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Ann Sharp talks to GMB senior organiser Neil Derrick about the highs and lows of a 40-year career with the union


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nn Sharp is one of GMB’s longest- serving members of staff – celebrating


an impressive 40 years of service this year. She started work in the regional of ice in Leeds as a postroom clerk in 1972. She reflects on her experiences so far... “My first wage was £25 and


the of ice that I worked in was really modern. It was very formal and we had to address the of icers, who were all male, as ‘Mr’. It was part of my job to take the tea trolley round the of ice in the morning and in the afternoon. “I soon became a receptionist


and can remember using the old-fashioned plug-in plug-out style telephone switchboard – we only had four lines! “In the late ’70s I moved to the finance department. Things were


OLYMPIC HEIGHTS Clive Warley carries the Olympic torch.


40 YEARS’ SERVICE


very diff erent back then and because we didn’t have a National Administration Unit, we had to handle all the finances in the region. “I think my high point was the time I spent as a GMB staff representative in the late ’90s. I enjoyed going to London to negotiate with the fomer General Secretary, John Edmonds, about staff pay. “My low point was definitely


the 18 years of Tory government in the ’80s and ’90s under Thatcher. Unions became a dirty word. “If I had to give advice to someone thinking about joining, it would be there has never been a more important time to be part of GMB; trade union membership is essential for any working person and the security and protection it aff ords is priceless.”


LOYAL SERVICE Ann Sharp celebrates 40 years with GMB.


Since Ann joined GMB the world has changed a lot – to see just how much, check out these prices from 1972:


HOW MUCH?!


GMB grade one subs: 18p Average cost of


petrol: 35p per gallon


Half a dozen eggs: 27p


Average house price: £7,374


Average hourly wage: £1.45


YORK STALWART GMB’s Clive Warley is chosen as


‘honoured’ Olympic torchbearer Clive Warley, branch secretary for the York General branch,


helped to light up the sky when he was an of icial Olympic torchbearer in York.


The torch arrived at York Racecourse on 19 June. It was paraded through the city before steaming out from the National Railway Museum on the famous Scots Guardsman locomotive on 20 June. Clive said: “I feel honored to have been chosen to carry the torch and am really humbled that GMB would nominate me for such a prestigious event. It’s a great opportunity and I hope everyone gets behind the games.”


Kerstan England, City of York Council’s chief executive, called Clive a “stalwart of the city.”


28 www.gmb.org.uk


REGIONAL UPDATE


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