Thursday, 23 December 2010

WHERE did 2010 go? January to December seems to have passed by in a flash – and now we’re hurtling towards Christmas Day at a rate of knots. It hardly seems a year ago that I gave my last Christmas message!

2010 has been a great year for Solidarity Trade Union. We have always punched well above our weight, and I’m sure we’ll continue to do so in the months and years ahead. Some of the latest cases we’ve been involved in include sexual harassment, race discrimination, non-payment of holiday pay, correcting bad advice on employment law, TUPE, 'spies in cabs', negative referencing, an appeal on capability dismissal and various grievances. We are active in all types of representation work.

As we approach 2011, I feel that we have to concentrate on three main objectives next year:

1. We have to continue to grow. We currently have around 500 members. The next step is to double our membership. 1000 members paying dues will provide a great foundation from which to build. These extra members will increase our activist base – thus we can distribute more leaflets, posters and so on. An increased income will allow us to increase our representation work.

2. We need to move up a gear to cope with this increasing work load. Regional Representatives need to be appointed throughout Britain. This will help ease the workload for our National Executive members who’ve tended to take on the vast bulk of our work.

3. To support our front-line union activists, we need a first-class research, communications and logistics team. This team will ensure that all our publicity material is accurately researched, produced and distributed to our activists. We also need to really think seriously about the production of a regular street publication as well as various national, regional and trade-based outreach materials.

I’d like to end on both a personal and union-related note. For me, the highlight of 2010 came in late May when the General Teaching Council cleared me in a ‘freedom of expression’ case. This was a real ‘David and Goliath’ case. The Union took on the politically correct liberal-leftist establishment – and Solidarity won the day! I noted earlier, the union always punches well above its weight. Long may it continue to do so.

As with my 2009 Christmas message, I’d urge all those who have not already joined to do so now to ensure you have that 'insurance' policy in the event of problems at work. The country is still in a recession and many employers are looking for excuses to shed staff. We also need your financial and moral support, especially in today’s economic climate. Don't let yourself become a victim of complacency!

On behalf of the National Executive of Solidarity Trade Union, I’d like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Eat, drink, and be merry. Cheers!

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If you prefer to pay by standing order, you can request a form from: Solidarity, PO Box 93, Spennymoor, DL16 9AN, United Kingdom.

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