A step towards UNISON democracy for retired members

Retired Members represent 10% of the total Unison membership. We have always had the right to vote in the General Secretary election, a position currently held by Christina McAnea. However, voting for members of the National Executive Council, the engine of our union, has been denied us.

Currently three members of the NEC are given responsibility to be the bridge between Retired Members and the Council. Over the years communications between them and us have been poor.

Hampshire Retired Members decided that for a democratic organisation such as ours the current status quo was unacceptable. We believe that not only should RMs be permitted to vote in the NEC election but that, further, we should have two full members serving on the Council itself. This really is not a revolutionary step, as other unions already have RMs serving on their NEC equivalents.

We were informed that to achieve this representation a Motion approved by our Branch would have to be submitted for consideration of being placed on the agenda of the 2022 Unison National Delegates Conference, its aim to obtain a rule change.

With the willing assistance of our Branch Secretary, Callum Williamson, a Motion has been prepared and recently approved by the Hampshire Branch Committee. We are delighted with the progress so far but understand that to have any hope of success we must energise the whole RM group in the UK. In addition, we need to seek support for the Motion in the wider Unison organisation.

We know that to be successful in our important mission we will of necessity be undertaking a heavy workload. Support this Motion, we do not wish to continue being marginalised and ignored. If you can help, please contact Ange Cleife our Secretary her email address is angecleife@gmail.com or phone our branch office in Winchester, tel: 01962 842094.

We hope that if you are entitled to a vaccine booster, and it is appropriate for you, that you have taken the opportunity to do so.

Best wishes

Chris O’Neill

Chair, Hampshire Retired Members Section

20 November 2021