#UnisonGate, #EmailGate..it is getting worse
Today I bought a copy of Private Eye and turned to page 38.
I refer to an article entitled “Flexible friends”
Online here https://www.scribd.com/…/Private-Eye-Flexible-friends-artic…
It starts with:
“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 member led look increasingly questionable.”
It goes on to say:
“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 union staff.”
I was also sent the emails from an anonymous source and can confirm that the most senior Unison paid officials were on the campaign mailing list.
The article then goes on to reveal:
“It may be in some cases circumstances 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, however, need to be done with caution.”
I find this appalling and wonder what other Unison reps and members feel when they read this? I can’t believe our union would do this, so I would hope NEC reps are given an explanation as to which employers were contacted and by whom? Are they the same employers who are attacking members and reps through cuts and privatisation?
Lastly I along with many others have been trying to elicit a response to my complaint from the Returning Officer from Electoral Reform Services, the article reveals just why I am many others have not had a response:
“Meanwhile, the Eye asked the Electoral Reform Services (which ran the election) what had become of its investigation into the alleged “organised election abuse” arising out of the taped meeting. Complaints that union rules were breached were made to the election returning officer and scrutineer, Alex Lonie. A spokesman at ERS said complaints had been passed to Unison, which was also carrying out a disciplinary investigation.”
As the emails disclose, Roger McKenzie, who is carrying out the investigation for Unison is a member of “Team Dave”. Unison is preparing a report for Mr Lonie, which would enable him to decide if the election was properly conducted.Unison would then in turn report his decision back to its members. Thus it appears “Team Dave” is effectively left to investigate itself.”
If I have understood the above correctly, ERS are not conducting any investigation into our complaints, I hope this is also discussed at the NEC meeting today.
If the emails are not genuine then I expect to hear that NEC reps who are at a meeting at Unison HQ today are briefed on Unison’s response.
However if the emails are genuine it is essential for the future of our union that all of the issues contained within the article are discussed at the meeting today.
A number of Unison reps have been calling for an independent investigation and over 800 have signed a petitionhttps://www.change.org/p/wendy-nichols-unison-president-uni…
It is important that this matter is fully investigated by someone from outside our union in order we can move on and mobilise our members for the fight against Austerity which is already decimating our lives our communities and our services.
More on the background to #Unisongate click on this link here
The audio tape can be heard herehttp://www.4shared.com/mp3/HTYMDTN-ce/unison.html
Private Eye have written three other articles about #Unisongate herehttps://www.scribd.com/…/2995…/Private-Eye-3-articles-in-one
Lastly before forming a view, buy a copy of Private Eye read it and then decide what you think should happen next.