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Scottish Women's TUC / Scottish Weekend School

4 January 2013

Reports from two events - both held in Perth

Scottish TUC Women’s Conference success

This year the STUC Women’s Conference was held in the picturesque and historic city of Perth. Margaret Anslow, Executive Committee member for Scotland told the Journal, ‘I was lucky to attend alongside ‘new girl’ (to conferences) Karan Park, whose enthusiasm, ideas for the future and moves on the dance floor, made my attendance at this year’s conference a truly memorable one!’

Margaret was elected onto the STUC Women’s Committee, winning a place to represent the female members of the Association over the next year. Margaret has said she hopes to link in with Women In Focus members in Scotland as well as the Scottish Women’s Convention, of which she is also a member.

The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Women in manufacturing’, with a smooth-flowing agenda meaning 29 motions were passed, some of which have already been submitted to the Scottish Parliament. A number of MSPs attended including Scottish Labour Leader Johann Lamont and SNP Finance Minister John Swinney plus Margaret Curran MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland.

Margaret says ‘Karan might have been a first time delegate, but delivered the speech on our motion absolutely brilliantly. I would encourage all Scottish TSSA female members to attend in future and also to join me in the Scottish Women’s Convention, to make our voices properly heard in our parliament’.


 

Learning and debating at the Scottish Weekend School

TSSA’s Scottish Divisional Council recently combined its regular meeting with a ‘weekend school’ to give an opportunity for delegates to discuss issues ranging from branch development to the impact of the independence referendum.

Event organiser David Gamble takes up the story, ‘It was a great weekend, with plenty of learning and exchanging of ideas. We even to have some nice food and the odd drink, with a bit of socialising taking place.’

As well as Divisional Council members, including several first- time delegates, Lorraine Ward, the newly appointed assistant general secretary for Scotland and Ireland attended, as did TSSA treasurer Mick Carney.

‘We enjoyed a lively Divisional Council meeting with plenty of ideas exchanged and a presentation from Mick on the state of the union and its finances. After that, we held our first group session of the ‘school’ element of the event, where delegates were looking at branches. We focussed both on what we could do to improve branch structures and also how we could grow membership through branches. Some excellent ideas came up with both long-term strategies and some ‘quick wins’ being discussed.’

Rail industry delegates heard from senior regional organiser Tom Kennedy on the upcoming report into Scottish railways, followed by a presentation on TSSA’s Better Rail Campaign from Mick Carney. Delegates started to form an action plan by identifying several key issues from the rail report which they could campaign around, linking those to themes already being highlighted via Better Rail.

David Gamble continued, ‘Our final session was always likely to be quite emotive, given we were discussing matters around the 2014 independence referendum. The session was lead by David Moxham from the STUC who highlighted many of the issues that will affect unions and their members. This was just the first of a series of discussions that need to happen as Scotland shapes its future, and we as the Scottish members of the TSSA help shape our union’s stance on this huge issue.’ He added, ‘I hope other Divisional Councils following suit with their own weekend schools as they are a great way of developing knowledge, ideas and contacts’.

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