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Successful TSSA Annual Conference

13 May 2016

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes and President, Mick Carney write to members about the progresses made to TSSA democracy, the healthy finances and the priority of recruitment and retention to the union, leading to the good news that subcription rates will be frozen during 2016!

Our union's annual delegate conference has just concluded and was considered by all to have been an unqualified success. There were 67 delegates representing almost 90% of our branches. This compared very favourably with the previous year when only 68% of them were represented. This offered a further indicator that the difficult decisions taken last year to reorganise our branches have positively enhanced our democracy. I am also extremely pleased to tell you that our finances are back under control and our operating deficit, which reached £2.7 million in 2013, has all but disappeared. As a result of this, and the extremely important value we place on your continued loyal support during a very difficult period, our subscription rates will remain frozen during 2016!

Guests at our Conference included Mick Cash General Secretary of RMT, John McDonnell Labour's Shadow Chancellor and the Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn. They all took time to meet and chat with delegates and Jeremy in particular, seemed to impress them with his very relaxed and informal manner, something not often associated with politicians.

Our conference voted to support a whole range of policies relating to workplace issues, transport, employment rights, social and economic affairs, international matters and our very own union. It was an extremely positive experience as delegates and staff left Eastbourne with a renewed sense of optimism for our union's future. We have a solid financial base and great activists who are totally committed to campaigning and working together to making our union grow, build its strength and your influence in your workplace and community.

The most important debates of the week dealt with various motions on recruitment. Our delegates made it crystal clear that they believe that recruitment and retention of members is our number one priority. Everyone seemed to leave Eastbourne with a renewed commitment to our union's Time to Grow strategy, confident that they can and will contribute to its success. Here is where you come in. Building our union is a collective responsibility we all share. I am sure you know many good reasons why colleagues should swell our ranks but here are 10 excellent ones. It's so simple to join, just go online!

Our Executive Committee was also mandated to deliver a new rule book fit for the 21st Century. It will be considered by a special delegate conference this November. During this Summer and early Autumn, our General Secretary together with your relevant Executive Committee member will be hosting events across Britain and Ireland to discuss the changes taking place within our union and crucially, how you can become more involved. We aim to include a legal surgery at these events where you can also come along and get some free advice from our solicitors on a whole range of issues.

Please watch out for further details!
Finally, we very much look forward to seeing you at one of these events and can we once again thank you for your loyal and ongoing support.

Best wishes
Manuel Cortes General Secretary
Mick Carney President


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