News - TSSA General Secretary Election Candidates

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The process is underway to elect our union’s next General Secretary - with members deciding who will lead our union.

Following the call for nominations sent to all Branches on 12 June 2023, elected Scrutineers have reported that the following  nominations were received and verified - with three candidates making the ballot paper. 

These are as follows - 

Duncan Bates: Crewe & Cheshire General, Lancs & Cumbria General, Lancs & Cumbria Retired, LU MATS and Operating Managers, Merseyside General.

Bonnie Craven: Euston, London Bus & Rail Operators, London South West & General, London Metropolitan, Midlands General, Network Rail London South, North East General.

Maryam Eslamdoust: TSSA Executive Committee and: BTP Staff, London & Southern Retired, North East Operations, Southeastern Metro, TfL Central, Wales No.1, West Scotland General.

Therefore, an election is necessary and will be carried out by independent scrutineers, Civica. The Executive Committee has agreed the following timetable for the election:

*Date for issue of Ballot packs: 25 August 2023

*Closing date for receipt of voting papers: 22 September 2023

We encourage all members to engage in the election process. Branches are encouraged to organise local hustings and an online hustings for all members will be facilitated by Head Office. Full details of this event will be sent to members in due course.

Each candidate was asked to provide a 200-word statement which will be sent to all members with the ballot packs. Please see the candidate statements below:

*Duncan Bates -

I have been a member of the TSSA for over 8 years and am currently a serving member on the Executive Committee for the last year. I was a driver representative for over 12 years for ASLEF on the driver’s council and I am currently the managers TSSA representative on the management council at Northern Rail since 2016. 

During the time as a TSSA representative we have gained more members we have agreed full recognition for all managers in Northern Rail and have recently (2022) agreed a management RDG framework agreement productivity deal which has bettered contracts for all managers within Northern. Also we are striving for recognition at other TOCs. 

I wish to stand for the position of General secretary as I feel that over the last couple of years that the TSSA has been in decline regarding the finances and especially reduction in membership, this I feel need addressing and with future mergers on the horizon I feel we should do everything possible to maintain our identity and try to prolong the longevity of the union. And of course, implement the Kennedy and Connolly report recommendations to ensure the union is a leader going forward. 

*Bonnie Craven -

With my experience of working for London Underground, and as a successful TSSA Organiser, I am uniquely placed to re-build and grow our union, creating power and recognition for our members. We’ll fight for every job, starting with Ticket Offices.

Following the Kennedy and Conley reports, and unhelpful merger talks, it’s never been clearer that we need fresh, knowledgeable leadership which commits to empower every member to build a vibrant, democratic, inclusive and effective union.

I’ll ensure absolute transparency between staff, EC members and reps; and an end to our working in silos. You deserve a GS that delivers what the membership demands through active and invigorated branches, SOGs, and Conference, informing the EC.

Making better use of technology we will be more accessible and build industrial campaigns you direct.

As a smaller trade union, we should be agile and ready for the opportunities and challenges our employers, the government, the cost of living and climate crises present, and build our appeal to younger transport workers and a diverse and inclusive membership.

I’m proud to work for our TSSA members every day. If elected, I will remember our past whilst securing jobs, and the change we need for the future.

*Maryam Eslamdoust -

As your General Secretary my relentless focus will be members’ jobs, pay, terms and conditions. I combine an activist’s passion with the skills of running an efficient and effective administration.

Reps are TSSA’s beating heart. I’ll renew services for reps, concentrating resources on facilitating reps to protect and support members, and investing in world-class training.

I’ll ensure a democratic, industrially strong, independent TSSA with clout to robustly promote members’ interests.

To secure our future strength and viability we must grow membership, with an “Always Be Recruiting” ethos among every rep, activist and member.

Under my leadership, equalities, renewed culture, and high standards of professionalism won’t just be tickbox improvements, but rather lived every day in the attitudes and actions of TSSA.

I’m an experienced senior official in the trade union and labour movement, specialising in equalities and implementing major organisational change. I’ll use these skills to swiftly implement Kennedy and Conley recommendations, working with SOGs for women, BAME, LGBT+, young, retired, and members with disabilities to end the crisis period which has consumed too much energy on internal matters.

Our union’s focus must be members’ jobs, pay, terms and conditions, and a brighter future for the transport and travel industries.

General Secretary Code of Conduct

General Secretary Code of Conduct