This week Unite should be sending out letters and forms to branch secretaries to enable them to organise branch nomination meetings for General Secretary and the Executive Council. Where a branch covers more than one workplace, the workplace can also make a nomination, but the rep needs to contact the Regional Secretary to request the necessary paperwork now.
Nomination meetings must take place between Monday 16 January and Friday 17 February 2017.
Unless the nomination is from a branch meeting and the meeting details are correct on the membership system, it is essential that you send out a proper notice of the meeting to all members at least seven days in advance. A template is available in Appendix 3 of the ballot guidelines. It’s good practice to advertise the branch or workplace meeting to members (making clear than nominations are on the agenda) even if that isn’t strictly required by the rules – it’s an opportunity to involve them in a discussion about the future direction of the union. Please get in touch if you’d like me (or all three candidates) to come and speak at your nomination meeting. Again, this can be an opportunity to liven up a meeting and engage members.
It’s good practice to make material from all the candidates available to members at the meeting. My own materials can be found on the resources page. The other two candidates have web sites (McCluskey and Coyne). Giving out all three sets of material is much better than just handing out material for your favoured candidate because it enables members to see what the arguments are, see what’s at stake, and have a meaningful discussion. It makes members much more likely to act on the outcome than if they feel they have been manipulated into backing one candidate.
To make a nomination you need the following details:
- Ian Allinson
- Membership number 30439666
- Branch NW/55
Unite should be sending these out to all activists, but I still don’t have confirmation that Unite won’t break it’s own rules.
If your meeting does decide to nominate me, please ask it to consider supporting the campaign. Two obvious ways to do this are to circulate campaign materials to members and donating towards the costs of the campaign.
The ballot guidelines say:
“15 Branches may expend their own funds in support of a candidate nominated by them and any costs incurred by the Regional Administration in providing assistance will be charged against the appropriate branch fund. Otherwise, no union funds or other resources may be used to support any candidate, nor may the union’s corporate identity or logo (or anything which in the opinion of the Returning Officer may be identified as such) be used in any material supporting any candidate(s). Unite’s own social media platforms may not be used for election campaigning.”
Whether or not you decide to give a donation from branch funds, it’s worth taking a collection amongst the members present. Not only does this raise some money, but it gets members more involved rather than being passive recipients of a media campaign dominated by the establishment candidates. The easiest way to donate to the campaign is online. You could also send a cheque payable to Ian Allinson to 11 Germain Close, Higher Blackley, Manchester, M9 0SQ. As a workplace activist I don’t have the resources of the establishment candidates and campaigning costs money e.g. to print leaflets, post them out, travel the country and book meeting rooms. Please help if you can. Donations will be receipted and any member can inspect the campaign finances.
Get in touch if you want to order bulk leaflets for distribution, if you’d like to visit other nearby workplaces, or if you’d like to help the campaign in any other way. There are other ideas for how you can get involved in the campaign here.
It’s our union. We don’t want Gerard Coyne “taking it back” or Len McCluskey allowing it to drift on while the government and employers step up their attacks. If we want a stronger union that always means getting involved, and this election is no different.