General Secretary Paul Kenny To Stay

8 Mar 2013

8 March 2013

Dear Colleagues

I thought it would be appropriate to update you on the announcement I made at the December meeting of the CEC and the note I sent to all colleagues on December 4 2012.

The first thing to say is that my intention was not to cause concern, but to give as much notice as possible of my potential retirement date. I have to admit I have been humbled and stunned by the vast number of letters, cards, emails, personal calls and visits all asking me to reconsider the request made to the CEC.

In particular the very generous messages of support from lay members, many of whom I have never met, were amongst the highlights of my union life. I never wished to outstay my effectiveness as General Secretary.  I have seen in the past how many seek the post without understanding their own limitations.

The other main reason for seeking to retire a little earlier was to take on responsibility for certain family matters which I had mistakenly thought would wait until the end of this year. Sadly that responsibility which both Pat and I were happy to discharge, now no longer exists.

I always promised myself that if the day ever came when I didn’t get angry at the injustice I saw in our society, that I didn’t wake up each morning with that trade union principle fighting for social justice, at the forefront of everything I did, then I would know the day had come to walk away. Well I am angrier now than I was twenty years ago.  This Government is the enemy of all working class people.  Rich kids playing with our national health service, education provision and rights at work.

This Government,  that cuts winter fuel payments for the over 80’s then gives tax cuts to millionaires. This Government, that blocks banking reforms in Europe and a Robin Hood tax but now promises to smash the Human Rights Act. A bunch of well-heeled plums that spend much of their time dressed as penguins. Anyway you get the drift, I don’t like what they are doing to our members, pensioners, public services and so much more.

The upshot of all this is to confirm to anyone who hasn’t heard via the bush telegraph, that I have agreed with CEC to stay until my term of office expires. I just hope everyone is up for the next couple of years in the same way I am because the challenges are huge. The threats against working people, our members, are real and serious.

It will require everyone to fulfil their full commitment to the Union and to the members.  It will require everyone to evaluate their contribution to the Union’s objectives. The overwhelming majority of those reading this will understand when I say, thank you for all you do, you are brilliant.

Best wishes.

Yours sincerely