Monday, 22 February 2010
To quote Paul's hero, Bob Dylan, we need a 'new morning' in UNISON and with Paul as General Secretary we will get one.
Mike Tucker (Personal capacity)
NEC Member, South East Region
Secretary, Southampton District Branch
Wednesday, 17 February 2010
1) Maternity Leave
6 weeks at 90% of full pay
plus 12 1/2 days public holidays.
plus 10 days public holiday
Total paid holiday: 31 (36 after 5 year's service)
4) Premium payments
Monday, 15 February 2010
I have known Paul for many years and his activities and record speaks for itself including the highest membership density of a UNISON Branch and forcing a special conference on Local Government Pensions.
Paul is a great speaker and inspires any meeting he attends. He would be a great General Secretary and would not pull his punches when it comes to attacking employers and Governments who attack our members.
I would urge all branches to nominate Paul.
Sunday, 14 February 2010
I am of the firm belief that Paul Holmes has all the characteristics to lead UNISON. He is a visionary who doesn't 'do small'. He is an inspiration to the activists in Kirklees UNISON and I have no doubt that as General Secretary he will give confidence and hope to members and activists, inspiring them to organise and fight for better pay and conditions.
He has a proven track record of supporting workers in struggle. He is not afraid to debate at any forum where he is invited. Paul is able to accomodate a wide range of political differences without resorting to Machiavellian tactics to stifle dissent.
I am proud to support Paul for General Secretary and have every confidence that he is able to win and become the first leader of UNISON prepared to do the job on a worker's wage.
Bernadette Gallagher NEC (personal capacity).
(Of the 33 women elected to the Regional seats on the NEC in the last elections, Bernadette Gallagher polled the highest number of votes.)
Saturday, 13 February 2010
Thursday, 11 February 2010
Paul has got a high profile amongst the rank and file in UNISON especially in Local Government.
Paul is also a very influential NEC member and an excellent branch secretary with a membership density of 86% - Paul led the successful call for a special conference on Local Government pensions when Prentis et al were disregarding democracy - it is thanks to Paul that members decided how we defended the LG Pension scheme. It's estimated that 40% of Local government branches backed Paul's call for this special conference.
As a candidate Paul offers a clear choice between a rank and file workerstanding to lead a fight back (on a workers wage) and an incumbent who is standing for continuity with the immediate past.
Chair of Unison United Left
Wednesday, 10 February 2010
Leeds Local Government Branch.
(in a personal capacity).
10th February 2010.
Friday, 5 February 2010
"I'm supporting Paul Holmes for General Secretary because we need strong leadership as our members come under attack from the Government and the Employers. Paul's branch Kirklees Unison, with over 80% of the Council's workforce in the union, is a model of organisation for all branches to aim for. We need that level of organisation in branches across Britain in order to respond to the attacks that are undoubtably coming."
Thursday, 4 February 2010
The Labour Party don't think they can win the election, the Tory Party are scared to win it and the Liberals know they can't win it. Nobody is promising anything but misery. Our cuts won't be as bad as theirs. Where's the vision, where's the hope?
30 years ago there were many speakers who inspired us. Speakers who hundreds queued to see. Who would you queue to see now? And there is the rub. Because those activists who are the fundemental backbone of the union are moving into middle/old age. Who is inspiring the next group of activists? All those thousands of stewards who give their time freely to help others. Those people who the members in the workplace look to for support, advice and aid. Because it is the activists who require inspiration. Everyone has something to offer. You don't have to agree with them. You have to encourage debate, dialogue, and even disagreement. You learn from debate, not from orthodoxy and monotony. 'Don't write people off lightly, it's not the mark of a good organiser'. If we keep our heads down, who benefits; What is a union? 'An instrument of fight and the guardian of economic concessions. Every worker who joins a union understands this instinctively. The worker wants an improvement in their conditions, but also wants security in their job while fighting for those improvements. That is what recognition of the union means'.
The workers' reaction to the 0% pay offer in local government could be 'what is more important pay or job security?' But it is not as simple as that. Organisation and fighting for pay improvements, strengthens the union and actually increases job security. If you think that this is untrue, look at the low-paid, non-unionised sections of society. Have they got more job security?. British Airways cabin staff got a 90% yes vote on a 80% turnout. That's why British Airways went to the courts, because the employer had lost the propaganda war with their own workforce and the courts were their only hope.
So we have a General Secretary election in the union. A vital election. An election which will lay a marker down. Will affiliation to the Labour Party be such a big issue if the Tories win the general election? Whoever wins the general election needs a 'shot across their bows'. They need a message that unions are ready to organise. Very few public sector workers are anti-union. Some have had bad experiences in other unions or in this one. Some feel that the union is powerless or not there for them. It wouldn't take much to change that. Thousands of employees are frightened, worried and fearful. We need to give them confidence and hope. Then they will join a union in their thousands.
Where does that confidence and hope come from? From MP's on the fiddle or trade union leaders waiting to to get into the House of Lords or the City? No, leadership is 90% example. The General Secretary election is about the future of the union and our members. Let no-one be in any doubt that there is no feeling as good as the support of members. They have every right to be cynical. They see all around them the rewards of society going to parasites, while they struggle to make ends meet. Our inspiration should always be - what can we achieve for working people? If the Labour Party loses the next election - watch some Labour MP's running for jobs in the City and big businesses or with companies they have worked with whilst in government.
If we unite working people for the common good in the trade union we will acheive all those things that our policies demand - prosperity, job security, anti-racism, decent housing, trade union rights, decent pensions etc. If we don't, these policy aims will be impossible. Our leaders have to be honest, open and trusted.
'The purpose of leadership is to inspire - what more can you do for someone than to inspire them?'
Wednesday, 3 February 2010
Tuesday, 2 February 2010
Monday, 1 February 2010
Mr P Holmes
Nomination for General Secretary
For a General Secretary on a worker’s wage, in touch with the branches and their members.
I am seeking your Region’s support in the forthcoming General Secretary election. I am Branch Secretary of Kirklees Unison (a branch of 10,000 plus Unison members) and a National Executive Council member. I have been a steward for 35 years. I am also a member of the Local Government Service Group Executive and the National Joint Council for Local Government. I have much experience in service conditions, organisation, representation and negotiations.
Where I stand:
1. Budget cuts - Whichever party wins the forthcoming general election – budget cuts in the public sector will lead to attacks on pay, terms and conditions and pensions. We need to know who will fight with us against those in Government and the Employer. As a UNISON Branch activist I have always stood up to employers making cuts – and as your General Secretary you could count on me to stand up for members
2. Organisation - Kirklees Unison has a union density of over 80%. There is no reason why this can’t be achieved in every branch. I have spoken in branches all over
3. Pensions – I led the campaign in Local Government for a special conference on pensions to ensure that our members decided how we defended the LG Pension scheme. There is no doubt that there will be further attacks on public sector pensions as the Employers/Government/Bankers seek to raid our pensions to pay for their banking crisis. We need to prepare our members for a massive campaign to defend pensions. The General Secretary campaign is an opportunity to send a "shot across the bows" of those who seek to attack our pension schemes. We need a united campaign across the public sector to defend our pension schemes As General Secretary I would work to ensure that members again take the lead in deciding how we fight to protect our pensions.
4. Resources - The resources of the union need to be devolved to the branches – money, full-time officials, printing etc. The majority of the resources need to be nearer the members.
5. Democracy – I support the election of the General Secretary. I also support the election of the Deputy General Secretary, Regional Secretaries and the Heads of the Services Groups.
6. Opinions - there are a wide spectrum of opinions in the union - this is healthy. Anyone should be free to express their opinions - unless they are sexist, racist, homophobic etc. Difference of political opinion should not lead to disciplinary action. The rules of the union should be changed to allow appeals from disciplinary hearings to an appeals panel that is elected by the National Delegate Conference.
7. Anti-Fascism - there is no place for racists/ fascists in our union, Members of far-right groups should be 'kicked out' of the union. There should be no climate of fear for any of our members.
8. Labour Party - we are a trade union not a political party. I have been a Labour Party member for 30 years (joining the party straight after Thatcher was elected). We need to change our relationship with the Labour Party to one where the union's policies are pursued in the Labour Party and not vice-versa. For too long Unison has largely been a source of finance for the Labour Party. Unison delegates should be taking Unison's policies into the Labour Party and promoting them. We should have one Political Fund. There should be a wide-ranging, unrestricted debate at Unison National Delegate Conference on the Political Fund and a member's ballot on affiliation, with a recommendation from the National Delegate Conference.
The union and its members must be placed first in the priorities of all representatives of the union. The members come first - not the union bureaucracy, not the Labour Party or the Employers. I ask for your nomination, I promise my every effort and my honesty in return.
Branch no: 13325
Membership no: 1787781