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The leader of UNISON the UK’s largest union has announced that he is to stand down at the end of the year.

Dave Prentis, who has been general secretary of UNISON since 2001, is to retire on 31 December, when his term of office ends.

Commenting on his decision, Dave Prentis said: “I’ve been so proud to serve as UNISON general secretary for 20 years. It’s been the honour and privilege of my life to be able to represent our incredible public service workers from across our four nations, and never more so than in the last few difficult months.

“Every day for the past 47 years, I’ve been proud to serve this union. I have always been driven by a belief in fairness and justice for all our members, especially in the past five months when they and our public services have risen to the many challenges posed by the pandemic.

“As the health crisis turns to an economic crisis, I will be here to continue to lead UNISON until the end of this year. There’s much still to do – holding the government to account for its handling of the pandemic, ensuring proper funding for our public services and a decent pay rise for all their hardworking employees.”

A timetable for electing Dave’s successor has been agreed by the union’s NEC.

Nominations for his successor will be accepted from 10 August to 25 September 2020. PiU will decide if and who we will nominate at our Branch committee meeting on September 8th

Ballot will run from 28 October to 27 November 2020 and results will be issued on 11 January 2021.

All members, including retired members (but not honorary members), who are on the union’s membership register as of 28 July 2020, will be entitled to vote in this election.

Plymouth in UNISON will use this page to collect information from all candidates seeking nomination so members can make an informed choice.

Currently declared Margaret Greer, Paul Holmes, Hugo Pierre, Roger McKenzie, Peter Sharma & Christina McAnea



Christina McAnea GS Pitch
I am seeking your branch’s nomination for General Secretary of UNISON. I have the experience, proven track record and vision to lead our union in partnership with you.

My campaign is led by senior lay activists; and over 25 years I have worked with branches up and down the country. I am UNISON’s Assistant General Secretary for Bargaining, Negotiations and Equalities, and I have been fighting for the trade union movement nearly all my working life. I am committed and passionate about delivering fairness and justice for all our members.

As a national negotiator, across every sector in UNISON, and one of the most senior women trade union negotiators in the country, I have stood up to Governments and led national disputes to fight for our members’ pay, pensions and conditions.

I led UNISON’s response to covid-19, demanding PPE, support and action for groups worst affected, including Black, disabled and low-paid workers. At every turn, I have worked with branches and regions to support members.

We need a modern, organising union fit for the future.

I will take bold decisions to direct resources and funding to branches to support and represent every member. I will put local organisers where they are needed and kickstart a modern organising strategy fit for a digital era. Regions will be funded to respond to the challenges from devolved governments in English regions, as well as in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In a world where workers are becoming more isolated, I will ensure no member is left alone. UNISON will be there for you. To secure our members’ futures and support our activists, I will establish a National UNISON College delivering education and training.

I will demand a new deal for our public services, that delivers dignity at work, pay and conditions that reflect your essential work and sustained long-term investment in all our public services. I will not allow the public sector to pay for covid-19.

I launched UNISON’s Care After Covid campaign and I am calling for a National Social Care Service that provides cradle to grave care and gives care workers professional recognition and respect, better pay, sick pay, training and career opportunities. Organising this workforce will be a top priority.

Together with our self-organised groups, we will lead the fight to dismantle the injustice of all racism and discrimination. We will push for legislation to close all discriminatory pay gaps.

I will use the collective strength of our 1 million women to be the voice for women’s rights across this country and around the world. We will demand recognition for the value of the work that women do.

Like you, I have been an activist fighting for workers’ rights all my life. You can trust in my experience and ability, to lead in partnership with you, to deliver for all our members and to fight for our future in UNISON.

Thank you for taking the time to consider nominating me as your next General Secretary of UNISON.

Yours in solidarity,

Join the campaign
Watch my campaign video


Roger Mckenzie

Dear fellow UNISON member,
As you will know nominations for the election of the next General Secretary of UNISON
opened on 10th August and close on 25th September and I do hope that you will consider
nominating me.
If your group or branch is participating in a hustings or you would like a speaker from the
campaign please do email us on roger@roger4gs.co.uk
My campaign to be your next General Secretary is a campaign that has recognised that we
must change in order to be a strong, powerful union.

We need a union that ensures social justice is at the heart of everything we do

We need to rise to face the new challenges posed both by employers and workplace changes
needed to cope with the current coronavirus crisis and to take on a government that
seems intent on making workers pay for their mismanagement of the global pandemic.
Find out more about my campaign www.roger4gs.co.uk and sign up to support
here: www.roger4gs.co.uk/support



Click on the link for candidate information Hugo4GS Nomination




Gen Sec Election 2020
I am seeking your branch’s nomination for the General Secretary election as a lay member. The General Secretary is not a job – it is a leader. I am standing on policies for the radical change that this union needs.

UNISON is not currently fit for purpose. When the Covid-19 crisis is over the Government will want working people to pay for it through cuts in pay, terms and conditions and pensions. The employers have an old motto ‘Don’t waste a good crisis’.

This union needs to be organised for these attacks with a leader who understands, and has been on, the shop floor.

What can we expect?
The current dismissal and re-engagement of 4,000 workers at Tower Hamlets Council (where we have one of our strongest UNISON branches) and the strikes there should be known about by every branch and member.

The refusal to make a pay offer to NHS staff who are exhausted, frightened and ground down is a disgrace and has caused justifiable anger. The NHS has thousands of vacancies and members have worked hours of unpaid overtime with restricted chances to take holidays. This should be financially recognised and UNISON should be at the forefront of that pay campaign.

We need to be at the forefront of all current battles. The union needs to be leading demos and shouting from the rooftops. We need to be bold.

Why we can win

  • I already have the support of over 20 NEC members in my campaign to be General Secretary
  • I have been on UNISON’s NEC for 13 years, being elected 7 times
  • I have been Branch Secretary of Kirklees UNISON for 30 years, one of our biggest branches
  • I have represented over 200 members in gross misconduct cases and never had a dismissal
  • In my 30 years as Branch Secretary there has only been single compulsory redundancy of a UNISON member in the council
  • When I have stood for election to the NEC (local government seat) I was the first candidate ever to get 50 branch nominations, the first to get 60 and then the first to get 70.

I stand in elections to win them, not just to take part. I am well known and respected across the union. I am a good speaker and have done numerous press, television and radio interviews.

What do I stand for?
I am a socialist and a trade unionist. I am a Labour Party member (for 40 years) and am a firm believer in UNISON’s Labour Link being used to ensure that Labour representatives reflect UNISON’s values and will fight for our members’ interests.

I also support:

  • The General Secretary being on a worker’s wage. My current salary with the council is £32,000. I would remain on that. I would not take the current General Secretary renumeration of £130,000 plus. I would give the extra £100,000 to a lay member committee to donate to UNISON’s Welfare Committee and Strike Funds
  • Unified pay claims across sectors with a minimum wage of £15 per hour
  • An anti-austerity campaign for decent jobs and pay, proper training and affordable homes for all
  • Using this campaign to help fight the scourges of racism, sexism and all discrimination
  • A green agenda for UNISON; including an audit of the use of company cars by the union and the promotion of green travel
  • A racism audit of UNISON, taking inspiration from the Black Lives Matter movement, and so the allegations at the heart of the Labour Leaks scandal can be dealt with
  • A leadership school with real investment so we can bring on a new generation of leaders from our young members and SOG groups
  • Selling UNISON’s 2 ‘prestige’ office buildings in central London and re-investing the proceeds into branches and organising, and a new more functional HQ in the Midlands with good transport links
  • 50% of members’ subscriptions income going to the branches. Give branches the resources they need to do the job: whether that be funding or lay-directed officers
  • A fully-funded, massive plan of action, driven by the branches, to improve collective bargaining rights in the community/private sectors. This will replace the current system where our members in these sectors are often hard to service by branches who themselves are under pressure with not enough resources
  • A clear dividing line between elected officials and employed staff. This can best be implemented by an elected lay General Secretary and the election of Assistant General Secretaries and Regional Secretaries.

I am offering a programme of real change. I am well known across the union and have a track record of winning. I have a wide team of supporters working on my campaign from every region, service group, section and SOG. I hope that your branch can support my nomination.

I want to unite with all those who want to change UNISON. I don’t want more of the same. I want us to change our great union together.

In the immortal words of the Tolpuddle Martyr, George Loveless, “The rich and the great will never act to alleviate the distress and remove the poverty felt by the working people of England. What then is to be done? Why the labouring classes must do it or it will forever left undone.” That slogan, expanded to include Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, should be our inspiration.

I hope you will want to get involved in my campaign.


Paul Holmes
Mem# 1787781

PS – please check out my handy guide to the nominations process.


Peter Sharma

Dear fellow member,
You will be aware by our General Secretary Dave Prentis is shortly to retire, I am entering this
election to succeed Dave Prentis. Dave has given lifetime of service to our union I wish him well and
a happy retirement.
Personally, am excited in being a part of this election am seeking nominations to be your next
General Secretary of UNISON. It is my aim to run a clean campaign remaining positive and optimistic
fully recognising we will continue to develop remaining strong as a powerful union that represents
all workers delivering public services, I am committed to standing up for our members wherever
they are and ensuring social justice remains at the heart of Unison. I believe we are constantly
changing to meet the new and ever developing challenges ahead.
Message to you
 Much higher public, media profile for Unison. Remaining ahead of other unions and ensuring
our members voice is heard loud and clear.
 More funding and resources to be delivered for regions, branches and activists. Ensuring our
union does not become distanced from public service workers hence the need of focusing on
supporting our branches.
 Having a National Organising Plan in place working for all union members everywhere.
 Campaigning remains a fundamental target to increase our membership as we move
forward. Continuing the fight for equality not only at home as well as our fellow workers
 Our strength lies in the strong voice of our members which in turn brings real change for all
our members.
 With our strength in numbers and our organisation, our fight to deliver improvements in
terms and conditions, pay rises that our members rightly deserve. We can and will achieve
the aims set out above with help of our organisers and our branch activists.
I am a trade unionist from throughout my working life, I began working when Harold Wilson was
in office, from being a shoe salesman, milkman bus driver, HM Forces, Student, shopkeeper,
council worker, education administrator. Have come though the Firemen’s strike, Grunwicks’
dispute, Miners’ strike, Poll Tax to name a few. Demonstrating against Thatcher prior to her
taking office in 1979
Further, was the chairperson of Anti-Apartheid fighting to free Nelson Mandela and the
dismantlement of the Apartheid state. Am a union activist, my voice remains loud and clear as
the Secretary of Scottish Black Members I am a proud trade unionist with your help and your
support we can achieve our goals I ask and seek your nomination to allow a grassroots member
to go forward into the ballot.
Peter Sharma
Convener Edinburgh College