UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis is retiring after 20 years as the union’s most senior figure and 40 years’ service to the union.
As general secretary he has led the union to a series of memorable achievements, including campaigning and negotiating for a real living wage, pushing for the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act and winning equal rights on partner pensions and marriage for LGBT+ people.
Along the way, UNISON has established itself as the UK’s largest union with over 1.3million members – one million of them women.
Dave Prentis has spoken up for public services and public service workers through the ravages of austerity and now the trauma and crisis of the COVID pandemic.
Farewell messages and tributes have been pouring in from colleagues, branches, international comrades and politicians, including Labour leader Keir Starmer and former prime minister Gordon Brown.
You can read these tributes, below, and take a visual journey through the highlights of two decades of leadership of UNISON.
Dave Prentis: a life in UNISON
Tributes: saying a fond farewell