Tim Roberts appointed as acting regional secretary

Tim Roberts has been appointed UNISON Eastern’s acting regional secretary following Chris Jenkinson’s departure to the East Midlands.

Currently a regional manager leading the Essex team, Tim will take the reins as the most senior official in the region until a full recruitment process can take place for the permanent position.

Tim paid tribute to his predecessor, saying: “It’s a great responsibility to lead the region in these challenging times, but I’ve seen first hand how committed our members, activists and staff are so I’ve no doubt we’ll be able to get through this together.”

He joined UNISON at the age of 22 shortly after starting work at university in the south west. He became a steward and branch officer and became active in the union’s national and regional lay democracy.

In 2011 he started as a regional organiser in UNISON Eastern, working with health and police branches across Essex and Suffolk.

He was appointed a regional manager in 2017, responsible for leading the Essex team, our successful Fighting Fund projects across the region’s schools and supported the Finance, Development and Organising committee.

Tim said: “Every aspect of our lives has changed in the last two weeks.  UNISON members in every county and in every service group are making a huge difference in the response to the national crisis.”

He pointed out that every branch in the region has quickly adapted to lockdown life to keep supporting members and negotiating with employers, telling branch secretaries: “Thank you for all the vital work you and your branch colleagues have been doing.”

And looking to the future, Tim said: “I have a faint hope that when the crisis is over and we get back to ‘normality,’ the government will finally understand what you, me and our union have been saying for years — a safe, happy and healthy society is built on properly funded public services delivered by decently paid workers in secure jobs.

“In reality I know we will still need to to continue fighting for a fairer world and I look forward to working with you to achieve just that.”