Reps indicative ballot on merger

Email to reps

The following correspondence was sent by email to all those listed as a rep on TSSA’s database on 14 December 2021.

Dear TSSA rep,

I want to give you some information about a ballot coming up in January. However, can I start by thanking you for all the work you do day-in-day out on behalf of our members. Thank you too for the very important role you play in the future of our union.

As you know, we are in merger talks with the Boilermakers and over the past few months those talks have intensified. We have agreed the detail of what our union will look like after the proposed merger, and I want you to have your say about that future in an online indicative ballot in January 2022.

Our new union will retain the best of TSSA – including our name, democracy and organising structures. But we will benefit from so much more as a District within the Boilermakers family and I’m excited to outline some of that to you in this email.

Becoming part of the Boilermakers will mean that we will be able to boost our organising staff with a ten-year funding commitment for a further 11 new organising staff who will be deployed in areas which will lead to membership growth. There will be no job losses among our existing organisers, and no job losses among our wider staff who provide important functions across our membership, communications and campaigning work.

At a challenging time within our industries, the Boilermakers’ funds will help to pay for our Helpdesk, legal, training and IT services, along with administrative and support services. There will be no staffing cuts and no reduction in the support and membership benefits our members and you get. In fact, we will see a boost to the support you get through a better training program and the filling of the five organiser vacancies that we are now carrying due to financial reasons.

As the TSSA District, we will keep all the membership income collected in Britain and Ireland, along with the proceeds of the rental income from Walkden House and the return from the investments we currently hold. Our policy-making and political affiliation will remain the business of the TSSA District. Our Branches, Divisional Councils and Self-Organised Groups (SOGs) will remain the same as they are today.

And our democracy will be strengthened, with an annual Rail, Transport and Travel sector conference, a Biennial TSSA District Conference, and a five-yearly Boilermakers convention – far more than our current annual arrangement thus giving you the opportunity to participate and influence what we do as a union 17 times every decade!

Our new union will operate in four countries - Britain, Canada, Ireland and the United States - creating a far more diverse membership as it will bring together people from different cultural backgrounds, as well as blue and white-collar workers. This will provide an exciting opportunity to learn from each other, promote best practice and extend our solidarity networks.

While our union and our members face great challenges in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and job cuts across the industries we organise, we have an incredible opportunity to strengthen our union and set ourselves on a very strong footing in 2022. Please look out for an email from our union in the New Year and take part in the indicative ballot from 10 January. This online ballot is solely for you – our reps.

In preparation for the ballot, please ensure that we have your preferred (preferably personal) email address by checking and updating your details on MyTSSA. If you know of any reps who have not received this email, please ask them to update their details and/or contact our Helpdesk or membership team to ensure we have them listed as a rep on our system.

Following the indicative ballot, we will hold a Special Delegate Conference on 12 February with delegates from our Branches and our SOGs to further debate and vote on the merger proposals.

I wish you, your family and loved ones a safe and happy Christmas and a healthy New Year.

Yours in solidarity,


Manuel Cortes
TSSA General Secretary

Woman working on laptop and phone

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