Karen Loughlin, UNISON Cymru Wales regional secretary. Photo credit: UNISON Active
Wales’ newest trade union leader has taken office pledging to campaign for greater investment in public services and the public service workers.
Karen Loughlin, incoming UNISON Cymru Wales regional secretary, said Welsh public service staff showed their worth working through the Covid pandemic yet public services are desperate for investment after a decade of austerity.
The new union leader was introduced to UNISON’s 100,000 members in Wales this week, telling them during Covid she will be supporting UNISON reps to ensure workplaces are safe and that employment conditions are not undermined in any way.
Karen Loughlin, UNISON Cymru Wales regional secretary said,
“During Covid, public service workers have again demonstrated their value to society and the message I will take into my meetings with Welsh government and wider is: invest in public services and the public service workforce.
“We have an opportunity to work with a Labour Welsh government, to influence them and to help shape their policies based on treating people fairly.
“A sense of fighting injustice has driven my career in UNISON. When I started work, many male managers didn’t give women the respect we deserve and often our role was to make the cups of tea and empty the paper bins. We’ve come a long way but we still have a way to go.”
Notes for editors
· UNISON Cymru Wales has 100,000 public service workers in local government; health; Further Education; Higher Education; water; the environment and transport; energy; the voluntary sector; police and justice and private contractors
· Karen Loughlin became a union rep in UNISON’s forerunner, NALGO when she was working for British Gas thirty years ago. She has been a trade union official for 27 years in northern England, the last 2 1/2 years in Yorkshire.
Alastair Gittins, UNISON Cymru Wales press officer on 07816 53 83 97