Most of my best thinking is done on the train. You get a chance to look at the world outside your window and contemplate. Think of things good or not so good that have happened or indeed can take place.
I’m on the train right now contemplating our vote. I have mixed feelings. Theres more than a tinge of nostalgia. I’m thinking of my time in both CPSU and PSEU. On joining the civil service my automatic question was where is my union application form? That evolved quickly into who is my rep to how can I be involved. My career has spanned highs and lows but our civil service of today is a lot different to the one I joined. But, like this train waiting to move I will eventually depart the station for my destination. We need to be ready to move. With the nostalgia there is excitement. An opportunity to bring this along.
Just over half our membership voted on the prospect of amalgamation, just under 70% said yes. We had argued as an executive that this would be a positive step. The challenge is now there for us to prove these words.
That’s why I’m looking out the window. What can we do next, what can be better? It’s ironic that all the trains are running late tonight. Every one arriving into the station seems to be terminating here. There was a signal fault on one of the tracks and the network has gone into a tailspin. I wonder what the senior decision makers had decided when they foresaw future signal faults. I’ve no doubt they thought about it and I’ve no doubt they thought it would be like this.
So we have to make sure we do the right thing. The right thing for members and for society at large. We wish to create a fair society for all and demand a fair employment for our members. But what does all that really mean? For me it’s a chance to start again, to review all that we do and ask is this the right way? I implore you all to join with me in this journey. Please get involved, send in your ideas, talk to your branches and let’s do our very best to create that fair society whilst achieving what’s best for the membership.
Niall McGuirk is President of the PSEU