On Saturday we lost a much loved member of our UNISON family, and so many of us lost a loyal, trustworthy and very special friend. Mike Jeram, our former National Secretary for business and environment, passed away peacefully after a long illness. My thoughts are with Mike’s wife Anne, his two daughters, his grandchildren and all those close to him.
To lose someone like Mike, who was such a vital part of our union, is painful. We worked together for more than thirty years, beginning as clerical workers in the education section of NALGO, before we both worked in the energy sector.
Mike was a visionary within our union, realising before most the importance of organising in businesses and the private sector, and was willing and able to make the often difficult and contentious case for this vital part of our union as it grew and flourished under his leadership. That was made easy because Mike was so warm and approachable – so much so that it feels like everyone in UNISON has a Mike Jeram story – and his skill as a negotiator and a real people-person meant he was appreciated and admired by members and employers alike.
Mike is someone who deserved a long and happy retirement after years of dedicated service to a union which he loved and its members who he cared about, and I am so sad that his life was cut far too short. But Mike’s was a life lived well, surrounded by people who loved him and who love in return. He was a great servant to our union, and like so many more across our whole union, I will miss him.
A Book of Condolences has been opened in memory of Mike Jeram in the reception at the UNISON Centre. If you would like to leave a message but cannot get to the Centre, please send your message by email to Sandra Jean-Baptiste
(S.Jean-Baptiste@unison.co.uk) who will ensure that it is transferred to the book.