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A word from the Regional Secretary, Ruth Brady

22 Dec 2021
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It’s been another tough year for us all.

Whilst we have seen the vaccination and booster roll out at remarkable speed, it obviously feels all rather flat now with the spread of the Omicron virus.

As a region we decided last week to close our offices for this week – and we’ll be keeping an eye on how the situation develops over the next few weeks and into the new year.

That could mean lockdowns, firebreaks or just more working from home; but whatever the situation, have no doubts that whatever the situation, your union will stand by and support you.

 

 

Reflecting on this I wanted to take a moment to thank all our key workers on behalf of GMB, many of whom are our members have been the solid foundations of our fightback against covid.

Across the country up throughout the 20 months of the pandemic, they have cared for our sick and elderly, looked after children, made sure our retail shelves are replenished, packages are delivered, refuge disposed of, utility services supplied, and our vaccines administrated at an astronomical level.

Your fearless dedication will not be forgotten, certainly by this union, and in 2022 we will fight even harder for a better deal at work for you and your colleagues.

 

There have been some great moments for GMB, our ground-breaking recognition deal with Uber, winning for members in Bristol Water, Panasonic, Goodfish and many more workplaces across Wales and South West England.

There were other highlights like playing our part in an election win for Welsh Labour against the odds, and Dan Norris’ election as Labour Mayor for the West of England.

Both victories had major contributions from GMB and we know that how thankful representatives were and how willing the are to play their role in furthering GMB’s agenda across the country.

Over the last few months we have balloted all of our members in the NHS, Local government and care on the Governments latest derisory pay deals.

It was an intensive process that took up a lot of resources, and I want members to know that whatever the outcome, we will fight for every penny they deserve.

Whether that’s this years pay deal or next years, we will fight for every penny you are owed after a decade of pay freezes.

Gary Smith our General Secretary has committed to retain contribution rates without any increase this year and determined to ensure this is replicated next year. Campaigning and Organising is his core priority, serving our members and fighting for what matters to them. 

I’d also like to take a quick second to thank my old friend and colleague, Mike Payne who is retiring after 30 years with GMB. His work and commitment has made our union and our country a better place to live, and we will miss him dearly.

Have a merry Christmas and a happy new year and I’ll see you In January.

Let’s hope 2022 is a better year for everyone.

Ruth

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