The National Executive Council (NEC) is elected by our members every two years. The election timetable and procedures were agreed by the union’s NEC at a meeting on 10 December 2020.
Who is eligible to vote?
All full members who were on the union’s membership register as of 4 February 2021, will be entitled to vote in this election.
When is it happening?
The candidate application period runs from 8 January to 5pm on 5 March 2021
The nominating period for branches and other nominating bodies runs from 1 February to 5pm on 5 March 2021
The member ballot will open on 4 May and closes on 27 May 2021. The results will be announced on 11 June 2021.
Who is running the election?
The Member Liaison Unit runs the election. Civica Election Services (CES) is the returning officer and the independent scrutineer.
Why is this election important?
UNISON is run for and by its members through its democratic and lay structures.
All of our elections are important, as they allow the union to function in the best interests of our members.
The NEC you elect will make important decisions about the future of our union, so it’s important that as many members as possible have their say.
What can I do?
As our activists, you have a role in encouraging participation in our elections – this is not about supporting particular candidates, but providing general information about the ballot, when it opens, why it matters and encouraging members to vote.
Here’s a useful resource to help you talk to UNISON members about voting.
The more people that vote, the better for our democracy, and the better the union can serve our members.
Please note, it’s not about promoting one or more candidates. There are strict rules to ensure that UNISON branches or other nominating bodies don’t use any funds, property or resources to campaign for any particular candidate in the election.
The exception to this is if a nominating body has nominated a candidate. In this case, you can advise your members of this nomination using up to 100 words via your usual channel(s) of communications.
Check the election procedures (PDF) if you’re going to do this.
But what about coronavirus?
The current pandemic certainly presents unique challenges for this election, with reduced access to some workplaces meaning less direct contact with members.
Is there any support?
As usual, there is a ballot helpline. The helpline will open on 13 May. Phone: 0800 0 857 857. Text phone: 0800 0 967 968.
- Read the election procedures and timings
- NEC election page for members
- Or contact the member liaison unit on 020 7121 5399 or email: NEC21election@unison.co.uk
What happens next?
Voting packs will be sent to members’ homes direct from CES.
If you’ve not received yours by 13 May, then contact UNISONdirect on the number above.