Saturday, 1 February 2014

Retired Trade Union members – a resource or a bit of a nuisance?

A SERTUC Pensioners Network Event
Retired Trade Union members –
a resource or a bit of a nuisance?
Wednesday 16 April 2014 at Congress House, 10am – 3.30pm

Time was when life expectancy of trade unionists who had retired was considerably lower than it is now. Expectations of life after work were lower too, and the assumption seemed to be that we’d potter about a bit, pop into the British Legion occasionally and turn up at our Branch meetings to keep in touch with what was happening at work – and then we’d die. Our Unions knew there was value in a large number of loyal members who kept trade unionism going throughout their working lives and who were still interested and committed, but they weren’t really too sure what to do with us. After all, Unions are about representing people in work and we weren’t working anymore, but we continued to hang around, asking questions about policy and being a bit chippy. Retired members’ organisations seemed an ideal solution, as it allowed us to hold meetings, take minutes, affiliate to campaigns, and… Well, that’s it really.
But retired trade unionists have changed. There’s lots more women for one thing, reflecting the fact that a majority of trade unionists are women these days. We live longer and are generally fitter, and a lot of us continue to take part in activities that our parents at the same age wouldn’t have dreamed of. Quite a few of us even still have parents alive! We’re often technically savvy, familiar with using the internet and there are a good number of retired reps with Face Book pages. To put it bluntly, we decided there was more to retiring than hanging about until we popped our clogs and we discovered that continuing to be physically and mentally active was good for us. So perhaps its time to re-evaluate our role and the contribution we can make.
The SERTUC Pensioners Network has therefore decided that the 2014 annual seminar should focus on the role we can play and how our skills and experience could be better used. The day will feature a series of sessions, under the common theme, but looking at the different ways older people are regarded, treated and valued, in the UK and abroad. The day will end with Rodney Bickerstaffe, considering how retired trade union activists can re-assert themselves as valuable and fully functioning members of society in the 21st century.
The Seminar is on Wednesday 16 April 2014 at Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS, from 10am to 3.30pm. This is a free seminar sponsored by SERTUC, the TUC in London, the South and the East. Tea, coffee and a buffet lunch is provided. Congress House is fully accessible.

10.00 Registration and coffee
10.30 The format and purpose of the day. Chair Carolyn Simpson Unite
10.40   Pensioners in UK Society – How are we doing?
An overview of UK pensioners, how many of us are there, our situation in the economy, and our prospects. Speaker Jerry Latter Research Manager at Ipsos MORI
11.10   Pensioners in Europe – How do we compare?
Looking at how UK pensioners are doing compared with our sisters and brothers in our neighbouring states, and how their society views them. Speaker Anneliese Dodds Labour candidate for the South East in 2014 European Elections
11.40   Future prospects and those already left behind.
Many retired women in the UK are worst off than their male counter-parts and the results of Government’s new ‘auto-enrolment’ pension system for the next generation are unclear. What are the forecasts?
Neil Duncan-Jordan National Officer, NPC
12.10   Questions to the Panel and discussion
12.45   Lunch
13.30   A new role for retired trade unionists?
A review of good practice by our Unions in involving retired members, the roles they are playing and how these can be developed. Speaker to be confirmed
14.00   Reasons to be cheerful – Across the world, pensioners can set the pace. Despite far too many instances of neglect of older people, there are amazing examples of retired people taking effective action and securing real changes. This session reminds us that we too can still make a real difference.
Denise Murphy OBE former Director of RSVP, a national volunteering organisation for retired people
14.30   Questions and discussion
14.50   Where should we go from here? Ideas for a more vigorous and engaged role for retired trade union activists. Keynote speech from Rodney Bickerstaffe ex-General secretary of both NUPE and Unison, ex-President of the NPC and long-term campaigner for older people  
15.20   Closing remarks by the Chair and Seminar ends at 15.30  
To register email or call
020 7467 1220 or use booking form overleaf

A SERTUC Pensioners Network Event
Retired Trade Union members –
a resource or a bit of a nuisance?
Wednesday 16 April 2014 at Congress House, 10am – 3.30pm



Any other retired people’s organisations or action groups you are involved with?




Please specify any disability access and other facilities/needs

Complete and return to:
SERTUC, Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS
020 7467 1220

Please pass this on to any other retired colleagues who may not have heard about this seminar

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