I’m an Assistant General Secretary (AGS) at Unite the Union. One of my main roles is to lead the union’s public service team, campaigning for better terms and conditions for members in that sector. In the past I have represented members from a range of sectors, including manufacturing. Continue reading about Gail's current job
Other jobs in the union
Before becoming the AGS for public services, I worked for the union in a range of other roles, including Head of Health from 2003 to 2005, when I was closely involved in negotiating a new national agreement, Agenda for Change.
This was a massive exercise with the objective of ensuring equality of pay and other benefits across the NHS workforce. During these two years under my leadership the union’s Health Sector membership saw a net growth of 10,000 members. This shows beyond doubt that unions which are active recruit new members. Continue reading about Gail's other jobs in the union
However, my involvement in the trade union movement started long before I joined the HVA . It was actually way back in 1975 when I started work in the publishing industry. On discovering that women were being paid less than men for doing the same job, I joined the union and organised support for equal pay.
Later I had the opportunity to work in the printing industry where as an active Mother of the Chapel for the National Graphical Association I negotiated agreements resulting in significant improvements in pay and conditions (particularly related to health and safety) for members. Continue reading about Gail's working life before Unite
And even before that
Before joining the printing industry, I started my working life as an apprentice hairdresser in the west end of London. I had failed my ‘11 plus’. As a result I left school at 15 with no qualifications.
Not surprisingly, perhaps, I am a passionate advocate of the Union Learn agenda. The qualifications which I now have (and which are equivalent to degree level) are all thanks to the union movement, which provided the opportunity to learn in a number of different ways. I will always remember the encouragement of my union to enrol on education courses at which I met many inspirational people.