General Council of the Trades Union Congress

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
(Redirected from General Council of the TUC)
Jump to: navigation, search

The General Council of the Trades Union Congress is an elected body which is responsible for carrying out the policies agreed at the annual British Trade Union Congresses (TUC).


The council has 56 members, all of whom must be proposed by one of the unions affiliated to the TUC. Unions with more members receive an automatic allocation of seats, in proportion to their membership. Smaller unions propose candidates for eleven elected seats. In addition, there are separately elected seats: four for women, three for black workers, at least one of whom must be a woman, and one each for young workers, workers with disabilities, and LGBT workers. The General Secretary also has a seat on the council.[1]

Some members of the council are further elected to serve on the smaller Executive Committee of the TUC. The President of the Trades Union Congress is also chosen by the General Council.[1]

Although the TUC has long had links with the Labour Party, members of the General Council are not permitted to sit on Labour's National Executive Committee.[2]


Until 1921, the leading body of the TUC was the Parliamentary Committee. This had seventeen members, but by the collapse of the Triple Alliance, it was considered ineffective and to have insufficient powers in industrial matters.

The new General Council had 32 members, elected from industrial groups, each consisting of one or more unions operating in a particular industry. Two of the places were reserved for women. It received additional powers to intervene in the case of major industrial disputes, and to resolve inter-union conflicts. In 1924, the Joint Consultative Committee was set up, which brought trades councils ultimately under the control of the General Council.[3] However, these powers were not always exercised; many members of the council in the early years were elected on grounds of seniority, rather than recent accomplishments. Some were associated with left- and right-wing factions, although most were not strongly identified with a particular wing of the movement.[4]

Changes to the groups and numbers of seats were made over time, as the number of workers represented in different industries fluctuated,[5] but the system survived intact until the early 1980s.

Members since 1983[6]

Section A: Larger unions

CWU and predecessors

Year UCW
Representative Representative
1983 Alan Tuffin 1 member until 1989
1989 Margaret Morritt
1992 Pat Dwyer
1993 Alan Johnson

The UCW merged with the NCU in 1995 to form the CWU

Year Representative Representative
1995 Tony Young Jeannie Drake
2002 Billy Hayes
2008 Tony Kearns
2014 Moved to Section B


Year Representative Representative Representative Representative
1983 David Basnett Jack Eccles F. A. Baker 3 seats until 1989
1985 Steve Pickering
1986 John Edmonds Derek Oliver Gladwin
1989 Donna Covey Roy Grantham
1992 Anna McGonigle
1993 Frank Wilkinson
1997 Sheila Bearcroft Eddie Warrillow
1999 Jean Foster
2000 Paul Kenny
2003 Kevin Curran
2004 Three seats 2004-2009
2005 Allan Garley
2009 Malcolm Sage
2011 Paul McCarthy
2014 Neil Derrick Tim Roache

Graphical, Paper and Media Union

Founded 1992

Year Representative Representative
1992  ? Tony Dubbins
1993 Tony Burke
2002 Moved to Section B


In Section B until 2002

Year Representative Representative
2002 Nigel de Gruchy Sue Rogers
2003 Eamonn O'Kane
2004 Chris Keates
2009 Jerry Bartlett
2010 Brian Cookson

National Union of Teachers

Moved from Section B in 2001

Year Representative Representative
2001 Pat Hawkes Doug McAvoy
2004 Steve Sinnott
2005 Lesley Auger
2008 Christine Blower Dave Harvey


Founded 1998

Year Representative Representative
1998 Gwenda Binks Barry Reamsbottom
2002 Janice Godrich Mark Serwotka


Year Representative Representative
1983 Les Wood 1 seat until 1989
1985 Albert Williams
1989 Jack Henry
1991 Peter Lenahan
1992 George Brumwell

Moved to Section B in 1993

Unison and predecessors

Representative Representative Representative Representative Representative Representative Representative Representative Representative
1983 David Williams 1 seat until 1989 Bill Gill John Daly Norrie Steele 3 seats until 1989 Rodney Bickerstaffe L. Stevens 2 seats until 1989
1986 Joyce Winsett
1987 Hector Mackenzie Rita Donaghy Ina Love
1989 Judith Carter
1990 Alan Jinkinson Bill Thorburn
1991 Jean Geldart  ?  ?

COHSE, NALGO and NUPE merged in 1993 to form UNISON

Year Representative Representative Representative Representative Representative Representative Representative
1993 Rodney Bickerstaffe Rita Donaghy Jean Geldart Ina Love Alan Jinkinson Hector Mackenzie Six seats until 2005
1995 Alison Shepherd Chris Connolly
1996 Dave Prentis Wendy Evans
2000 Dave Anderson
2001 Liz Snape Veronica Dunn Keith Sonnet
2003 Sofi Taylor
2005 Bob Abberley Jane Carolan
2006  ?
2007 Gerry Gallagher Eleanor Smith
2010 Angela Lynes Six seats 2010-2015
2012 Chris Tansley
2013 Karen Jennings
2015 Roger McKenzie

Unite and predecessors

Year Representative Representative Representative Representative Representative Representative
1983 Brian Nicholson Larry Smith Moss Evans Walter Greendale Four seats until 1989
1984 Ron Todd
1986 Wilf Jowett
1988 Peter Hagger Bill Morris Dan Duffy
1989 Maureen Twomey Margaret Prosser
1992 D. Hill? Jack Adams
1993 TGWU reduced to 5 seats
1995 Peter Landles
1996 Tony Cooper
1997 Marie Vannet
1999 TGWU reduced to 4 seats
2000 Barry Camfield
2002  ?
2003 Tony Woodley
2004 Jimmy Kelly Patricia Stuart

The ASTMS and TASS merged in 1988 to form MSF

Representative Representative Representative Representative Representative Representative Representative Representative
1988 Bill Jordan John Weakley J. R. Whyman 3 seats until 1989 Anne Gibson Ken Gill  ?  ?
1989  ? Roger Lyons J. Carr
1990 Jimmy Airlie Maureen Rooney
1992 MSF reduced to 3 seats
1993 Ken Jackson Barbara Switzer
1994 John Allen
1995 Bill Morgan
1996 Robert Elsom Davey Hall
1998 Dougie Rooney Brendan Fenelon  ?
1999 Mark Tami Paul Talbot
2000 Sharon Allen

The AEEU and MSF merged in 2001 to form Amicus

Year Amicus
Representative Representative Representative Representative Representative Representative
2001 Roger Lyons Doug Rooney Maureen Rooney Paul Talbot Four seats until 2004 Five seats until 2005
2002 Derek Simpson
2004 Lucy Kelly Ed Sweeney
2005 Gail Cartmail Tony Dubbins

Amicus and the TGWU merged in 2007 to form Unite

Year Representative Representative Representative Representative Representative Representative Representative Representative Representative Representative
2007 Gail Cartmail Tony Dubbins Len McCluskey Brenda Sanders Derek Simpson Tony Woodley Pat Stuart Dougie Rooney Martin Mayer Paul Talbot
2008 Tony Burke Tony Woodhouse
2009 Reduced to 8 seats
2011 Jane Stewart Steve Turner Andrew Murray
2012 Reduced to 7 seats
2014 Maggie Ryan


Year Representative Representative Representative
1983 Bill Whatley One seat until 1989
1986 Garfield Davies
1989 Bernadette Hillon Two seats until 2012
1997 Bill Connor
1998 Marge Carey
2004 John Hannett
2006 Pauline Foulkes
2007 Fiona Wilson
2012 Tony Dale

Other larger unions

These unions were moved to the new Section B in 1989.

1983 Roy Grantham Leif Mills Alistair Graham Eric Hammond Fred Smithies Joe Wade Mick McGahey Jimmy Knapp Fred Jarvis Bryan Stanley Bill Keys
1984 Ray Alderson Tony Dubbins
1985 Alistair Graham Brenda Dean
1986 Kate Losinska Arthur Scargill John Golding
1987 John Macreadie Expelled in 1987
1988 John Ellis Moved to Section B in 1988  ?

Section B: Unions with 30,000 to 200,000 members

Included under Section A until 1989.

1989 Affiliated 1998 John Ellis Section A until 2002 Nigel de Gruchy Leslie Christie Jimmy Knapp Doug McAvoy Founded 2001 Brenda Dean Section A until 1993 Founded 2006 Leif Mills
1992 Barry Reamsbottom John Sheldon Moved to Section C Merged into GPMU
1993 George Brumwell
1996 Merged into PSTCU Ed Sweeney
1998 Peter Smith Merged into PCS
2001 Moved to Section A Paul Noon
2002 Tony Dubbins Moved to Section A
2003 Mary Bousted
2004 Merged into Amicus
2005 Merged into Amicus Alan Ritchie
2006 Sally Hunt
2011 George Guy

Unions with 30,000 to 99,999 members moved to Section B in 2012.

Year ATL CSP Community CWU EIS Equity FBU Musicians NUJ POA Prospect RCM RMT UCATT
2012 Mary Bousted Lesley Mercer Michael J. Leahy Section A until 2014 Larry Flanagan Christine Payne Matt Wrack John F. Smith Michelle Stanistreet Steve Gillan Mike Clancy Affiliated 2015 Bob Crow Steve Murphy
2014 Claire Sullivan Roy Rickhuss Dave Ward Returned to Section C Peter Pinkney
2015 Jon Skewes Mick Cash Brian Rye

Section C: Other unions

Known as Section B until 1989.

Year Name Union Name Union Name Union Name Union Name Union Name Union Name Union Name Union Name Union Name Union Name Union
1983 Ray Buckton ASLEF Ken Cameron FBU Tony Christopher IRSF Robert Garland AEU-Foundry Doug Grieve TWU John Lyons EMA Charles P. McCarthy NSMM John Morton Musicians Laurie Sapper ACTT Bill Sirs ISTC Alec Smith NUTGW
1984 David Lambert KFAT Bill McCall IPCS Bob Stevenson NUFLAT C. A. Lyons TSSA
1985 Roy Evans ISTC Roy Grantham APEX Eric Nevin MNAOA
1987 John Morton Musicians

Reduced to 7 members in 1989.

Year Name Union Name Union Name Union Name Union Name Union Name Union Name Union
1989 Bill Brett IPMS Clive Brooke IRSF Roy Evans ISTC David Lambert KFAT John Lyons EMA John Morton Musicians Alec Smith NUTGW Bob Stevenson NUFLAT
1990 Dennis Scard Musicians John Newman NUMAST
1991 Ken Cameron FBU David Evans POA
1992 Keith Brookman ISTC
1993 Jimmy Knapp RMT
1996 Tony Cooper EMA
1998 John Chowcat NAEIAC
1999 Michael J. Leahy Community Brian Orrel NUMAST
2000 Andy Gilchrist FBU Ged Nichols Accord Richard Rosser TSSA

Increased to 11 members in 2001.

Year Name Union Name Union Name Union Name Union Name Union Name Union Name Union Name Union Name Union Name Union Name Union
2001 Jonathan Baume FDA Brian Caton POA Paul Gates KFAT Andy Gilchrist FBU Michael J. Leahy Community Judy McKnight NAPO Ged Nichols Accord Paul Noon IMPS Brian Orrel NUMAST Mick Rix ASLEF Richard Rosser TSSA
2002 Jeremy Dear NUJ Paul Mackney NATFHE
2003 Bob Crow RMT Paul Gates KFAT
2004 Gerry Doherty TSSA Ged Nichols Accord
2005 Doug Nicholls CYWU Tim Poil NGSU
2006 Matt Wrack FBU
2007 John F. Smith Musicians
2008 Christine Payne Equity
2009 Mark Dickinson Nautilus
2010 Bob Crow RMT Steve Gillan POA
2011 Michelle Stanistreet NUJ Simon Weller ASLEF

Reduced to seven members in 2012.

Year Name Union Name Union Name Union Name Union Name Union Name Union Name Union
2012 Manuel Cortes TSSA Mark Dickinson Nautilus Ged Nichols Accord Dave Penman FDA Tim Poil NGSU Eddie Saville HCSA Simon Weller ASLEF

Section D: Women

Year Representative Union Representative Union Representative Union Representative Union Representative Union Representative Union
1983 Olwyn Davies NUPE Ada Maddocks NALGO Gina Morgan AEU Marie Patterson TGWU Pat Turner GMB Muriel Turner ASTMS
1985 Margaret Prosser TGWU
1987 Bernadette Hillon USDAW  ?  ?

Reduced to four members in 1989.

Year Representative Union Representative Union Representative Union Representative Union
1989 Liz Symons FDA Pam Thomas SOGAT Diana Warwick AUT Ada Maddocks NALGO
1990 Jeannie Drake NCU
1992 Pat Hawkes NUT  ?  ?
1995 Helen McGrath KFAT Jocelyn Prudence CSP
1996 Anita Halpin NUJ
1997 Penny Holloway AUT
1999 Anita Halpin NUJ Jenny Thurston Prospect
2000 Lesley Mercer CSP
2001 Anita Halpin NUJ
2002 Julie Grant ATL
2003 Sally Hunt AUT
2005 Sue Ferns Prospect
2007 Julia Neal ATL
2009 Joanna Brown SCP
2011 Alice Robinson ATL
2012 Sue Mather Community
2013 Niamh Sweeney ATL
2014 Linda Rolph Accord

Sections E, F and G: Black workers

Year Section E Section F Section G
Representative Union Representative Union Representative Union
1995 Bob Purkiss TGWU Mohan Dhamrait NUT Gloria Mills Unison
2000 Mohammad Taj Unite
2001 Leslie Mannaseh Prospect
2015 Micky Nicholas FBU

Section H: Disabled workers

Created 2001

Year Representative Union
2001 Mark Fysh Unison
2011 Seán McGovern Unite

Section I: LGBT workers

Created 2001

Year Representative Union
2001 David Lascelles GMB
2006 Maria Exall CWU

Section J: Young workers

Created 2001

Year Representative Union
2001 Phil Pinder TGWU
2004  ?  ?
2005 John Walsh Unite
2011 Fern McCaffrey GMB

General Secretary

See General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress


  1. 1.0 1.1 Trades Union Congress, "General Council and TUC structure"
  2. Maor, Moshe (1997). Political Parties and Party Systems. London: Routledge. p. 121. ISBN 0415082846.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Laybourn, Keith (1999). Modern Britain Since 1906: A Reader. London: I. B. Tauris & Co. p. 141. ISBN 1860642985.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Calhoun, Daniel Fairchild (1976). The United Front!: The TUC and the Russians, 1923-1928. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 38–40. ISBN 0521210569.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Trades Union Congress, Report of Proceedings at the 83rd Annual Trades Union Congress, p.299
  6. Trades Union Congress, "TUC General Council members"