Last week’s TU Congress (12 – 14 September) was a ‘dumbed down’ affair. It was held in London with reduced delegations from the unions – the NUJ had three instead of five. The idea to hold it in London with reduced delegations, was an attempt to stop moves to make the congress biannual (a move favoured by some in Congress House – to save money). So we trooped into the basement of Congress House in central London for three days (actually two and a half – usually it’s over four days) at a time when our movement needed a really high media and public profile. Media coverage was scaled down and most of the headlines were about the frosty reception Ed (‘I don’t like strikes’) Miliband, the Labour leader received on the second day, and the decision taken on the last day to support united industrial action on 30 November against the coalition government’s plans to for many of our public sector members to pay more for reduce pension benefits. Ballots should be held next month.
Last Friday’s NEC meeting was Jeremy Dear’s last as general secretary, but before we got down to the farewells (which continued at his and his partner, Paula’s leaving party later that evening) there was a stack of business to get through.
This year the union holds its election for a general secretary and after having served two five year terms, Jeremy Dear announced to the FebruaryNEC meeting that he would not be standing again. Jeremy was the union’s youngest ever leader when he was elected in 2001 at the age of 34. He was re-elected in 2006. Prior to becoming General Secretary he served the union as National Organiser for newspapers and as President. Continue reading NEC hears that Jeremy is stepping down