My own personal blog. Newham Councillor West Ham Ward, Vice Chair of Local Authority Pension Fund Forum, Housing worker, UNISON Regional Council Officer & NEC member, Centre left and proud member of Labour movement family. Strictly no trolls please.
Tuesday, October 03, 2017
Rodney Bickerstaffe RIP
What rubbish news.
Rodney Bickerstaffe: a true giant of our
Sadly, Rodney Bickerstaffe – former General Secretary of both
UNISON and NUPE – died today, Tuesday 3 October 2017.
Rodney, or Bick as he was known to many, was a great personal
friend to many of us and a dedicated champion of all the union
members he proudly represented throughout his career. He
coupled a great sense of humour and love of laughter with a
deep-rooted sense of social justice and commitment to UNISON.
Our thoughts are with Rodney’s family, especially his wife Pat
who was an ever present support to him in all his work and was
the love of his life.
At the time of Rodney’s death it is worth reflecting on his
response during the Winter of Discontent to the question “what
about the dignity of the dead?”, Rodney replied ‘“what about
the dignity of the living?’ We at UNISON hold this truth close
– and we will continue Rodney’s fight to ensure dignity for our
members, our families and all in our communities.
When asked what he believed his greatest achievements were, he
would respond: the National Minimum Wage and the creation of
UNISON. I’m sure many of us recall the powerful speeches and
advocacy he provided to deliver these goals. Rodney was at his
best when he was fighting for the causes he believed in, and
our movement has today lost one of the greatest campaigners and
orators of his generation.
Everyone involved in our union will share in the grief felt at
Rodney’s passing. He was a friend, a comrade and a leader, and
thanks to his work the lives of countless people have been
changed for the better.
A private family funeral will be held for Rodney, and his
family have requested no flowers but for any donations to be
made to either Marie Curie or the International Brigade
Please send any cards or letters to Jasmin Johnson, UNISON
Centre, 130 Euston Rd, Kings Cross, London NW1 2AY (email@example.com).
UNISON will organise a memorial event for Rodney at which we
can celebrate his life, humour and comradeship.
Rodney was the very best of us, a true giant of our movement
and we will all miss him greatly.
Donations to commemorate Rodney can be made to two charities he
held particularly dear: