It’s been an exceptionally busy time at the TSSA! In the 6+ years I have worked for you as an Organiser, I’ve never seen anything like the recent events.
Last year, we were completely focused on securing industrial action ballots, organising and publicising picket lines and speaking with our members and reps to gauge responses as the negotiations were ongoing.
This year, we’ve seen the release of the Kennedy and Conley Reports, which laid out shocking behaviours that we must not tolerate inside our union, and would not accept in your workplaces. As a person who suffered the wrath of the old SMT, and gave evidence to the Kennedy Report, it was incredibly hard to read. It’s important that anyone affected by the actions described in the reports is treated with kindness, and many staff and members are still suffering; but as Kennedy said, staff are well placed to fix the issues.
Thinking back to my days at London Underground, it is great to see how far we have come in tackling bullying and harassment at work thanks to the endeavors of our union. There is of course much more to resolve across our companies and industries, and our union leaders must be held to the same standards we expect for our members in their work places. A workforce that feels valued and supported will go the extra mile.
When the GS rule change went through at Conference in June, I knew I could honour the promises I had made to the members who’d asked me to stand, and just as this election started, we saw the attack on ticket offices launched. Over the last weeks I have been busy speaking with members, joining people on campaign sessions, liaising with bodies representing excluded passengers and analysing data and reports from the TOC I’m responsible for (alongside my other duties of course!).
I was thrilled to receive the backing of so many branches during the nomination phase, and thank the members for their support. The personal endorsements and testimonies I’ve had from members are truly humbling. I’m delighted that we can offer our members a refreshed union that will grow, and develop our lay and staff talent so that we may continue as an independent trade union. It’s vital that we impress on young transport workers the need for trade unions in our sectors, and should build a specific recruitment campaign for them.
The ticket office campaign has seen an unprecedented response sent to Transport Focus and London Travel Watch, and the extension of the period is a reprise, not the end of the campaign! We need to make the government see that the public will not accept their plans to de-staff our stations, and ensure that this is an election issue. If the railways were re-nationalised the profit motive would be removed and our members jobs (and the safety and accessibility for passengers) would be assured.
Being active and working to resolve issues for our members is what motivates me, and through this campaign I have a chance to hear your ideas, and incorporate them into a wider plan to put members first and re-build our union!
Members Moving Forward!
Bonnie Craven for TSSA GS
Videos and members endorsements available on my social media streams or on request. Email info@Bonnie4GS.org