Building, Growing, Winning - FSU delegate conference 2018

04 May 2018

With our Delegate Conference kicking off next Friday, 11th May, General Secretary, Dermot Ryan outlines the theme for our gathering.

Building, Growing, Winning

I believe the theme speaks to three core areas where our Union can build on its achievements and adopt new innovative ways of working. 

We need to do this so that we can deliver for our members, attract workers in currently non-unionised employments and contribute to a fairer, better banking and financial services sector of benefit to all in our society.


2018 is a special year for the FSU was we mark the centenary of our foundation.  We can reflect with pride on the journey we have made to date and resolve to build on these achievements.

In addition to holding fast to the values of our union, building will require us to change how we work, it will mean adopting new ways of reaching out to members and non-members. It will entail innovation and risk-taking. 

The world of work is changing rapidly.  As a union, we have to be equal to that change to ensure that we are as relevant, effective and powerful as we have been in our previous 10 proud decades.


Increasing our membership is vital.  A larger membership increases our bargaining power in negotiations in existing employments and gives us the power to demand a voice in companies that currently don’t recognise trade unions.  It also ensures the union is on a firm financial footing for the years ahead.

How to increase density in existing employments, and how to reach out to young workers and non-union workers else in the sector is a core part of our mission. 

Through the launch of we have proved our ambition to innovate.  It’s a great initiative, but I want that to be just the start of a range of actions that will see our membership grow in the coming years.


Changing how we work and growing our membership are not goals in themselves.  They both have to be focused on delivering real results for our members, for potential members and for our broader society.

We want to win so that workers in the banking and financial services sector, and their families, know that they are better off as FSU members.  We need to raise our voice more about our achievements – we don’t do that enough. 

We also need to be a critical voice in shaping the future of our sector.  Without our voice change will be dictated by the employers.  That will be detrimental for our members, for customers and for our communities.  We can change the narrative.

I'm looking forward to our debates and discussion in LImerick.  We'll live stream all the public events at conference so keep a lookout here for updates on that and much more.