Roger McKenzie announces UNISON general secretary bid

Roger McKenzie is to stand for general secretary of UNISON.

The union’s assistant general secretary yesterday launched his campaign to succeed Dave Prentis, who earlier this month announced his decision to stand down on New Year’s Eve.

union-news.co.uk understands Christina McAnea, also an assistant general secretary at UNISON, is also planning to stand. The Socialist Party’s Hugo Pierre, who sits on UNISON’s NEC, announced his candidacy on Wednesday.

Roger McKenzie, who has worked for PCS and the TUC before UNISON, said: “I am determined to run a campaign that is positive and optimistic about our future. A campaign that recognises that we must continue to change in order to be a strong, powerful union that represents all workers delivering public services, that can stand up for our members wherever they are and that ensures social justice is at the heart of everything we do.

“I believe that we need to change to meet the new challenges posed by a government intent on making public service workers pay for their mismanagement of the global pandemic. To achieve this there are five key areas that I want us to work together on:

“I want to bring the union closer to the members. That means more funding and resources for regions, branches and activists. We need to ensure that the union does not become remote from public service workers and we can only do that by focusing on branch support.

“We need to have a National Organising Plan that has been developed by the whole union. This includes ambitious targets to increase our membership to 2 million and, importantly, have 100,000 activists.

“One of the success stories for our union has been the number of members who have had the opportunity to go back to learning. I want to build on that by setting a target for us to have 5,000 Learning Reps across our union.

“We need a much higher public and media profile than we have ever had. We must never be over-shadowed by other unions and we will be a determined voice for our members.

“Campaigning will be a priority. We will use the strength of our voice to bring about real change for our members including in the fight for equality at home and in solidarity with workers internationally.

“We will, through the strength of our numbers and our organisation, deliver the pay rises and the improvements to terms and conditions at work that our members deserve. This will be backed up by our organising plans and our support for branches. We will put on the table the claims that our members need and back them up with action when necessary.”

You can read about Roger McKenzie’s campaign here.

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