Why NIPSA Unity is supporting Alison Millar

General Secretary Election 2015

  • Alison is the only candidate who would make the shortlist if this was a competence-based promotion opportunity in our workplace.
  • She is widely respected in the union movement and is the natural successor to Brian Campfield, having worked closely at his side through challenging times.
  • She has come through the ranks at NIPSA HQ, where she was first employed as a personal secretary, then as a union representative for HQ staff.
  • She has over 30 years of actual experience and expertise in negotiating terms and conditions for members in the various sectors covered by NIPSA.
  • She has the overwhelming and open support of our 60 HQ staff .
  • She has been nominated by an unprecedented 83 NIPSA branches.
  • She challenged the decision of the General Council and then President Patrick Mulholland, to expel two members of Branch 725.  She has now been vindicated by the legal opinion received from our solicitors and by her subsequent nomination by that branch.
  • As well as being deserving on her own merits, having Alison in the post will serve as an important role model for female trade unionists in an otherwise male dominated environment.
  • Alison is not a member of NIPSA Unity, but importantly for members in all sectors, and unlike her rival, she is opposed to NIPSA having a Political Fund which would bring us into conflict with the parties we need to lobby on behalf of our members’ interests.
  • As she is not directed by any outside political party or faction, she is free to make up her mind on the issues before her solely on their merits and in the members’ interests.

Issued – 12 October 2015

Fighting Sectarianism in ALL its forms

September 28, 2015

Statement by Alison Millar

Since I launched my campaign I have been asked to re-iterate and explain my approach on the questions of political affiliation and sectarianism and more importantly outline where I think NIPSA should stand on these matters.

vote alison

Political Affiliation

I am not a member of any political party and as such I believe I am the only candidate who stands for the complete and unequivocal independence of NIPSA from any political party or organisation. Furthermore I believe our union should not allow itself to get into a position where we could be seen to be aligned to any political grouping that puts its interests rather than that of our entire membership first. We are not a political party we are a trade union.

Our membership is politically and culturally diverse and we celebrate its diversity. We work best when we unite around the common values of a trade unionism rooted in collective action and social justice. We do this as a movement that retains and guards our independence and also wants to connect to wider society beyond the workplace. Any other approach, as our members know is divisive, damaging and shrinks rather than grows our movement. In short a narrow outlook in our approach is a recipe for disaster.

This is why I am opposed to NIPSA adopting a political fund. I am the only candidate who takes this view. However that doesn’t mean we should not intervene in the political process. Indeed our independence strengthens our hand in this regard. In this way when NIPSA lobbies and pressurises political parties in Northern Ireland as we have in the past (and I have personally engaged in the most robust way possible with the political leaders, Ministers, MLAs and Local Government Councillors in the interests of members) they see us as acting on behalf of all members and are never able to dismiss our views as that of a ‘rival’ political party.

For this reason as a member of the Executive Council of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions I also insist that the trade union movement remains independent of any political party’s influence.


We are all affected by sectarianism in our society and NIPSA and the trade union movement generally have struggled hard to eradicate sectarianism both from the workplace and from Northern Ireland society. We have had considerable success on removing sectarianism and divisions from the workplace (and the Trade Union movement can be proud of its work in this regard) but sectarianism is ingrained in our society and there are no easy solutions. I support all those in our society who are working to de-escalate inter communal tensions and who are striving for a peaceful future for our children.

Sectarianism unfortunately won’t be eradicated by slogans or calls to our better nature. It has to be tackled, not by rhetoric but by determined collective effort led by the biggest civic group in our society – the trade union movement. It has to be anti-sectarian not merely non-sectarian, based on a shared recognition of our differences and the determination to build a society that treats all of its citizens equally in every facet of their lives.

The trade union movement must continue and expand its work in confronting and exposing sectarianism in all its forms and continue to support all those who are fighting for a more equal and just society.

NIPSA General Secretary Election

Brian Campfield, NIPSA’s current General Secretary, is retiring in January 2016.  The election to succeed him will be held in October with nominations sought from candidates in September. Currently two candidates have indicated that they intend to stand – Alison Millar, the current Deputy General Secretary and Patrick Mulholland.

vote alisonNIPSA Unity is backing Alison Millar in the contest.

Alison is not a member of NIPSA Unity or of any faction within the Union but in our analysis Alison is the natural successor to Brian Campfield, having worked closely at his side in challenging times, and has the skills and experience to lead our Union.

 For more detail on why we feel Alison is the best candidate see our leaflet:

General Secretary Election 2015 – Why We’re Backing Alison

For more information on Alison and her election campaign visit   www.alisonmillar.info

Don’t attack Iraq – letter to the Editor – 2003

Dear Editor​ 9 January 2003


In an interview on the CBS 60 Minutes programme, on 12 May 1996, a journalist, Lesley Stahl, pointed out to Madeline Albright, then US Ambassador to the UN, that half a million children were reputed to have died up to that point, due to the sanctions imposed against Iraq. “That’s more children than died in Hiroshima. Is the price worth it?” she asked. Madeline Albright didn’t question the figures, but replied – “I think this a very hard choice, but the price – we think the price is worth it.”

This chilling exchange unfortunately remains characteristic of the US and British Governments approach to Iraq. Official estimates from UNICEF state that between 5,000 and 6,000 children die every month as a direct result of these sanctions, imposed in our names. In the Arab world this indifference to the Geneva Conventions, which prohibit the deliberate targeting of civilian populations in the prosecution of war, serves to remind them of the relatively low value placed on Arab lives and the ineffectual nature of the UN. This has of course been evident to the Palestinian people for a generation, but it is now fuel to the fires lit by Islamic extremists across the world.

Denis Halliday, who resigned from his post as Humanitarian Co-ordinator in Iraq rather than continue to administer sanctions, stated in the Independent (15 October 1998) –

“We are in the process of destroying an entire nation. It is as simple and as terrifying as that. It is illegal and immoral.”

Now we are to wage a terrible war on Iraq. It will be done without justification in International Law and solely to serve the interests of the USA, who seek to control the world’s oil supplies as part of its strategy for “homeland defence”. The war is to be waged exactly because Iraq is defenceless and to act as an example of the USA’s untrammelled power, to the other countries in the region, in particular Iran, which Bush has described as being part of the “Axis of Evil”. We know that Iraq is defenceless, not least, because Scott Ritter the former weapons inspector (and patriotic US citizen), stated on John Pilger’s TV documentary on 25 March 2000-

“Everything we set out to destroy in 19991, the physical infrastructure, had been eliminated. So if I had to quantify Iraq’s threat in terms of weapons of mass destruction, the real threat is zero, none.”

The war on Iraq is being misrepresented as part of the “war against terrorism”, even though Saddam Hussein is despised by Osama Bin Laden for operating a secular regime in the region and despite the fact, that Iraq clearly played no part in the outrages of 11 September. This war will destabilise not only the Middle East, it will provoke further terrorist outrages and create global insecurity. It is important that people of conscience register their opposition to this madness. They can do so by signing the petition on www.stopwar.org.uk and noting the arrangements for various forthcoming protests detailed in the website.

Yours faithfully