2012 Annual Awards Celebrate GMB Branches

12 Nov 2012

benny148's Branch Weekend 2012 album on Photobucket

GMB branches from across the region came together for the fourth annual Branch Activity Weekend held in Wakefield on the 10th and 11th November 2012, which is sponsored by Thompsons Solicitors.  Tim Roache, Regional Secretary, set the scene for the weekend and General Secretary, Paul Kenny, made his keynote speech to more than 150 delegates.

3 workshops were facilitated by key guests, which included Owen Jones, author and political commentator, James Alexander, leader of York City Council, Rachel Reeves MP for Leeds West, Professor Malcolm Sawyer, economist at Leeds University Business School, Paul Novak from the TUC and GMB’s Steve Pryle, Rose Conroy and Eamon O’Hearn Large.  Austerity and the economy, campaigning to win and why politics should matter to union reps were covered in the workshops.  Presentations were also made by the People’s Telephone Operator, Move Your Money, UK Uncut and Thorne Credit Union.

The annual awards ceremony took place in the evening and this year a number of branches were honored.

Branch Community Campaign of the Year - The judges were unable to decide between two excellent candidates for this year’s award, which recognises outstanding work by branches in promoting [email protected] in the community.  So for the second year running Chesterfield No 1 branch received the award jointly with the combined branches of Leeds for their campaigns and initiatives throughout the year.

Regional Branch of the Year (The Kerry May Award For Outstanding Achievement In [email protected]) - When Paul Harvey, from Pontefract Central branch, took over as rep at Haribo in Pontefract 3 years ago there was only a handful of members and an employer intent on derecognising the GMB. The branch has steadily built momentum through the [email protected] agenda, recruiting new reps, utilising GMB and TUC training and using the GMB learning project to build confidence and members at Haribo.  From a standing start membership at Haribo is now at 290.

The Class of 2012 Award was presented to Emma Scott after she and her team recruited the most members during the Class of 2012 initiative which forms part of workplace organisers’ induction training.

Commenting at the branch event, Tim Roache, said: “The branch weekend just goes from strength to strength every year.  The discussion and debate from the delegates was inspirational and the input from the guest speakers invaluable.  My congratulations go to the branch award winners who are a credit to this region, as is every other branch who work tirelessly every day on behalf of our members.”