On Thursday, 9 May, I shall be leaving the University of Bradford for pastures new.
With great sadness, this means I will be relinquishing my duties as Unison Branch Secretary.
My time leading our Branch has had its ups: preventing the closure of the nursery and downs: losing so many good, good people, unnecessarily; but throughout my tenure I have always felt an immense amount of pride in standing up for all members, something that I hope I have done successfully.
In a way, it is as good a time as any for me to leave; with a new vice chancellor – something that Unison undoubtedly contributed to – it is a chance for the unions to have a fresh (and hopefully more conducive) working relationship with the new incumbent. Conciliation, rather than combat. For now at least. That said, I have always enjoyed the odd battle or two…
It was Ghandi who implored people to “be the change you want to see in the world” and You should all be proud of the change that UNISON and you – its members – helped bring about in the last year, as highlighted in the attached article. Without our actions and the actions of our sister union, UCU, I do not believe we would be in the position we are today. Those four days on the picket line were, undoubtedly, my personal highlight and completely dispelled the myth that unions have no relevance in the modern world. Remember, not one single person was made compulsorily redundant.
The only other thing to say is that although I may be the one who writes the emails, makes the speeches and does the radio interviews, this Branch would not operate without our wonderful committee and especially the (often unseen) hard work of my right hand man, Toheed Raza – in their capable hands I am confident this Branch will continue to grow.
My new job takes me out of education and into an entirely different (non-unionised!) sector, but somewhere along the line I may bump into one or two of you. In the words of The Boss, “I’ll meet you further on up the road, further on up the road”.
With best wishes and, always, in solidarity.