I was informed yesterday by Jim Metcher of his decision to retire from the workforce after 27 years’ service to the Union – 20 of those as Secretary of the NSW Postal & Telecommunications Branch.
In recent months Jim has been subjected to a significant public campaign by one particular media outlet orchestrated to attack his character, without any regard for the privacy or dignity of his family.
Despite acknowledging the occurrence of a private domestic incident around 10 years ago, I note that Jim, his wife and his children all maintain that reporting surrounding the incident has been grossly inaccurate.
Importantly, he has been open about the process he undertook back then to seek assistance and to rebuild his relationships with his family.
Yesterday he put them first and for that nobody can fault him.
Jim is more than a colleague to me. He and his family have been close friends to me and countless members and officials across our Union family.
He was never too busy to talk to a member and it was never too late or too early to call him for advice.
Jim’s willingness to share his knowledge and play a hands-on role in the development of younger members and officials has resulted in a Branch that is well placed to continue to function and progress its vigorous pursuit of better working lives for its members, in the wake of his retirement.
Shane Murphy, appointed to succeed Jim as Branch Secretary, has been the beneficiary of some 18 years working alongside Jim and members should feel confident in his ability to lead the Branch as it continues to deliver real, tangible outcomes for members.
The Division places on the record its thanks for Jim’s dedicated service over almost three decades. The working lives of thousands of communications workers across the country are better as a result of his unwavering dedication to his role.
Finally, on a personal note, I thank Jim for the friendship and mentorship he has shown me in our years working side-by-side. He and his family have been of great support to me and those closest to me.
I wish Jim the long and happy retirement he deserves with the family he loves.