Dave Prentis

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Dave Prentis
Born May 29th 1948
Leeds, England
Occupation Trade union leader
Salary £92,187 salary [1]

Dave Prentis (born 1950, Leeds[2]) is the current General Secretary of UNISON, the United Kingdom's second largest trade union.[3] He was originally elected on 1 January 2001 and was re-elected in March 2005, with 77% of the vote.[4]

Early life[edit]

Prentis was born and brought up in Leeds where he attended a Catholic grammar school and went to the University of London where he took a BA in History, then studied Economic History at the LSE. This was followed by a masters degree in Industrial Relations at the University of Warwick.[2]

Trade unions[edit]

He joined NALGO in 1975. In 1990, he became the deputy general secretary. He was the UNISON's deputy general secretary (DGS) since its formation in July 1993, when it was formed from NALGO, NUPE and CoHSE.

UNISON leadership[edit]

In his role as the deputy general secretary, Prentis directed UNISON's national negotiating team and oversaw the union's policy making functions. He also drove through a strategic review of the union, aimed at delivering key reforms, to bring union services closer to the members.

Prentis is responsible for 1,500 staff and a turnover of around £160 million.[5]

He succeeded Rodney Bickerstaffe in 2001, having been elected in February 2000.

He is a member of the TUC general council, TUC executive committee and the Trade Union Labour Party Liaison Committee. Since 2007, he has been President of the TUC.[6] He is a member of the Labour Party's economy commission and the Labour Party joint policy committee.

Public organisations[edit]

He is a trustee of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and also Catalyst, two centre-left research bodies.

Prentis is also an adviser to the Warwick Institute of Governance and Public Management and a visiting fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford. He is a member of various joint working parties with the government and the CBI. He is president of Unity Trust Bank.

Personal life[edit]

In 2000, he was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus and stomach. He had much of his stomach removed, underwent chemotherapy, and then contracted MRSA in hospital. Since his recovery from cancer he has been unable to eat large meals.[2]

Daily Mail apology[edit]

The The Mail on Sunday was obliged to print an apology to Dave Prentis on 7 August 2011[7] after incorrectly reporting the previous week that Prentis had received a 31% increase in pension contributions from UNISON. In fact as a member of the UNISON staff pension scheme he was funding the pension increase himself through a 'salary sacrifice' scheme.


  1. ^ trade union certification officers report
  2. ^ a b c Christopher Hope (24 July 2008). "Profile: Dave Prentis, an elder statesman of the awkward squad". telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 31 July 2009. 
  3. ^ "Trade Unions / United Kingdom / Countries / National Industrial Relations / Home - WORKER PARTICIPATION.eu". worker-participation.eu. 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2013. 
  4. ^ Unison.org.uk – About Dave Prentis. Retrieved 27 April 2006.
  5. ^ Union boss Dave Prentis bags a 31% pension rise. Dailymail.co.uk. 30 July 2011[dead link]
  6. ^ "New TUC President elected in Brighton". Trades Union Congress. 13 September 2007. Retrieved 31 July 2009. 
  7. ^ Dave Prentis | Mail Online. Dailymail.co.uk (2011-08-07). Retrieved on 2011-11-28.

External links[edit]

News items[edit]

Trade union offices
Preceded by
Rodney Bickerstaffe
General Secretary of UNISON
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Alison Shepherd
President of the Trades Union Congress
Succeeded by
Sheila Bearcroft