In the past 12 months, just about as long as the management reorganisation has been on-going, TSSA membership has gone down by 1,137 members. In the past two periods TSSA has haemorrhaged more than 500 members These losses were incurred before the strike and prior to management’s ill-advised communications to members attacking GMB, and with it TSSA staff. Management say the financial situation is stable, but the question is for how long? No union, particularly a comparatively small one, can sustain these type of losses. GMB, and TSSA staff, want an amicable solution as soon as possible so that the TSSA can start recovering from this damaging year.
Management have claimed GMB was holding TSSA to ransom. This was never the case. TSSA management have never told their activists or members that in June there was an event for TSSA staff held at Stoke Rochford which was supported by GMB, designed to boost flagging morale amongst the staff, whilst relaunching an organising approach. At the event GMB shared our experience of moving to an organising culture. Both TSSA management and GMB agreed that it was essential TSSA started growing to ensure the union stayed in control of its own destiny and wasn’t subject to a hostile takeover. But any goodwill or enthusiasm generated from the Stoke Rochford event has been squandered by management, who went back on their promises to transition with a “minimum of fuss” and who are now trying to force staff to apply for their own jobs.
However, the goodwill GMB has to a sister union remains. We want nothing but the best for TSSA and its members. After all GMB in TSSA is actually the union employees who are hardworking, dedicated professionals, committed to TSSA and the wider trade union movement. There is no artificial distinction between TSSA staff and GMB as management have tried to suggest.
It is because of our collective desire to see TSSA thrive that we call on TSSA management to come to their senses before it is too late. They need to get round the table and find a solution that starts to heal relations between TSSA staff and management. For all the recent bluff, bluster and attempts at bullying from management what they haven’t explained is how they are going to turn TSSA around when the officers and staff are so utterly alienated. GMB will once again meet TSSA management in good faith at ACAS but the onus is now on the management side to come up with a sensible compromise position that will be acceptable to all parties.