‘UNISON has always stood up for women’

UNISON president on the vital role women play in the union

UNISON president Wendy Nichols has written to the Guardian to rebut claims made in an article printed in the paper that the union’s “upper echelons continue to be dominated by men.”

Her letter was in response to a comment piece in The Guardian referring to the union’s current general secretary election.

Ms Nichols’ letter counters that: “women play an active part (in UNISON), including throughout its top tier. Three out of the five assistant general secretaries are women. Two-thirds of UNISON’s presidential team are female. Two-thirds of the NEC, UNISON’s governing body, are women, as they are on all the other committees that shape the direction of the union. Similarly, eight out of UNISON’s 12 regions are headed by women.”

Her letter continues that: “UNISON has always stood up for women, not only those who are members, but women in wider society too. For example, it’s UNISON that is challenging the government’s employment tribunal fees, which have led to a virtual collapse in sex and maternity discrimination claims. The union is now taking its fight to the supreme court to make sure that all women are able to confront workplace injustice.”