I am very pleased about two things about the NEC election results: Firstly, Tomasa won the election for the Female Seat for Higher Ed on the NEC by a large margin, giving a strong mandate for a solid trade unionist (you might have notice I was campaigning for her). Also, having checked the turn outs, it is worth noting that in Higher Ed the turn out was higher than nearly all other Service Groups.
The actual percentages are: Black members (and overall turn out): 5.6%; Young members: 2.09%.
Service Group seats: Local Gov: 6.01%; Health, 4.77%; Higher Ed: 8.34%; Energy 4.13%; Water Environment and Transport (WET) 8.82%; Police:
6.52%; Community 5.57%.
So there you have it - a Higher turn out for Higher Ed!
Our members are more engaged in these elections than other service groups and have voted solidly for left candidates in HE when we campaign in our stronger areas.
Is it also worth noting that two other Higher Ed members were elected onto the NEC to represent regions: Davena Rankin from Scotland and Mike Hines from SW - bringing the HE members up from one to four on the NEC (more than making up for being minus an HE seat since Alison Shepherd left in January 2012). Congratulations to them.
Why is this? I think we won the HE seat partly due to a well organised campaign for the elections, but maybe also it is due to more lively leadership in Higher Ed? Maybe due to a decrease in membership and the consequent fear over job cuts leading to votes for a stronger leadership? Or is it more generally a well embedded culture of healthy debate and constructive criticism in our Service Group, developed over the last few years? Maybe due to our more solid stance taken during the pensions dispute than all other service groups? Maybe less encouragingly, it was simply the very low turn outs overall means it does not take much to increase (after all 8.34% is still very low).
Tomasa Bullen, committing to greater accountability on the NEC, says:
"I would like to thank you for supporting my nomination and election to the NEC's HE female seat.Please convey my thanks to your members who voted/canvassed on my behalf. I am extremely grateful. Please keep in touch as I really do want to be able to represent your views on the NEC. I can be contacted on the above e-mail or on 02380 319972. I know that I have met some of you at various UNISON events, be they HE or other and if you are at National Delegate Conference next week, we might bump into each other.Again, many thanks, Tomasa
Whatever the reason for a good turn out and winning a good left voice for the NEC, we need to follow this up with a good return to reject the 1% pay offer. More on that to follow...
Right - see you in Liverpool? Come and say hi if you are at NDC.
Max Watson - (re-elected unopposed to NEC) - cheers!