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The worst-kept secret in public sector union Unison is finally out. Right-wing general secretary Dave Prentis has announced that he doesn't intend to stand in the next general secretary election and will leave office.
He leaves a legacy of failures. He has not led any serious national fight against the decimation of local government, mass privatisation of public services, and endemic low pay - all brutally exposed in the coronavirus pandemic.
In order to cover up his failings, and to silence any opposition, Prentis also embarked on witch-hunts and attacks on democracy in the union. Members now have an opportunity to reclaim their union with a fighting and democratic leader.
While no candidates have formally announced yet, it looks like two from within the bureaucracy will try and inherit his crown, both of whom have not once challenged or opposed his regime, and deserve no support.
In stark contrast, the Socialist Party's Hugo Pierre, a local government worker and current elected member of the national executive council, is looking to be the candidate of the left.
Hugo has already faced elections in ballots of the entire membership, having successfully won and held his national black members' seat on a number of occasions.
Hugo has pledged to stand on a fighting and democratic programme capable of taking on the Tories, and has said he will not take the £138,000 a year salary, instead pledging to only take an average worker's wage if elected.
Public-Private Partnership (4)
Article dated 22 July 2020
The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party
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