our members and we won.
Overseas Students & UKBA
Our branch fought against the UK Border Agency who revoked our license to recruit international students this year. Once again we mobilised our members, working with the UCU and the local student union, and this campaign was also successful: a high court injunction allowed students at London Met to continue their studies this year.
I'm fully committed to the Living Wage campaign. During national pay talks I have persistently pushed this issue back onto the agenda. I've seen the positive effect winning the Living Wage had on our low paid members lives, so I know how important it is and can support branches who want to win it locally too.
When elected in 2010, I committed to being accountable to members and be open about my positions. You can check my record on my blog:
I'm an independent socialist, not a member of any party, and part of the UNISON United Left.
Please also vote for Tomasa Bullen for the HE Female Seat, who is also standing for a 'fighting, democratic union'.