The Executive Council of Unite has today (December 6) agreed that the timetable for the election of the union’s general secretary will be brought forward to the first months of 2017.
This will ensure that the ballot for Executive Council (EC) members and the ballot for general secretary are conducted simultaneously, minimising the enormous costs caused to the union by the legal requirement to conduct the ballot by post and not by modern voting methods, thereby saving the union in the region of £1m.
Following a period of candidate nominations, the ballot for both elections will commence on March 27, 2017, concluding on April 28, 2017.
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey immediately tendered his resignation to the Unite EC, announcing his intention to stand as a candidate.
The EC also agreed that assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail, should become acting general secretary for the election period.
“I intend to be a candidate in the upcoming general secretary election and to submit my record to the vote of Unite members,” McCluskey said.
“Unite’s Executive Council has agreed that my resignation will take effect from April 28, when the elections for general secretary and the Executive Council itself end. I will remain general secretary until then – after that it is in the hands of the membership.
“This will be an election in which Unite will be under unprecedented scrutiny particularly from our enemies,” McCluskey added. “It is vital that in this period there is no lack of continuity in service or support to our membership, and that the full integrity of our procedures is not only protected, but seen to be protected.
“I welcome the Executive Council’s decision to the appointment of Gail Cartmail as acting general secretary taking temporary office alongside myself until the end of the general secretary election. This will ensure that, while I am a candidate for re-election, the business of Unite remains properly managed.”
The full timetable for the Unite elections can be found here.