This year has seen our new General Manager, Mr H J Sutherland, take office, and sincere wishes for every success in the future are extended to him.
We have to thank the Bank Committee for their donation to the Association's funds, which appears in the accounts submitted herewith, and also for permission to have a "Bar" at certain social functions.
During the year, numerous visits have been made, and gifts taken, to sick colleagues, and the hope is expressed that any staff members at present absent because of sickness, will soon be well again.
A varied Social Programme has again been carried through, including two Square Dances, a Children's and a New Year Party, the Annual Outing, a Theatre Party, two Bowls Matches, and a very successful farewell function to Mr Carver on his retirement. Two visits to the Birmingham Post Office were also arranged during October.
Your Committee is advised that the sum of One Hundred Pounds is needed to put the Billiard Table in playing condition. Much unavoidable depreciation is caused each time the table is dismantled and re-erected, and the question of its future must be resolved at the Annual General Meeting.
Thanks are again due to the General Manager for the liberal use of the Assembly Hall which the Staff and your Committee have always enjoyed. The assistance of staff members, which is so necessary to the efficient working of the Association, and which has been so freely forthcoming is also acknowledged; Mr Yardley, Mr Coney and the Accounts Department Staff, the typists and Miss Brown, Mr Maggs and his "boys", and Mr and Mrs Brittain, and the Canteen staff, have all given their varied services willingly. Mrs Cherry deserves the special thanks of us all for her work in collecting our Guild Subscriptions.
Membership of the Association at the end of the year was 262. 12 new members enrolled and 18 terminated their membership on leaving the Department. Our target is 100% membership and all are urged to do their utmost to recruit new members.
Following the approach to the Guild last year regarding the impact on the Bank Staff of the introduction of a five-day working week for Corporation Staffs, Mr Smallman, the Guild Secretary, attended our last Annual General Meeting and outlined the compensatory arrangements negotiated on behalf of the Bank Staff.
Experience has shown that in practice the implementation of these arrangements has not been entirely satisfactory, and Mr Sutherland granted an interview last July to representatives of your Association, at which the difficulties standing in the way of full implementation were discussed, together with other problems affecting the Staff. Contact with the Guild in accordance with Rule 2(e) has been fully maintained, and at the end of the year a meeting of a delegation of Staff representatives with the Secretary of the Guild had been arranged for early November.
In response to instructions received at the last Annual General Meeting, your Committee prepared an alternative Annual Leave Scheme, which, however, was not accepted by the membership present at an Extraordinary General Meeting held in October. Disappointment and concern were felt by the Committee at the small number of votes cast at this meeting, representing as they did only slightly more than one quarter of the total membership.
It is with great regret that the retirement of Mr H A Turner from the Editorship of the News Letter is reported. He has held this office longer than he originally agreed to do, and from the time three years ago that the task of promoting a Staff News Sheet was undertaken by him, he has been untiring in surmounting the difficulties of making the News Letter the well-established publication that it has become. Mr Turner must be thanked and complimented for a job well done.
During the year members have received printed copies of the Association Rules and Regulations and Standing Orders; details of two corrections to be made to these will be circulated later.
Apart from sickness and holidays, your Committee has achieved 100% attendance at its meetings throughout the year.
J A SMITH, Chairman.