STUC General Secretary to retire

November 9th 2019

STUC General Secretary to retire

November 9th 2019

The Scottish TUC announced today that its General Secretary Grahame Smith will retire from his post in May 2020. Commenting on his decision to retire, Grahame Smith said:

“For over 30 years, 14 as General Secretary, it has been an honour and a privilege to have served the Scottish trade union movement. I could ask no more of my working life than to have had the opportunity to support our unions in their efforts to improve the lives of working people, their families and communities.

“While I’m looking forward to devoting more time to personal interests, I hope to continue to make some contribution to Scotland’s industrial, political and civic life in the period ahead, doing so of course, in the interest of working people.

“I am extremely grateful to those many colleagues, past and present, for the comradeship, support, advice and encouragement that has made my time at the STUC so personally fulfilling.

“I would also like to thank those in Scotland’s political, industrial and civic life with whom I’ve worked over many years, for their courtesy and respect. While we may not have always agreed, I rarely doubted our shared desire to make our country a better place for everyone to live and work.”

Commenting on Grahame Smith’s decision to retire as General Secretary of the STUC, STUC President Jackson Cullinane said:

“We are sorry that Grahame has decided to retire as our General Secretary. Grahame has been a tremendous asset to the STUC. For more than three decades he has been a committed, passionate and effective trade unionists and champion of workers’ interest.

“Grahame has led the STUC through a period of considerable economic and political turbulence. In that period there have been few economic developments over which the STUC, and Grahame personally, has not had an important influence. The prominence given to inclusive, sustainable economic growth; to fair work; to tackling inequality; and to the expansion of apprenticeships and work-based learning are some of many such examples. The creation of Scottish Union Learning, which he initiated, now provides thousands of workers every year with the chance to improve their skills and develop their careers.

“Less visible, but no less important, Grahame has led a major reform of the STUC’s internal governance and put our finances on a firm footing. Due to his foresight, next year, the STUC will move to new Headquarters in the east end of Glasgow, not only providing us with modern, fit for purpose, accommodation, but contributing to the economic development of a too long neglected part of the city.

“The STUC will miss his leadership, his dedication, and his acumen. He has earned his retirement, but I expect he will continue to make an effective contribution to Scotland’s industrial, political and civic life in the period ahead and in doing so will go on making a difference to the lives of working people."


For further details: Dave Moxham 07891 026 870 0141 337 8100

Note to Editors

Grahame Smith was appointed General Secretary of the Scottish TUC in November 2006, having held the post on an interim basis from May 2005. He is a Graduate of Strathclyde University, where he obtained an Honours Degree in Economics and Industrial Relations.

Grahame joined the STUC in 1986 as an NHS Campaign Co-ordinator. He was appointed as an STUC Assistant Secretary in 1988, with responsibility for health and social services, education and training and young and retired workers.

Grahame was appointed as STUC Deputy General Secretary in 1998. In this role he headed the STUC’s Policy and Campaigns Department.

Grahame has served on several Boards/bodies in the field of economic development and skills. He is a Non-Executive Director of Skills Development Scotland; a member of the Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board; a Non-Executive Director of Investors In People Community Interest Company; a Non-Executive Director of the SQA; a Non-Executive Director of SCDI; a member of the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board; Chairperson of Scotland Europa; a member of the Infrastructure Commission; and a member of the UK Government’s MER Oil and Gas Forum and the Scottish Oil and Gas Industry Leadership Group. He previously served as a non-Executive Director of Scottish Enterprise and as a Commissioner on the UK Commission for Employment and Skills.

He serves as co-Chair of the Fair Work Convention having previously been a member of the Working Together: Progressive Workplace Policies Review. He was a member of the Wood Commission on Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce and is actively involved in the implementation of the Commission’s recommendations through his membership of the DYW National Group.

Following the 2016 EU Referendum, Grahame was appointed by the First Minister to serve on the Standing Council on Europe which is advising the Scottish Government on Brexit and maintaining Scotland's relationship with the EU.

In November 2015 Grahame received an honorary degree of Doctor of the University from the University of Strathclyde in recognition of his achievements in the field of industrial relations, economic policy and his work in knowledge exchange


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