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2009 trainees

Eleanor Andrew (NUT)

Eleanor is a Unison member, she works for Lewisham Library, where she was a shop steward and health and safety representative and also a young member officer. She campaigned around issues concerning minimum safe staffing level. She recruited shop stewards and activists, getting people for the meetings and setting up for the health and safety committee.

She is a part of the local government committee as well as Vice Chair for the London Region Young Members Forum. Eleanor also represents Young members for Unison London and Regional Health and Safety Committee.

Katherine Clarke (NASUWT)

Katherine was a teaching and research UCU member at Keele University in Industrial Relations. Katherine became passionately involved in the recent dispute at the University. Katherine was a UCU rep on the campaign action committee against course closures and compulsory redundancies. This experience gave Katherine the drive and desire to become an Academy Organiser and Katherine hopes to have a successful career in the trade union movement.

Sarah Connolly (CWU)

Whilst studying HR Management (MCS), part of her course was to study the history of the trade union movement which inspired her to become involved. Sarah has previous experience representing students as their course representative. Sarah is enthusiastic to develop her career through gaining new skills and experiences with the TUC and CWU.

Richard Edwards (PCS)

Richard has over 30 years of Trade Union experience with varying positions from member to Executive member. Richard hopes to assist the development of an organising culture within the Eastern area and to assist with all aspects of recruitment and organising.

Robert Goddard (Wales TUC)

Robert started in PCS, within a year he became active and went to PCS national conference. Robert then became involved in equality work within PCS. His main focus has been on younger members and encouraging them to become more active. For the last year and a half Robert has been a branch organiser and has completed various training courses, which has led to the TUC Organising Academy. Robert sees this year at the academy as the starting point of his career within the trade union movement, campaigning, supporting members and opening up to a wider career prospects for himself.

Rachel Hanson (Community)

Rachel has had a wide variety of jobs ranging from a holiday rep to a recruitment consultant. Throughout Rachel’s career she developed a keen interest in the union movement and wanted to support vulnerable workers. Rachel hopes to develop her skills and experience on the academy.

Pavel Krajca (CWU)

Originally hailing from the Czech Republic, Pavel moved to Scotland with a view to earning enough money to settle in Canada or the US. However he found employment in an Abroth fish factory where he joined Unite – T&G section to ensure he received fair treatment from his employer. He was appointed as a workplace rep then moved to a temporary organiser within the T&G, helping organise Czech workers. Having had his interest in organising aroused he applied for the TUC Organising Academy and secured a placement with the CWU.

Daniel Krzyszczaka (Northern TUC)

Daniel kick started his work with trade unions by joining the GMB, feeling that becoming a member would be the best general protection for himself as a worker. Whilst working for GALA Casino’s Daniel became a shop steward and began the long process of getting recognised trade union status. Through being a young member activist he was fortunate to be one of 44 British young trade unionist as a delegation to Cuba in April. He feels that it was this that inspired and spurred him on to work in trade unions including working with the community to create the first Newcastle Polish Mayday.

Sam Harrison (NASUWT)

Sam has several years experience with PCS, mainly in their youth structure. Sam hops to develop an organising culture and to encourage a member led union in the Eastern region.

Joanna Sinclair (EIS)

Joanna worked for the Pay Equality Group in Unison, Edinburgh. Prior to this she was a GMB activist at the BBC. Joanna comes from a family with a strong union tradition and is enthusiastic about building her knowledge of the movement and to use this knowledge to recruit, particularly amongst young workers.

Neil Singh (CWU)

After university Neil started to work in mobile telecoms in telesales and was successfully climbing the career ladder being coach and in product management. The last two years Neil has worked in marketing for Vodafone. He joined the union (CWU) because he was aware of workers movements and trade union movements. Now as an organiser, Neil would like to evolve from an activist to a ‘final product’ an effective organiser.

Ryan Slaughter (Community)

For two years Ryan was the students’ campaigns officer for Birmingham City University. He went on to become the NUS area convenor, where he campaigned alongside the regional TUC and other unions trying to unionise student working in the hospitality industries. Ryan wants to develop his organising skills and contribute to the growth of the trade union movement.

Lizzie Woods (PCS)

Lizzie was a NUPE rep in local government at the age of 17. She was also previously a Unison shop steward and equalities convenor at the Open University, and before joining the TUC Organising Academy was branch secretary of admin staff at Community. She is looking forward to being involved in the diverse range of workplaces covered by PCS, particularly amongst low paid workers.

Margaret Wotherspoon (Community)

Margaret was a betting shop manager for 14 years. She joined Community union four and a half years ago. Margaret actively encouraged workers to join the union. She has completed various training courses, including Reps course and has represented staff in disciplinary/grievances. Seeing injustice within the workplace including abuse and violence staff face and the lack of support from the employer leads Margaret to want to do more for workers and ultimately gain union recognition and the protections this affords. This has lead Margaret to the TUC Organising Academy and her life and workplace based experience will benefit members and workers she comes into contact with.

Jamie Insole (NUT)

With a background as a rep in the MSF and Unite against Fascism, Jamie Insole worked closely with the UCU and UNITE (TGWU) whilst studying law in Swansea University. Jamie hopes that his efforts will build confidence amongst lay activists and contribute to the further development of and active Trade Union movement.

© Trades Union Congress 2007