Thursday, April 23, 2015

UNISON NEC Elections 2015: John Gray Election Statement

Your existing NEC member
I am seeking your support for my re-election as one of your two members of the UNISON National Executive Committee (NEC) for Community, which is the part of the union for members who work in the voluntary sector, housing associations and charities.

A little bit about me
I have worked in front line housing management in a large inner city estate for over 20 years.  I now work for one of the biggest Housing Associations in the country but my first job was in Welfare Rights with a small voluntary organisation in Scotland. I have also worked in Wales and Yorkshire.

Grass Roots Union Activist
As a UNISON activist I have been elected to many different branch and regional positions including Treasurer, Health & Safety, Labour Link, Welfare and International officer.  I am currently the Secretary of the Greater London Housing Associations Branch.

·         But fundamentally I am a workplace steward negotiating pay and conditions with my employer and defending members in discipline, grievance and sickness hearings.

Pay, jobs and conditions
Community members have faced amongst the very worse cuts in jobs and attacks on their pay, pensions, terms and conditions. We must play our part in opposing austerity and arguing for an alternative economic policy.

Care and support members are under threat as unscrupulous employers deliberately underbid to win Supporting People and health contracts then try and do everything they can to destroy TUPE protections.

Many Housing management organisations are cash rich after years of inflation plus rent rises yet refuse to give their staff decent pay rises.

·         UNISON must be there to support members who stand up to employers who exploit them. 

As an NEC member there are a number of campaigns specific to our sector that I am actively supporting:

·         Living Wage Boards:  To decide the pay and conditions of all staff by collective bargaining including a living wage minimum and decent sickness benefits for all Community workers and agency/sub-contractors;

·         No public money for “union busters”: Any employer that does not have a trade union recognition agreement should be barred from access to public money either from local or national government;

·         We want decent pensions for all and everyone to have access to a safe and affordable scheme which will protect members’ futures;

·         Democratise our workplaces and stop our management boards being run by highly paid, unelected and unrepresentative “elites”. There should be union representation on all boards, especially their remuneration (pay) committees;

·         Adequate funding and resources for all UNISON branches that have Community members to ensure that we have the means to properly support and represent all.

You can contact me on any issues via johndotgray2012atbtinternetdotcom or ring me on 07977 285 297.  Please also support June Poole from Rochdale branch for the other Community Female seat. June and I will work closely as a team fighting your corner at the highest level in the union.

John Gray 

(Check out my recommendations for other regional and national seats here or on Facebook. 
All UNISON members should have received a ballot paper at their home address by now.
If not you should ring 0800 0857 857 for a duplicate. Lines open 6am to midnight, Monday to Friday and 9am to 4pm on Saturday. The ballot does not finish until May 15).
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