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Elections

 

Candidates for BAME Officer

Please do not vote in the BAME Officer election unless you identify as Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic.

 

Edward Wong

My name is Edward Wong – I am a cycle courier working in London and I will be running for the position of BAME officer.

The IWGB member base consists of mostly Black and minority ethnic low-paid and migrant workers - union leadership and organising at all levels must reflect this in order to combat the institutional racism that members encounter every day from both our places of work and the government.

BAME members endure more precarious working conditions and have been disproportionately affected by the COVID crisis. Any attempt to tackle these issues must be led by those who are informed by this experience.

If elected, I will use my position to fight for -

  • Zero tolerance on racism. BAME members deserve equal rights at work and equal accessibility to union facilities.
  • An intersectional approach to non-white discrimination that will prioritise voices that are routinely marginalised – our BAME refugee and LGBTQ comrades.
  • Increased outreach to BAME members – ensure voices are heard at all levels of union operations and play a leading role in larger union decision making.
  • A Campaign to diversify the union staff
  • A Campaign for BAME specific organiser training

 

Mohaan Biswas

If elected BAME officer I want to ensure that I will faithfully represent the views of BAME members in all branches of the union at the Executive Committee. I think key to this is building connections across the union, so BAME members across the union are able to build solidarity and enable members to participate fully in union democracy.

Just as we innovate in the way we defend our members we must innovate in the way we empower and support members to participate in our democratic structures. I am committed to ensuring that the work of the EC is as transparent as possible to all members. At last year’s I AGM brought forward a motion that ensured that all EC votes were communicated directly to all members and, if elected, will take forward that commitment to making the unions’ governance structures as transparent and accessible as possible.

I have been an IWGB member since 2016 and am committed to the IWGB. It is an important part of who I am and has been pivotal in shaping me as a person. I care about what happens to the union and am committed to ensuring that the union is as democratic as it can be. As a union we need to ensure that members are supported, empowered and fully able to take part in the unions’ decision making processes. If elected I will explore how we can bring together BAME members from across the different branches of the union, to build the cross branch connections that are vital to ensuring that our union is as democratic and representative as it can be.

The IWGB belongs to all of us and if elected I commit to doing all that I can to ensure that BAME members have a meaningful say in the decisions the union takes. As we grow it is important that we develop the community that makes up our membership; that we can come together, discuss issues across the union as well as build solidarity and connections among members.

 

Siddhartha Mehta

I am a migrant who was born in Mumbai, India. My family moved to Aotearora when I was 9. I grew up in Tamāki Makaurau (Auckland). My values and practice have grown from the two places I call home and their common struggles to fight for racial, economic, social and land justice.

I have worked for a decade to build my understanding and practice of working collectively to achieve social justice. I have held various roles in government, union and member led organisations.

As a member of a national strategy team for a climate justice organisation I have lead internal training and strategy workshops on national campaigns for climate justice. As a convenor I worked to recruit and retain other young volunteers from minority and indigenous backgrounds in the journey of collective change.

As a union delegate I have worked with fellow workers in the public health sector to challenge racism and workplace discrimination. I have also helped organise clerical workers and junior doctors in their effort to get better working conditions and pay. As a public servant I worked to highlight the socio-economic nature of ill-health and unequal access to healthy places, services and food across the geographic region of Tāmaki Makaurau.

I currently work at Medact as an economic justice campaigner organising health workers to change the harm caused by racial and economic inequality. To build towards an economic system that is fair, justice and good for people & planet.

I hope to bring to this role an anti-oppressive practice that creates structures of participation and inclusion especially for our members who are Black, indignious and people of colour. For the Independent Workers of Great Britain to be a union that is able to fully represent the rights of marginalized members and fight for structural change for workers rights.

 

 

Candidates for Treasurer

 

Arthur Salisbury

I am a member of the Couriers and Logistics Branch.

Policies

If elected, I will:

  1. Move to a more appropriate bank. I would switch bank accounts from the Co-operative to Unity, the bank founded by and tailored to the trade union movement. This would allow us to create one account with sub-accounts for our twelve branches. This arrangement ensures the financial autonomy of the branches while giving the central union oversight, making it easier to budget and saving everyone time in compiling the statutory annual accounts for the Certification Office.
  2. Provide quarterly reports into the financial health of the union, accessible to all members. There has been some consternation at the loans recently made by branches to the centre; greater transparency in our finances would help allay fears, and oversight by the membership would encourage best practice.
  3. Appoint a member of staff to carry out some administrative work, as agreed at the April meeting of the Executive Committee, to enable our financial systems to keep pace with the expected growth of the Union. The treasurer would deal with payroll and pensions, report to trustees, and prepare the budget and audit. A second member of staff would be nominated to carry out the day-to-day administration of processing branch payments, assisting branch treasurers and maintaining the book-keeping software.

Experience

I have professional and academic experience of treasury work. For fifteen months from 2018-20, I was treasurer of the Tottenham Labour Party, back when the Labour Party was any good. I understand how to liaise with various branches made up largely of volunteers (we had nine of them), and I understand how to organise the work of treasurer around my own life, making sure to carry out my duties promptly while avoiding burnout.

I studied Financial Accounting and Reporting at the Open University, and I have practical experience of:

  • Compiling and submitting end-of-year accounts
  • Preparing financial reports for internal and external evaluation
  • Setting up bank accounts for political organisations and societies

 

Greg Howard

Hi. I’m Greg, currently the Branch Secretary of the Couriers & Logistics branch of the IWGB and I’m super proud to be standing for election to the post of central union treasurer carrying on the extremely incredible and vital work that the Treasurer performs on a daily basis.

To begin, I’d like to thank James Tiplady for all of his contributions to the role of treasurer, and although they are big shoes to fill, I’m pleased to detail below some of the initiatives and practices that I will place into the role to make the Union a more financially successful and transparent organisation, so we can spend less time worrying about the money and more time fighting for the rights of our members, in all the branches we represent, plus all future branches that come to fruition.

Secondly, As I have been a member of the Executive Committee for the past year, I have seen first hand the challenges of running the finances of our organisation. Having voted in several of the initiatives that James’ brought to the Executive Committee, I will continue the important task of modernising the processes of the Treasurer, working with central union staff, the executive committee and all the branch treasurers to speed up, collaborate & streamline the operation. Allowing not only myself, but everyone involved in the financial engine of the IWGB to spend less time counting, and more time on the streets organising our comrades to win big for the future.

Also, I will create networks for all branch treasurers to connect, share tools, work together, and support one another. This will involve monthly catch ups via zoom and virtual socials, whatsapp groups for support and guidance, and further training that I will organise with the assistance of others to create future central union treasurers. This will not only support the treasurers but also aid the union in the yearly returns that we are compelled to deliver.

And Finally, I will induct all new branch treasurers taking posts, to ensure they have all the tools, resources and skills to move their branches in the right direction, catching up with them on a one to one basis to guide them comfortably into settling in their new elected roles. I will also hold regular training sessions for all union members who feel they would like to support their branches financially, exploring options for funding, cost-saving, budget responsibility and sensible expense practices. If I am successful these courses will start as soon as they possibly can.

Whilst I haven't held a financial position with a union before, I have plenty of experience managing tight budgets in small independent businesses where I have been accountable for the financial prosperity, ensuring that quality and sustainability is not compromised at all.

Thank you for taking the time to read this manifesto, and with your vote I look forward to starting a new chapter of successes and wins for the union that represents you, the member.

 

How to cast your vote

If you are a member of the IWGB, then you will receive a ballot paper to your home address. To vote, follow the instructions on the ballot paper and then return it by post.

If your ballot paper does not arrive, it may be that your address was incorrect on the union's records. Please email [email protected] if you think there is a problem.