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We're on the right track!

6 January 2014

Members of TSSA’s divisions in the Midlands and Northern England came together late last year in Sheffield, the birthplace of the TSSA, to learn, share experiences and develop campaign plans.

The two-day seminar began with a look at the development of the rail industry and our union, after which the focus turned to the problems members face, from big political ones stemming from the current franchising structure through to those within individual companies.

The event looked at what was happening in each region, how reps can support one another and what improvements members wanted to make in workplaces and the industry more generally. Once members had identified their campaigning aims, the skills, knowledge, resources and strategy needed to achieve them were discussed. Each division worked collaboratively on complimentary strategies towards the common goal of the betterment of our industry.

Network Rail rep Adeyemi Ajayi said, “I’ve gained a lot of empowerment as a trade union rep, being able to better understand exactly what it means for the railway to come back into public ownership. I’ve been changed, believe it or not!”

The second day was devoted to planning and practising campaigning methods which could help organise around and resolve local problems, as well as be used to build the case for public ownership. Using the local media, lobbying MPs, public speaking, written communications skills were all taken up.

East Coast rep Nicola Jukes summed up the practical training the event provided, saying, “The best part of the seminar for me was meeting other reps, as I am new to it myself. I have written a letter to send to a few local papers and then I’m going to try to speak to shadow transport secretary Mary Creagh”.

Want to find our more or get involved in taking these plans forward? Contact your regional organiser via the Helpdesk on 0800 3282673.

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