New Leadership at Unite

10 Dec

The 2014 AGM of Unite Union saw many new leaders step up and a farewell to one of the Union’s

Featured imageMatt McCarten stood down as National Secretary. Matt had been on leave for the most of the year after taking up the Chief of Staff position for the Labour party in parliament. Matt played the pivotal role in the transformation of Unite from a small union with a few hundred members to a ground breaking movement that achieved what was thought internationally to be impossible – organising casualised and low paid workers and negotiating national collective agreements. Matt’s skills and leadership will be missed but it is no surprise that he is once again taking the fight for working people onto the bigger stage of national politics.

Gerard Hehir was elected unopposed as National Secretary. Gerard has been Unite President for the past five years. Mike Treen remains as National Director and Tom Buckley as Assistant Secretary.

There was a change to the Presidental positions with the President and Vice-Presidental roles being replaced by two Co-Presidents (one of whom is required to be a woman). Elected were Tina Barnett (SkyCity, Auckland) and Heleyni Pratley (Unite Union, Wellington). A special thanks is due to Duncan Allan who has served as Vice-president over the past few years.

Of the thirteen strong Executive members (ten elected, three co-opted at the AGM to ensure good representation) there are eleven new faces:

Danette Van Aswegen (Mercury Energy, Akl South)
Daniel Mawson (Salmat, Akl South)
Deborah Higgins (KFC, Bay of Plenty – re-elected)
Emma Thwaites (KFC, Southland)
Georgina Williams (SkyCity, Akl Central)
Henry Stanley (SkyCity, Akl Central)
Jared Agnew (KFC, Wellington)
Markozonio Adzievski (Event Cinemas, Akl Central)
Oliver Alexander (KFC, Akl North – re-elected)
Polly Nelson (Accor Hotels, Akl Central)
Shonee Hancock (McDonalds Franchise, Central Districts)
Sverre Pettersen Waikato (Waikato DHB, Hamilton)
Yvette Seep (Carl’s Jnr, Akl West)

Seventeen delegates put themselves forward for the Executive. Although the consistently hight rate of turnover in the industries Unite works in makes it difficult for most members to serve for long it is great that each year more and more delegates put themselves forward to be leaders in the union.


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