UNISON has a presidential team made up of elected members of the national executive council.
Josie Bird, president
Josie Bird is a local government worker from Newcastle. She has been an administrative officer at Newcastle City Council for 18 years and an active member of UNISON for 17 years.
She has served as junior and senior vice president over the past two years and succeeds outgoing UNISON president Gordon McKay.
Josie said: “I’m very excited to be president but it’s a little daunting as Gordon will be a very hard act to follow.
“As far as I know I will be the first president to come through the young members’ structure, so this shows the union’s achievements in succession planning.
“As an activist I have always wanted to support members and people in the workplace generally but I think what I have enjoyed most is the international work. It gives you a much broader perspective and it is important to have a big vision. We believe in building a better world as well as helping the working class people on our doorstep.”
Born in Newcastle, Josie has lived there for most of her life and been chair of the city’s local government branch for around 15 years. She became the young members’ officer only months after joining and branch chair within 18 months.
The activist hopes that during her year-long presidency the union will support Nomadesc. This human rights organisation, already backed by UNISON’s northern region, supports indigenous people in Colombia who have been displaced within the country.
Sian Stockham, senior vice-president
Sian Stockham is a support care worker from Abergavenny in Monmouthshire.
She has been a member of the NEC since 2005, where she holds the seat representing fellow low-paid women members in Wales.
James Anthony, junior vice-president
James Anthony works as a nurse specialist in Birmingham, where he works with with patients with heart problems.
He represents healthcare members on the national executive council.