‘We have always overcome obstacles in our way’

UNISON president Wendy Nichols opens women’s conference in Brighton with call to action

UNISON president Wendy Nichols railed against the Conservative government as she opened the union’s women’s conference in Brighton this afternoon.

She had stern words for “a government determined to target the most vulnerable: those who died shortly after being pronounced ‘fit to work’; families worried about the next cut to their benefits; women at risk of violence or abuse; refugees, often women and children dying, starving and frightened.”

She criticised the government’s pay and pension policies and ongoing pay freeze, as prices went up pay remained the same while a decent pension moved further and further away.

But, she reminded delegates, the union had already forced some changes – on tax credits – and had a great year for recruitment last year with 166,000 new members joining.

And she finished with an optimistic message: “We have always overcome the obstacles in our way.”


UNISON president Wendy Nichols’s charity, The Gambia Bijilo School Project, provides essential equipment and improved amenities for a West African school.