Sunday, 27 October 2013

A Great Day for our Labour Movement

Colleagues, Yesterday at Ruskin College students of the BA in international labour and trade union studies (ILTUS) graduated. This was an important historical moment in Ruskin's history of providing labour movement education as these women and men comprised the first two cohorts from 2006 and 2007 to commence what was then a new venture for Ruskin in providing higher education opportunities for activists and officials. As our sisters and brothers graduated today I was reminded of the quote by Cesar Chavez: Real education should consist of drawing the goodness and the best out of our own students. What better books can there be than the book of humanity? Although I feel that the BA ILTUS (magnificently led by my colleague Tracy Walsh) does strive to get the very best out of students, and does so with a profound sense of the role of trade unions infocusing on issues of humanity and the pursuit of social justice, actually, as trade union teachers our trade union students strive to ensure that they get the best out of us also. The pics are: The Class of 2006! Me and Joan Allen. I've known Joan for years as she moved from being a UNISON activist to a rep for UNITE. A first class trade unionist, and one who I tricked into enrolling on the BA knowing that she could do it - and here she is graduating! Me, Andy Wells and Tracy. Andy produced an outstanding dissertation on community unionism and I am proud to say that I supervised his dissertation. Me and Simon Taylor, another student who produced an outstanding dissertation that I supervised on social enterprise and the response of UNISON. Me and Bill Ryan. Bill was one of the first students I ever taught way back in 1993 when I first started TU teaching for the WEA. Me and Russ Grieg. I knew Russ when he started his pathway to Ruskin via a diploma course in labour studies at Ruskin. Russ was one of the UNITE representatives at Northern Rock who helped negotiate the first big bailout following the economic crisis - what a story! Sorry that all this text is packed together, the blog website doesn't appear to be functioning as normal today, but I was desparate to post the pics.

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