In memorium: Glenda Ross
Published: 28 August 2012
The QNU lost one of its most committed unionists and a great friend earlier this month with the passing of former Rockhampton organiser Glenda Ross.
Glenda passed away peacefully in Rockhampton on Monday, 13 August after a long illness.
Glenda was the QNU organiser at our Rockhampton office for 13 years before her retirement in March 2010. Prior to that, she was a long standing QNU Councillor.
A no-nonsense Organiser, known for her fancy fingernails and straight-talking, Glenda was a committed unionist and often first at a picket line or protest to show solidarity for comrades in other unions.
In fact she was arrested for obstructing police while standing on the picket line outside Emerald’s Gordonstone Mine in 2003 yelling "scab" at replacement workers.
In an interview with The Morning Bulletin newspaper when she retired, Glenda explained it was all part of the job as a union leader and said showing support for striking union workers was something she enjoyed doing.
"I’m always opposed to people being locked out of their workplace and I’m always opposed to scab labour," she said.
"If there’s a picket line you go and show your support to the workers."
Shortly after starting her career as an enrolled nurse, Glenda moved to the Central Queensland sugar town of Sarina to work in its small country hospital.
She joined the union in 1985 and later took up an honorary position with the Queensland Nurses’ State Council and followed up by filling the Organiser role for the QNU in Central Queensland.
At the time of her retirement, Glenda said "good wins" for members—including campaigns where they locked beds to address workload issues in 2006 and the 23.5% wage increase—were among her career highlights. One of the lowest moments was when 92 nurses lost their jobs with the closure of St Andrew’s Hospital in 1997.
Glenda was a passionate advocate for nursing and midwifery, and with her Organiser area in Central Queensland covering close to half a million square kilometres, she was frequently on the road visiting members in workplaces.
In 2001 Glenda was awarded a Centenary Medal in recognition of her commitment to trade unionism and nursing.
Glenda was a much loved member of our nursing and union family and it is with much sadness that we farewell such a wonderful colleague. She will certainly be missed.
Our thoughts are with Glenda’s family and friends at this very sad time.
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