National Executive Council elections 2021


On this page you can find out everything you need to know about the vote to elect UNISON’s new National Executive Council (NEC).

What is the NEC?

The NEC is made up of representatives elected from all of UNISON’s regions and service groups, as well as seats for four Black members, two young members and two disabled members. It has the power to act on behalf of the union and is responsible for implementing UNISON policy and delivering on the union’s objectives and priorities.

UNISON’s rule book says we have to elect our NEC every two years.

When is the ballot?

The ballot opens on 4 May 2021 and runs until 27 May 2021. The results will be announced on 11 June 2021.

The union’s NEC, at a meeting on 10 December 2020, agreed a timetable for the election.

Full details and procedures are available: NEC election – Procedures

Contested seats

The list of candidates in contested seats is available to download here.

Unopposed seats

The list of candidates in unopposed seats is available to download here.

NB unopposed candidates are not confirmed until the election results have been declared by the Returning Officer on 11 June 2021.

Voting Process

Members not on the UNISON central membership system on 4 February 2021 will not be eligible to vote in these elections. Only full members in the relevant region and service group are eligible to vote in this election.

Ballot papers 

Ballot papers will be sent to members’ home or other notified address. Members will be provided with a pre-paid envelope for the return of the ballot paper to the Independent Scrutineer. All voting will be by post.

The despatch of ballot papers to individual members will begin on 4 May 2021.

Where members have previously requested (via the RMS) materials in a special format e.g. in large print, they will automatically receive the ballot pack in that format. Any additional requests should be made to the ballot helpline.

Ballot Helpline 

If individual members have not received a paper by 13 May 2021, then they should contact the ballot helpline operated by UNISONdirect, on the following telephone number: 0800 0 857 857.

Lines are open from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday. Members with hearing difficulties can use textphone 0800 0 967 968.

Members should endeavour to have their membership number to hand when telephoning.

The latest point at which members can request a ballot paper is 12 noon on 20 May 2021.

Please note that the ballot helpline can only deal with queries from individual members. If branches believe there is a wide-scale problem with receipt of ballot papers amongst their members (for instance if whole departments or geographical areas have not received ballot papers) then the branch should contact their regional office.

Close of ballot and result

The deadline for receipt of ballot papers by the Independent Scrutineer is 5pm on 27 May 2021.

The result will be available on 11 June 2021 and the successful candidates will take office at the close of National Delegate Conference 2021.

Independent Scrutineer and Returning Officer

The Scrutineer and Returning Officer for this election is Civica Election Services, the contact details for which are: Civica Election Services, The Election Centre, 33 Clarendon Road, London N8 0NW. Email Fax 020 8365 7013. Tel 0208 365 8909


Any complaint about the conduct or fairness of this election must be received no later than 5pm on 8 June 2021. Complaints must be in writing and should enclose any supporting documentation. Complaints should be sent to Civica Election Services, The Election Centre, 33 Clarendon Road, London N8 0NW. Email Fax 020 8365 7013.


Any query regarding this information or this election should be directed to the Member Liaison Unit at the UNISON Centre.  Direct dial 020 7121 5399. Email

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