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President of Wellington Tramways Union resigning, moving to PSA

Statement from Nick Kelly of the Wellington Tramways Union
At a meeting of the Wellington Tramways Union today I announced that I would be resigning from the position of president later this year. I have been offered a position in the Public Service Association as a full time Organiser. In two weeks I will be resigning as a Bus Driver at Go Wellington to take up the new position.

As per the Union Rules, I will continue to hold the position of President of the Wellington Branch of the Union until Branch elections are held later in the year. However I will be stepping down from this role at the final branch meeting just before the election takes place. The branch election will be conducted as a depot ballot and should be completed by early September.

I was elected President of the Wellington Tramways Union in September 2008. 20 days after being elected drivers at Go Wellington were locked out during the Collective Employment Agreement (CEA) negotiations. After 24 hours the lockout was lifted and the pay offer to drivers improved.

I am proud of the work done by the Tramways Union in the last four years. Some of the highlights have been:

• The 2010 Consolidated CEA negotiations for GO Wellington, Valley Flyer and Mana Coach Services
• Getting weekend penal rates were written back into the Valley Flyer CEA
• Improving the earnings of drivers in the region by negotiating pay increases higher than many other workers received in the same period
• Increased Union membership on all sites the Union organises in Wellington.
• Greater dialogue with local government over street design after Manners St problems in late 2010
• Reaffiliating the Wellington Tramways Union to the CTU and participating in Fairness at Work campaign in 2010
• Providing support, advocacy and legal support and advise to members.
• Ressurecting the national council of the Tramways Union, who have started lobbying for Political Party’s to change the current tendering processes where paying lower wages is used by bus companies as a way of winning tenders for lucrative bus runs.

These and other wins are due not because of me, but because Bus Drivers in Wellington stood together as the Tramways Union and collectively won them. But the Union was also lucky enough to have a number of experienced delegates and and executive team who continue to work hard for the drivers they represent.

I particularly want to thank Union Secretary Kevin O’Sullivan and Vice President Chris Morley for all the hard work and leadership they have given to the Union for the last four years. It is largely because of their commitment to the Tramways Union that it is as strong as it is today. Also to Graeme Clarke for his support to the Tramways Union over the years.

The Tramways Union has represented bus drivers in Wellington since 1908 and I know will continue to do so for many years to come. I’m proud to have been a part of this union and look forward to continuing working with them in my role as Secretary of Unions Wellington (the CTU Wellington affiliates council).

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