Dave Prentis photograph

Dave Prentis

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Gender Male
Born Leeds
United Kingdom
Education London School of Economics and Political Science
University of Warwick
University of London
Date of Reg.
Date of Upd.
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Dave Prentis Life story

Dave Prentis is a British trade unionist who is the current General Secretary of UNISON, the United Kingdom's largest trade union. He was originally elected on 1 January 2001 and was re-elected in March 2005, with 77% of the vote. He was again re-elected in 2010, and in 2015.

David Prentis, Baron Prentis of Leeds (born 29 May 1948) is a British trade unionist and former General Secretary of UNISON, the United Kingdom's largest trade union. He was originally elected in 2000. He was re-elected in March 2005, with 77% of the vote, in 2010 (with 67% of the vote), and in 2015 (with 49% of the vote).

Early life

Prentis was born and brought up in Leeds where he attended St Michael's College from 1959 to 1967. He went to the University of London where he took a BA in History, then studied Economic History at the London School of Economics. This was followed by a master's degree in Industrial Relations at the University of Warwick.

Trade unions

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

UNISON leadership

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. In 2001, he succeeded Rodney Bickerstaffe as General Secretary of UNISON, having been elected in February 2000.

Prentis was responsible for 1,500 staff and a turnover of around £160 million. As General Secretary, he received a total salary and benefits package worth £112,114 in the accounting year ending 31 December 2013.He was a member of the TUC General Council, TUC executive committee and the Trade Union Labour Party Liaison Committee. He was elected President of the TUC for the year 2008.In July 2020, he announced his decision to step down at the end of the year. Christina McAnea was elected as his successor in a ballot of members, in which she won 47.7% of the vote.It was announced on 14 October 2022, that as part of the 2022 Special Honours, Prentis would receive a life peerage, sitting for the Labour Party. On 18 November 2022, he was created Baron Prentis of Leeds, of Harehills in the City of Leeds.

Public appointments

Trustee of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and also Catalyst, two centre-left research bodies

Adviser to the Warwick Institute of Governance and Public Management

Visiting fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford

Member of various joint working parties with the government and the CBI

President of Unity Trust Bank

since, 1 June 2012, non-executive director of the Bank of England. The initial appointment is until 31 May 2015. For the accounting year 2013/14 non-executive directors of the Bank of England received total remuneration of £165,458.

Personal life

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.


External links


News items

Telegraph article August 2008

Elected in February 2000

Dave Prentis Photos

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