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TUC general secretary to retire

The leader of the TUC is to retire at the end of the year after a decade in the job, he has announced.

General secretary Brendan Barber told the TUC's executive committee of his decision, which will enable the election of his successor to take place at this year's TUC Congress in September.

He said: "I have decided that this is the right time to make a change in my life. I have been enormously privileged to work at the TUC since 1975, and the end of the year will mark the 10-year point since my election as general secretary.

"The TUC has always been a powerful voice for the millions of ordinary people who depend on trade unions to better their lives and there is so much of our work over the years in which I take great pride. But I have every confidence that under new leadership the TUC can go from strength to strength."

TUC president Paul Kenny said: "Brendan has made an immense contribution to the trade union movement and has been one of the most successful TUC general secretaries. I hope he will continue to make a huge contribution to the movement after he leaves the TUC. He will be duly honoured by affiliates at the Congress."

Mr Barber became general secretary-elect in December 2002, and formally took up the position in May 2003 when John Monks left the TUC to become general secretary of the European TUC.

He joined the TUC in 1975 and held a number of posts in the Organisation, and Press and Information departments, before serving as deputy general secretary from 1993.

He played a lead role in TUC initiatives to promote union organising, oversaw the launch of the TUC's learning and skills operation, Unionlearn, and played a crucial role in resolving a number of difficult long-running disputes.

He led the organisation of the TUC's huge march against public sector spending cuts in March 2011, and co-ordinated the negotiations and industrial action over the pensions dispute last November.

Mr Barber has served on a number of public bodies including the council of the conciliation service Acas, the UK Commission on Employment and Skills and has been a member of the Court of the Bank of England since 2003.

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