QCU heads into 2020 with new leadership team and renewed focus

Queensland Unions have a new leadership team heading into 2020 with a renewed focus on fighting for secure jobs and decent wages for Queensland workers.

Former assistant general secretary Michael Clifford was elected unopposed to the General Secretary position.

Kate Ruttiman, currently a deputy general secretary with the Queensland Teachers’ Union, was also elected as the QCU’s first woman honorary president.

Mr Clifford said the QCU was the leading voice for more than 350,000 union members in Queensland.

“In 2020 we will be renewing our focus on how unions can continue to grow in numbers and strength, so we can achieve industrial, political and social justice for Queensland workers.

“We want a society where jobs are secure and safe with fair wages and conditions.

“The benchmark must be a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work so workers can participate in society and community life,” he said.

Mr Clifford has been part of the QCU leadership team since 2015, leading the successful union campaign for labour hire licensing legislation, pushing for stronger laws against wage theft, and fighting to restore penalty rates.

He has worked for more than 25 years in the union movement representing workers in a diverse range of industries including education, hospitality, correctional services, manufacturing, and finance. 

He was Secretary of the Finance Sector Union (Queensland Branch) for 11 years and has worked with United Voice and the AMWU.

He was also a delegate and management committee member of the Australian Services Union (Social and Community Services division).

He is a Trustee Director on the Board of Sunsuper.

Kate Ruttiman has been QTU Deputy General Secretary since 2010, the first woman to join its secretariat.

Formerly a secondary economics and English teacher, Ms Ruttiman is a strong professional voice for her union’s members, and also serves on the boards of QSuper and Queensland Work Health and Safety.

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