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John Ross

John Ross

John Ross passed away in hospital on Saturday 22 October 2011. He had been a
senior activist since the branch's inception and for years before that in the old Edinburgh District Branch of NALGO. He had been Scottish vice-convener of NALGO and he had also been a Lothian Region and East Lothian Labour councillor.

He will be sorely missed for his skill, experience, guidance, kindness and warm friendship. Our thoughts are with his family and his many colleagues, comrades and dear friends at this time.

John Ross: Union stalwart, dedicated Labour politician and friend to so many. An appreciation by John Stevenson, Branch President.

More Tributes. (Email to branchoffice@unison-edinburgh.org.uk)

Gret politician
Musselburgh News

Tributes paid to former Musselburgh councillor

Tributes to former public servants



I was very sorry to hear that John had died. Having worked with him over many years, I had great respect for his commitment to the trade union movement and also to public service. His role as a councillor give him added insight into how local government worked and his knowledge and experience were of great benefit to first NALGO and then to UNISON. I also had the good fortune to work with him when we were planning our then 'New Union' and again his support was invaluable.

Over the years I was able to work with John in many capacities and remember him too as an STUC delegate who brought wisdom and balance to all of our discussions. I knew him as as a friend and comrade and always enjoyed his company. In recent years we had worked less closely together but nevertheless caught up with each other at various times, often at local government delegate meetings. There we invariably had a chat about recent, and sometimes not so recent, events not always agreeing on outcomes but happy to exchange experiences.

Please convey to his friends that I shall miss him and know that his legacy of trade union work will long be remembered by many who have cause to be grateful for his efforts.

With my sincerest condolences,

Matt Smith
Ex Scottish Secretary UNISON


I was very sorry to hear about John's death. John will be very much missed.

Mike Durnan
City of Edinburgh Council


I have just read about the sad passing of John Ross. John was extremely talented and committed to the cause but more importantly one of the ‘good guys’. His death at such an early age is an absolute tragedy. Please pass on my sincere condolences to all his friends/colleagues/comrades within Unison.
Bill Axon MIMSPA
General Manager


Sorry to hear this.

I tapped into John Ross's knowledge and experience a number of times over the years, to the benefit of members.

Best wishes

Lawrence Arscott
UNISON Shop Steward


Can I say how sorry I am to hear that John died.
Everyone in Belford is very upset at the news, especially those who knew him well and worked with him in many campaigns over the years.

Peter Hunter
Regional Organiser
UNISON Scotland


I am really sorry but I won’t make Rossi’s funeral on Monday. I was very sad to hear about his death and I would really have liked to have been there to pay my respects to Rossi and to say goodbye to a really lovely man. Like most folk who knew him, I loved Rossi – his warmth, his generosity and his sense of humour. I loved how he always called me “darling” and although I sometimes pretended to feel patronised, actually I knew that, from him, it was meant completely affectionately and I was chuffed by it.

I had a huge respect for Rossi and he always made me feel respected back. Positive feedback from Rossi, like when he thought my asylum presentation was really good, always meant a great deal more than from most other people.

As you know, I hadn’t seen so much of Rossi over recent months, and I did miss him and I will miss him even more now.

I know he was a great friend of yours and I just wanted you to know that you are in my thoughts, as are Rossi’s family and loved ones.

Please pass on my sympathy, thoughts and best wishes to Rossi’s family.

Kate Ramsden
Chair: UNISON Aberdeenshire Branch


I just returned from leave yesterday and was informed by Julie about the death of John Ross. The news was a great shock to me as I had been thinking about him only a few days ago.

I recall many times that John provided great support and encouragement to me on a professional and personal level, I particularly enjoyed the more informal discussions that I had with him about music, we exchanged many cds, I almost got his whole personal history and that in itself is very special considering that he was in many ways a very private person.

I am of course aware that you had both been very close friends and colleagues over many years, I know that you must have found the news very shocking and that he will be a great loss to you, in that respect John I send you my warmest sympathies.

Best wishes

Tom Connolly
UNISON City of Edinburgh Branch


Please pass my condolences on to the Branch and the family. Mr Ross was one of the best of us. He made a difference and we can hope for little more. I shall miss him.

Bob Revie
UNISON Aberdeenshire Branch





John Ross
John Ross


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