North Yorkshire Branch secretary Wendy Nichols elected to union’s top lay position

Tim Lezard Europe, UK, Unison,
New UNISON president Wendy Nichols. Image courtesy UNISON

New UNISON president Wendy Nichols. Image courtesy UNISON

Wendy Nichols has been elected President of UNISON, following its annual conference in Glasgow.

Wendy is Branch Secretary of UNISON’s North Yorkshire branch and her involvement in unions goes back to the start of her career in the early 1980’s. She has been active in UNISON ever since its creation in 1993.

After leaving school Wendy, who is from Selby, took hotel management and catering courses, following her mum’s footsteps into school meals. She then worked as a cook in a residential care home before being promoted to the post of deputy manager.

UNISON president Wendy Nichols said: “I am proud to have been elected to serve the union and its million plus members. For the past five years public sector workers have seen the value of their living standards plummet as their pay has been held down in the name of paying off the deficit.

“And next month, George Osborne’s emergency budget will unleash the second round of austerity upon us all. This means yet more services will close, many thousands of public sector jobs will go, and as yet unspecified, but huge, cuts to the welfare bill will hit the most vulnerable in our communities.

“The government may say it’s on the side of working people, but not it would appear if they are in a union and want a decent pay rise. Proposed changes to strike laws will make it hard for workers to have a voice and take a stand if they feel they are being treated unfairly.

“The next few years are bound to be challenging, but UNISON will continue to do everything it can to protect workers from the worst excesses of the second wave of austerity.”

Wendy has two children and six grandchildren. Wendy has been on the union’s National Executive Council since 2009 and has been a Labour councillor for 15 years.

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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