Delegates to Chelmsford TUC marked the death of Rodney Bickerstaffe at their November meeting by paying tributes to his work for the trade union movement with a minute’s silence. Rodney was the former General Secretary of UNISON and President of the National Pensioners’ Convention. In 1999 he was a guest at our May Day Rally.
Before the start of business our speaker Chris Vince, Parliamentary Candidate for Chelmsford Labour Party, spoke about the General Election, the magnificent Labour Party Conference and the changed attitude to politics that has been generated by the leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn. After answering a number of questions Chris was thanked for his excellent talk.
Delegates had a wide-ranging discussion on the state of the NHS as a direct result of the lack of funding and will be watching events as they unfold, particularly regarding panel assessments of patients before operations. The Trades Council will be making comments on the Success Regime plans when they are published. Delegates fear that because it has been agreed to retain A&E units at their present operational level there may be service cuts in other areas to pay for this.
A number of delegates will be on the march to ‘Scrap the Public Sector Pay Gap’ which will be held in London on October 17. A small team from the Trades Union Council will be at Brentwood High School for its careers evening when they will distribute leaflets and explain to pupils leaving school about the importance of being in a trade union.