Marsland Terri



Terri Marsland


Terry was born into a large family of Irish Liverpudlians, one of ten children. She married into a Communist family and was much influenced by her mother-in-law Marion Marsland, an early stalwart of the National Assembly of Women, of which Terry became president much later, in 1992.


Terry worked as an official for the National Union of Gold, Silver and Allied Trades Union and then the Bank Employees unions, before becoming a national official of the Tobacco Workers'


Union in 1973 and later the deputy general secretary. She moved the first pro-abortion resolution at the Trade Unions Congress in 1975 and was a member of the TUC Women's Committee from 1977 until her retirement in 1993.


The Tobacco Workers' Union became part of the Technical, Administrative and Supervisory Staffs union (TASS) in 1986, when she took over the leading role in the women's structure. (Ironically, Terry’s old union, NUGSAT, had merged into TASS in 1981.)  


In turn, in 1988, TASS merged with the Association of Scientific, Technical and Managerial Staffs to form Manufacturing, Science, Finance and Marsland initially became national officer with the same brief.  She left the service of the union in its early stages after Roger Lyons was left as the sole general secretary. 


She convened regular meetings of left women activists from many others in order to fight for progressive policies at the TUC.  This group of left women took a lead in organising support for progressive women to be elected to the general council.  When Fire Brigades Union general secretary Ken Cameron began a root-and-branch examination of the union's equality policy he sought advice from Terry.  She spoke at the first FBU women-only weekend at Wortley Hall.


Terry was always a champion of the Morning Star. She was a Communist Party member for most of her adult life and as such made important contributions to the work of the Party, particularly in helping to develop policies and cadres among women activists in the trade union movement.


A forceful and compelling public speaker, she addressed CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) rallies and spoke at Greenham Common, The Women’s Peace camp, taking her daughters with her.


Terry served on the Equal Opportunities Commission, the ACAS council, the Cheshire Fire Authority, Cheshire & Merseyside Strateguc Health Authority, the Employment Appeal Tribunal, the Women’s National Commission and was the independent chairwoman of the 

Warrington Borough Council standards committee.


After her retirement she became involved in local politics in Warrington, where she lived for 20 years, and died aged 79 in 2011.


Sources include Barbara Switzer Morning Star 19th May 2011 and earlier material