It’s aways good to go home – even if only for a few hours – so it was great to be back in Leeds yesterday, the city where I was born, and speak to staff in our Yorkshire and Humberside region.
I was there as part of a tour of our regions, speaking to members and staff about the future of our union, and hearing about the successes (and struggles) that have always formed the core of our union’s work. Whether it’s fighting against the closure of the A&E at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary or standing up for our hard pressed members and the services they provide in local government, these are the issues that sustain us as a movement and inspire me each day as General Secretary.
There were questions about many of the crucial areas in which we work. Undoubtedly the past few months have been difficult for our union and our members, yet the message coming from everyone was loud and clear.
It’s time to move on, to bring everyone together and to do what we do best – standing up for 1.3 million members who need us to support them, represent them and to fight for them. And to continue to fight for a simple idea – that every worker matters as much as their boss, and that everyone who provides a public service deserves our support.
Those are the values that I grew up with in Leeds (a few) years ago. They’re the values that are at the heart of our great union, driving the members, activists and staff who achieve so much. And they’re what I’m proud to fight for each day as your general secretary.