At today’s UNISON Bexley branch Annual General Meeting, the result of the recent postal ballot to elect the Branch Secretary for this year was announced, as follows:

  • Paul Speller received 157 votes
  • Oliver Wooller received 61 votes

Paul Speller was therefore elected Branch Secretary. Thanks to Oliver Wooller for all his work in recent years in this role.

Speaking at the AGM, Paul said:

For a long time now, there’s been a feeling that the union is a bit inactive or ineffectual. I think this has come from a kind of vicious circle: the more members feel that way, the less engaged the membership becomes, the more members leave, and the harder it is for the leadership to turn this feeling around. The union is its members, so once members begin to feel disengaged the whole thing can become a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

By electing me, when I was standing on such an explicit platform of change, proactivity and better communications, I think our branch members are signalling that they – you – are ready to break that vicious circle with me.

So from now on you’ll be kept more informed of what the union is doing, I’ll make sure I engage fully with HR consultations and do whatever I can to build the union up to be a stronger voice representing the interests of all its members. I’d also love to hear your ideas for the union – once I’ve got up to speed with my new role, I’ll be in touch about that.

This election has shown that members can be engaged with the union, and when I’ve been talking to people around the building and other sites I’ve had a positive response from non-members and former members too – so it feels like there are potential new members out there for us to recruit.

As anyone who’s in a union will know, we’re at our strongest when we work together. I’m excited about the prospect of leading that work, with you all, over the next year.

  • The list of branch officers on our Contact Us page has now been updated in line with this ballot result and all those elected unopposed into other roles within the branch.
  • Please bear with us during the transitional period between branch secretaries; see the Contact Us page for the branch and UNISONdirect contact information to use if you need help with anything.