Dear TSSA Members, Activists and Staff
Recently you could be forgiven for feeling TSSA is trapped in perpetual crisis. There is certainly much to deal with, but as the only candidate endorsed by TSSA’s EC, and with the highest number of nominations from branches and EC, I see real reasons for hope.
I have been tirelessly campaigning with TSSA activists around the country against ticket office closures, and I know that our spirit of mutual support has the power to take our union to new heights.
If elected my aim would be to act swiftly to end the crises over culture, discrimination, and our finances. Thereafter TSSA can relentlessly focus on what matters most – members’ jobs, pay, terms and conditions.
As the only candidate to have run a major secretariat in the labour and trade union movement, and with my background in equalities and managing major organisational change, I’m ready to lead TSSA to a brighter future.
From a young age I have been passionate about public transport. My brother was born blind, and the railways – thanks to the assistance of TSSA’s station and train staff members – have been the cornerstone of his freedom. My earliest campaigning experiences were fighting alongside him for accessibility, service improvement, and staffing levels on our transport networks.
I have held jobs at senior levels in the Labour Party, serving as secretary to (and running the department which was wider secretariat for) the NEC Equalities Committee, and convening several crucial joint committees between trade unions and frontbench politicians, on issues such as fire safety, Grenfell, and community wealth building.
I was a Councillor in the London Borough of Camden for 12 years – constantly campaigning for those I represented. I secured policies to mitigate noise nuisance, clean up the night time economy, secure protections for strip club dancers and preventing the spread of exploitative betting shops.
I also served as Mayor of Camden for two terms, using that platform not only to promote the Borough but highlighting important causes such as Solace Women’s Aid and the advancement of our youth.
I have vast experience of working with young people and have worked closely with Young Labour and would do likewise with futureTSSA to grow our membership and activist base.
Having been fortunate enough to gain a degree in Economics and then study Law to Masters level at UCL- I will call upon this skillset, especially in industrial negotiations.
My proudest time in the trade union movement was spent campaigning with, and then working for, the construction union UCATT. I was part of a team working to achieve justice for trade unionists who'd been blacklisted just for asking for basic rights.
Just like TSSA, UCATT was a small specialist union. On merging with Unite the specialisation which UCATT brought to its members was inevitably lost. I do not want that fate for TSSA, so I am deeply committed to keeping our union independent.
My priorities for TSSA
My top priority as General Secretary of TSSA is to defend members’ jobs, pay, pensions, terms and conditions. The financial stability of our union naturally then follows.
If we can resolve our internal issues and turn our focus outwards, then TSSA has the strength to save ticket offices, protect members’ jobs, fight for higher pay and better conditions, and maintain the pension rights which transport workers are entitled to.
To build a sustainable and industrially strong TSSA, we will need to stabilise the union’s finances by growing our membership across the transport and travel sectors. We must always be recruiting, and asking ourselves how our actions can help grow the union and its strength.
As the only candidate who has expertise in equalities and culture change, I will use these skills to implement the recommendations of the Kennedy and Conley Reports. I would come to the job with a fresh set of eyes, ready for the challenge.
I have no doubt TSSA has the strength to save ticket offices, protect members’ jobs, fight for higher pay and better conditions. To do that, with stable finances, we must always be recruiting and growing our strength.
I have travelled across England to Durham, the Midlands, York, London and the South East campaigning against rail ticket office closures. I have spoken to local and national media on issues such as a spike in assaults against transport workers, written about ticket office closures and raised the union’s profile, including enlisting celebrity support.
I pledge that my energetic campaigning will continue if I am elected. I hope that you will vote for me as the next TSSA General Secretary.
As ever – my door is open, so get in touch if you would like to talk.