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Welcome & Editorial - July 2013

25 June 2013

Welcome to the July issue of the TSSA Journal. As newly elected president Mick Carney says we’re living in a time of constant change – change in our industries, be that the ongoing threats to station staff, or the more welcome change of Labour joining our campaign to keep the East Coast public. Yet this is also a time of change for our union itself.

The near unanimous vote of TSSA’s delegate conference to proceed with merger talks with Unite (p4) will potentially herald some big changes over the coming year. Members are very much in the driving seat of this process, and nothing will go ahead unless approved in an all-member ballot, but branch delegates were very much convinced that this deal represents the strongest possible option for securing and building our collective voice long into the future.

Talks between TSSA and Unite are now progressing based on the framework approved by conference delegates (p11), with the potential for an agreement to be reached by autumn.

Given that all our issues with employers and the government will remain regardless of this process, we need to keep organising, keep recruiting and continue to ensure we have the biggest political impact possible. That’s why the work building our community and political alliances to support our core demands of a properly staffed, publicly owned railway with full rights at work for all, is so vital (p5 and 10). News that a TSSA member is amongst Labour’s latest set of candidates selected for winnable seats (p4) shows just how direct members’ power can be. We’re providing training and support to potential candidates, so if you’d be interested in standing for election, from council-level up, do speak to TSSA’s political officer.

Whatever changes lie ahead, and in whatever precise shape we exist to respond to them, we can all be grateful for the dedication of the reps, activists and officers who will continue their work to ensure we all get the best deal possible.

Ben Soffa, editor

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