21 Jun 2008

UNISON elects new President

Sue Highton, a nurse from Sheffield, has become the leading lay officer of public service union UNISON after being elected president for 2008-9 at the first national executive council meeting following the union’s national delegate conference in Brighton.She succeeds Norma Stephenson a mental helth worker from Teesside.Born and brought up in Sheffield, Sue's first job was in a local Woolworth's; she became a nurse with the NHS in the Sheffield Care Trust in 1975.Sue became an active union member in 1979, during the infamous "winter of discontent", when a male colleague assigned her to early morning shifts while giving himself comfortable afternoon slots. Sue had three young children at the time, and so took action against him.Today’s NEC meeting also elected two vice presidents to work with Sue as the union’s new presidential team: Gerry Gallagher is a police staff member working for Durham Constabulary; Angela Lynes is a local government worker in Glasgow.

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