Sunday, 13 November 2016

#Unisongate Solidarity Statement

We, the undersigned, want to register our support and solidarity for the UNISON members who have taken out serious complaints regarding the conduct of the UNISON General Secretary Election 2015 to the Certification Officer.

The hearing runs for three days starting:

Monday 19 December to Wednesday 21 December inclusive 

“The complaints concern the Union’s election for its General Secretary in 2015. The applicants allege that, during the election period, the Union breached a number of its rules and a paragraph of the General Secretary 2015 Election Procedures as well as section 49 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. This is the full hearing of the complaints following the preliminary hearing held on 6 October 2016.”

You can read the full details of the complaints here

We encourage UNISON members and supporters to try and attend at least one of the hearing dates in order that you can listen to the evidence and make your own mind up as to what #UNISONgate means to the future of our union.

Signed by:

  1. Phil O’ Reilly UNISON Retired member pc
  2. John Burgess UNISON member pc
  3. Helen Davies UNISON NEC pc
  4. Alan Wylie UNISON member pc
  5. Hugh Jordan UNISON member pc
  6. Patrick Hunter UNISON member pc
  7. Claire Dixon UNISON member pc
  8. John Harris UNISON Retired member pc
  9. Adam Tipple UNISON member pc
  10. Liz James UNISON member pc
  11. Maggi Myland UNISON Retired member pc
  12. Roger Hutt UNISON member pc
  13. Theresa Rollinson SGE pc
  14. Andy Squires UNISON member pc
  15. John Mann UNISON Retired member pc
  16. Paul Gilroy UNISON NEC (PC)
  17. John McLoughlin, Branch Secretary Tower Hamlets UNISON & Local Government Service Group Executive (pc)
  18. Dave Weltman, Branch communications officer, Wiltshire and Avon Health Unison Branch  pc
  19. David Hughes Local Government Service Group Executive pc
  20. Sharon Campion (Joint Branch Secretary Sandwell General Branch) pc
  21. Don Sorby, UNISON, Chair Doncaster Local Government Branch pc
  22. Stephen Mclean,Sussex Partnership Branch Chair (pc)
  23. Sarah Littlewood UNISON NEC pc
  24. Adrian Kennett UNISON NEC pc
  25. Phoebe Watkins Camden UNISON branch chair pc
  26. Suzy Franklin UNISON NEC pc
  27. Dexter Whitfield UNISON Retired member pc
  28. Sandy Nichol UNISON member pc
  29. Tony Phillips, UNISON Branch Secretary, London Fire Authority branch pc
  30. Naomi Junnor UNISON NEC pc
  31. Jordan Rivera UNISON Branch Secretary Homerton Health pc
  32. John McDermott UNISON member pc
  33. Fred Leplat UNISON Retired member pc
  34. Karen Reissmann UNISON NEC pc
  35. Steve Williams UNISON branch chair Doncaster & Bassetlaw health pc
  36. Dave Honeybone UNISON Doncaster& Bassetlaw health pc
  37. Claire Locke Chair London Met UNISON pc
  38. Nick Ruff Branch Chair UNISON Kirklees pc
  39. Dorothy Macedo UNISON Retired member pc
  40. Phil Lewis UNISON member pc
  41. Caroline Powls UNISON member pc
  42. Chris Jobson Barnet UNISON rep pc
  43. April Ashley UNISON NEC pc
  44. Dave Auger UNISON NEC pc
  45. Jon Woods Portsmouth City UNISON Branch chair pc
  46. Roger Bannister UNISON NEC pc
  47. Diana Leach UNISON NEC pc
  48. Hugo Pierre UNISON NEC pc
  49. Jacqueline Berry UNISON NEC pc
  50. Martin Sleath UNISON member pc
  51. Donald Lyven Barnet UNISON rep pc
  52. Tomassa Bullen UNISON NEC pc
  53. Lorna Solomon Homerton Hospital UNISON rep pc
  54. Tony Wilson UNISON NEC pc
  55. Ray Boyle, Salford City Unison pc
  56. Mike Killian, UNISON WET SGE, pc
  57. Phil Lewis Camden UNISON Vice Chair & Branch Health & Safety officer pc
  58. Polly Smith UNISON NEC pc
  59. Caroline Bedale UNISON Member (Retired)
  60. Sean Fox UNISON Member & Haringey Branch Secretary (PC)
  61. Sonya Howard UNISON NEC pc
  62. Matt Ratcliffe UNISON Hillingdon Branch Secretary (PC)
  63. Diana Swingler Tower Hamlets UNISON member pc
  64. Mike Killian UNISON WET SGE pc
  65. Mark Sage branch international officer, Portsmouth City UNISON pc
  66. Kerensa Smith UNISON steward Portsmouth City UNISON pc
  67. Polly Smith UNISON NEC pc
  68. Jim Board, branch secretary Doncaster UNISON LG pc
  69. Ian Gidley UNISON member Glasgow Health branch pc
  70. Janet Maiden, UNISON Health SGE pc
  71.  Roger Tichborne Barnet resident, Barnet Eye Blogger
  72. Dave Wadcock UNISON retired member
  73. Janette Evans/ Barnet resident/activist/labour party and Unite union member
  74. Simon Murch, NUT NEC
  75. Tirza Waisel, Barnet resident and member of Barnet Alliance for Public Services
  76. Julie Forgan unison steward York City Branch (PC)
  77. Petros Elia United Voices of the World Union pc
  78. Daniel Stringer Barnet UNISON pc
  79. Louis Smyth Barnet UNISON Schools officer pc
  80. Graham Eddy
  81. Dave Knight UNISON retired member
  82. Kathryne Wray Unite member pc
  83. Linda Burnip UNISON member pc
  84. Theresa Musgrove, Broken Barnet blog
  85. Philippa WX Barnet resident and campaigner
  86. Carl J Dean
  87. Steve Topple
  88. Paula Peters Disability Activist
  89. Vicky Perrin UNISON NEC pc
  90. Colin Hampton, Secretary of Trades Union Council, Unite Community organiser.
  91. Janet Bryan UNISON NEC pc
  92. Graham Durham Branch Secretary,Unite the Union
  93. Jane Doolan UNISON Branch Secretary pc
  94. Ray McHale Retired member - West Cheshire Branch pc
  95. Dean Ryan UNISON member
  96. Liz Thommsason UNISON member
  97. Tim O'Dell Lambeth UNISON member pc
  98. Floyd Codlin PCS member pc
  99. Raymundo Obedencio. Green Party and OccupyLondon activist.
  100. Brad Charteris former Barnet UNISON rep
  101. Alphonsa Alby Barnet UNISON member.
  102. Ron Cohen - Barnet campaigner
  103. Gary Whiting Branch Chair Lambeth LG Branch (pc)
  104. Steve Cooke - UNISON Redcar & Cleveland branch member (pc)
  105. Mark Bem
  106. Liam Barrington-Bush
  107. Roger Lewis lambeth UNISON pc
  108. Alex Tarry, London Met UNISON, pc.
  109. Josefeen Foxter UNISON Homeron Hospital Steward pc
  110. Janine Broderick, Membership Officer, Birmingham Branch, (pc).
  111. David Kersey - Communications Officer Coventry City UNISON, Pc
  112. Paulette Singer
  113. Karen von Cripps
  114. Charlie Friel Birmingham UNISON pc
  115. Carmel Reynolds (Former Fremantle Convenor/Striker)
  116. Pat Jones UNISON retired member
  117. Jayne Perkins Unite
  118. Clare McCrystal UNISON Steward and Health and Safety Rep, Stockport LG Branch pc
  119. Duncan Nolan UNISON Steward Stockport LG Branch pc
  120. Stephen Edwards UNISON Steward Stockport LG Branch pc
  121. Rita Doherty   UNISON Equalities Officer Stockport LG Branch pc
  122. Richard Gurney – UNISON Steward  Wiltshire & Avon Health Branch pc
  123. Claire Wormald branch secretary Southend local govt branch & Local government Service Group executive (pc)
  124. Keith Martin, Barnet resident/ activist
  125. Nicola Jeffery
  126. Jacqui Brown, UNISON retired member
  127. Mandy Berger UNISON Co-Convenor Camden Supporting Communities department pc
  128. Andy Ridley (Bartshealth UNISON student nurse)
  129. Tarik Wolde-Giorgis Barnet UNISON member
  130. Karen Raynsford Raynor Unison Steward (Libraries) Bradford pc
  131. Barbara Jacobson, Barnet resident and member of Barnet Alliance for Public Services.
  132. Jackie Cairns 
  133. Ross Neal LFEPA UNISON pc 
  134. Gordon Vassell ex London Fire Brigade and FBU official
  135. Ben Jackson UNISON Branch Secretary Manchester Community and Mental Health UNISON Branch pc
  136. Alan Brown, Bromley Unite Workplace Representative pc
  137. Nigel Reigate UNISON steward , Norfolk County Council pc
  138. Kathy smith
  139. Mark Dunk 
  140. Mike Calvert Islington Unison
  141. Gary Padgett, workplace rep, Lincolnshire County Unison pc
  142. Nick Burke Unison rep Sheffield Metropolitan Branch pc
  143. Arthur Nicoll, Dundee City pc 
  144. Shane Faulkner - Wakefield District Branch pc
  145. Jean Jones
  146. Jann Oliver, Retired Member, South London and Maudsley Branch.
  147. Kate Wales, unison member Durham pc
  148. Esther Rey Hounslow Joint Branch Secretary pc.
  149. Duncan Smith, Branch Chairperson, City of Edinburgh Local Government and Related Sectors Branch(pc). 
  150. Phil Geraci unison steward, stockport LG branch pc 
  151. Ida Gemmil - unison member stockport LG pc  
  152. Andrew Berry Islington UNISON pc
  153. Doug Wright Retired member
  154. Bolshie Elane UCU 
  155. Sarah Cox NUT retired member 
  156. Shireen Taha 
  157. Charlotte Sullivan 
  158. Janine Broderick, Membership Officer, Birmingham Branch, (pc).
  159. Karin Flemmings -  UNISON Steward Bolton Salford and Trafford Health Branch  (pc)
  160. Bahir Laattoe - Barnet Resident/Trade Unionist/Teacher
  161. A M Poppy Barnet campaigner 
  162. Max Watson former UNISON NEC 
  163. Paul Couchman, Deputy Branch Secretary, Surrey County UNISON
  164. Ameen Hadi Salford city unison branch treasurer (pc)

If you want to add your name simply leave your name and it will be added. 

Background #Unisongate complaints:

To understand some of the issues please listen and read the information and links below which have been all online in the public domain for almost 10 months.

1. Whistleblowing tape – 21 October 2015
A damning audiotape emerged in early December 2015 provided evidence that senior officials of Britain’s biggest public service union, UNISON, had allegedly acted in blatant breach of the union’s own rules to secure the incumbent general secretary’s re-election.
The 23-minute tape appeared on an Anonymous Blog here: 

The audio file can be downloaded online here: 

The audio recording largely features the voice of UNISON’s London regional secretary, repeatedly thanking paid union officials under her management for their work in securing branch nominations for the three-term incumbent UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis.

“We have done very well and I want to thank everybody and congratulate them on getting the nominations that they have got. This is a list of the Greater London branch nominations for Dave Prentis the deadline closed last Friday, I do not have a list of the other candidates, and that will appear in due course but I haven’t got it. But we have done very well, we’ve got almost 50 nominations here so that is excellent and thanks very much, er Dave is very very pleased and he has related that to me personally er it is very important because obviously this is going to be a hard fought election.”

(UNISON London Regional Secretary to UNISON London Region paid officials on 21 October 2015). 

The recording includes derogatory references to Mr Prentis’ three election opponents (Roger Bannister, John Burgess and Heather Wakefield) and their supporters along with a detailed discussion of what London regional staff can do to bolster the Prentis campaign in the days running up to the start of the postal ballot on 9 November. There is also an explicit warning not to get “caught out”, while mention of the union’s election rules provokes widespread laughter.

2. Team Dave campaign emails
The public were first made aware of the Team Dave campaign emails when an article appeared in Private Eye in early February.

You can read the Private Eye article here

Here are some extracts from the above Private Eye article:

“Leaked emails reach the Eye providing more evidence that full-time staff of Unison mobilised to get general secretary Dave Prentis re-elected in December making the union’s claim to be a “member-led” look increasingly questionable.”


“The emails passed to the Eye from within the Prentis campaign indicate that Unison officials were in fact the backbone of “Team Dave”. The emails were sent by assistant general secretary Cliff Williams in October and November. The bulk of the recipients were other Unison officials – a rough count shows 45 of 50 addresses are regional secretaries, head office staff and other unison staff.”

 “One striking “Team Dave” note says: “it may be in some circumstance you may be able to ‘circumvent’ hostile branches by working with sympathetic employer contacts. I acknowledge that some colleagues may feel this is ethically inappropriate but it doesn’t breach campaign rules; it will have to be done with caution.”
It may not break campaign rules, but it still doesn’t look good. Similarly, having Unison officials lead the Prentis campaign doesn’t match the spirit of the union being “member led”.

The third extract above is in our view one of the most damming, especially for those grassroots reps and members who have been fighting employers who are sacking, privatising or cutting the Terms and Conditions of our members. The idea that union paid unelected officials would go behind the backs of locally elected branch officials is appalling and has no place in a trade union. To date there has been no condemnation of these remarks or any investigation.

 Repeated calls for an independent investigation were turned down.

The “Team Dave” emails provide a context to the content of the audio tape of the meeting in London on 21 October 2015.

Read Three earlier Private Eye articles here

1.    Unison on tape
2.    A family affair
3.    A greasy poll



  1. Add my name: Theresa Musgrove, Broken Barnet blog

  2. Brad Charteris: UNISON retired convener.

  3. Steve Cooke - UNISON Redcar & Cleveland branch member (pc)

  4. Gary Whiting Branch Chair Lambeth LG Branch (pc)

  5. Janine Broderick, Membership Officer, Birmingham Branch, (pc).

  6. David Kersey - Communications Officer Coventry City UNISON, Pc

  7. Add me please Jackie Cairns, Thanks

  8. Good Luck and hope you get justice.

  9. Please add my name. Ben Jackson UNISON Branch Secretary Manchester Community and Mental Health UNISON Branch.

  10. Alan Brown, Bromley Unite Workplace Representative

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. After many years Prentis and his odious right wing cronies have had full control of UNISON, an organisation that in some cases have colluded with management with an attempt to expel pro active trade unionists. UNISONGATE is an ideal opportunity, as a starting point to purge the union of its current corrupt leadership that has been in place for many years.

  13. Please add my name: Kieran Crowe, TSSA rep (PC)

  14. Please add my name. Karen Buckley unison Manchester

  15. Please add my name: Chris Burrow, Education Convenor for Coventry City UNISON

  16. Sid Ronayne Barnet UNISON mill Hill depot

  17. Sue Tibbles, UNISON Oxford University & Colleges Branch

  18. Andy Richards
    Brighton and Hove UNISON

  19. Martin Chapman Steward Swansea City and County UNISON Branch PC

  20. Please add my name. The arrogance of officials who feel totally justified in breaking the rules for their own interests is breathtaking.

  21. Jenny Compton-Bishop Retired member. Please add my name.