UNISON’s National Executive Council (NEC) has elected Gordon McKay, a mental health nurse from Kilbirnie, Ayrshire, as president at the union’s annual national conference in Brighton.
Gordon started working for the NHS in 1987 and joined UNISON’s predecessor, NUPE, on the same day.
Gordon, who has been part of the presidential team for a year, said: “I’ve always thought that setting yourself goals for what you want to do in your trade union does not work. The reality is you don’t achieve anything in the trade union movement by yourself; you achieve it as a collective.
“I hope that in my time as president I can work with others to continue to show the general public the value of public services. To get the message across that its public services that hold our society together, and to demonstrate to people how it is that they do that.
“I also want to continue to support UNISON’s Pay Up Now! Campaign. Public sector workers have suffered because of pay freezes and capped changes for too long. We are finally making progress having secured a pay rise for NHS staff but it’s crucial that we continue to work together to get all public sector workers the pay rise they deserve.”
Gordon is a steward of Ayrshire and Arran health branch and was chair until March this year. He has been involved in UNISON’s National Executive Council since 2009.
He has been married to his wife Janet for 30 years and they have two children.
Gordon will hold the position until next year. He is joined on the presidential team by Josie Bird, who has been employed as an administrative officer in Newcastle for 17 years, as vice president, and Sian Stockham, a care worker from Abergavenny, as junior vice president.