Blog: Incredible UNISON women leading the way

The TUC Congress in Brighton came to a close yesterday. It was a fantastic one for our union, and especially for the incredible UNISON women leading the way. Throughout the week it’s been our delegates making the case for better public services, standing up for our communities and taking home some of the conference’s biggest accolades. UNISON members made passionate and thoughtful speeches on a vast range of issues that affect working people and the communities you serve.

I am especially proud of the incredible UNISON women who’ve been awarded with TUC gold badges – one of the greatest honours in our movement – this week.

Lyn Marie O’Hara, who won the organising award, was instrumental to the Glasgow Equal Pay dispute – a huge success for our union. Her story reflects the experience of thousands of women in Glasgow and across the country who have taken action to fight for their pay, their rights and their jobs in UNISON. She spoke with pride about her fight for fairness, and in turn we are all so proud of her.

Pat Heron, who won the women’s award, is a passionate advocate for the more than a million women in our union. I’m proud that Pat says UNISON helped her to work on women’s issues in her workplace. I know that nationally, regionally and in her branch, Pat will continue to lead the fight to make all workplaces more equal for women.

To have our union win two gold badged this week was a great result – but to have another of our members, Wendy Nichols, address Congress as Labour Party Chair and fraternal speaker made this a better week still for our union. Wendy has served our union and the Labour Party with distinction. The ovation her speech received and the award of a gold badge from the TUC shows that our whole movement shares our gratitude for her dedication.

These are just some of the incredible UNISON women leading the way not only in our union, but across our labour movement. Their successes are something that we should be proud of and shout loudly about – as we encourage others to follow in their footsteps.