Dave Prentis re-elected as Unison general secretary

Public sector union leader re-elected for another five years as general secretary

By Jim Dunton

17 Dec 2015

Dave Prentis has been re-elected for a further five-year term as general secretary of public sector trade union Unison.

He took 49.4% of a ballot of Unison members, according to results released today, polling 66,155 votes. Runner up was Heather Wakefield, head of local government at the union, who garnered 35,433 votes, or 26.4%.

Prentis’s victory comes in a year when Unison ruffled feathers with fellow public-sector union PCS by agreeing a recognition deal with the Cabinet Office without the involvement of other civil service unions. The PCS complained to the Trades Union Congress about what it described as a move "behind its back".

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said Unison had undermined a “vital principle” that unions “should not attempt to seek recognition in an organisation where another union already has a majority of members”.

In a victory message today, Prentis warned Unison members that the next five years would be difficult ones for the union, and for the UK’s public services in general.

“We need to stand up against a government set on consigning the public sector to the history books, whose austerity policies are starving communities of the services they rely upon, and holding down the pay and living standards of dedicated public servants,” he said.

“The last few months have been challenging, but now the whole union must come together and work relentlessly to fight for public sector workers, their rights at work, their jobs and their pay. I am proud that members have put their trust in me to lead that fight."

Prentis became Unison general secretary in 2001.


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