Congratulations to Frances O’Grady, first woman TUC General Secretary
10th July 2012
CWU has sent best wishes and warm congratulations to Frances
O'Grady who has been confirmed as the successor to Brendan
Barber as TUC General Secretary. Frances will take over at the end
of this year when Brendan retires.
Ms O'Grady, who is the TUC's current Deputy General
Secretary, was the only candidate nominated by unions and will
become General Secretary Designate at the 144th Congress in
Brighton this September. She will be the first woman General
Secretary in the history of the organisation.
Frances O'Grady said: "This
is a great honour. Never has a strong responsible trade union
movement been so needed. With austerity policies biting hard and
with no evidence that they are working, people at work need the TUC
to speak up for them now more than ever.
"We must be the advocates of the growth and jobs
alternative. And with the policy prescriptions of the last 30 years
increasingly discredited, we have the best opportunity in a
generation to help build a fair, productive and green economy that
works for ordinary people.
"Brendan has been a great servant of the TUC,
well-respected both within and beyond our ranks, and he leaves a
firm foundation on which to build."
Congratulating Frances, CWU General Secretary
Billy Hayes said: "This is the best decision
for the TUC. Frances has our full confidence and will be a
fantastic TUC General Secretary.
"Brendan Barber will be hard act to follow as he has
overseen some major events in the trade union movement and is well
respected in many quarters. We wish him well and look forward to
working with Frances in her new role which is soundly
About Frances O'Grady:
Frances will be the first woman General Secretary of the TUC.
She has been an active trade unionist and campaigner all her
working life. She has been employed in a range of jobs from shop
work to the voluntary sector.
Before the TUC, Frances worked for the Transport and General
Workers Union where she worked on successful campaigns to stop the
abolition of the Agricultural Wages Board and for the introduction
of a national minimum wage, equal pay for women, and on a range of
industrial wage claims.
In 1994 Frances was appointed as TUC Campaigns Officer and ran
campaigns for equal rights for part-timers and against low pay. In
1997, she was appointed to head up the New Unionism campaign and
launched the TUC's Organising Academy. As well as driving new
recruitment campaigns in call centres, supermarkets and new media,
the Academy set out to attract a generation of new 'young
guns' into the union movement and shift the 'male, pale and
stale' stereotype to a profile that better fits a 6,000,000
plus membership that is now 50:50 men and women.
Frances went on to head up the TUC's organisation department
in 1999 and reorganised local bargaining for skills projects into
the unified national brand of unionlearn, which has grown to help
250,000 workers into learning every year - a track record of
success that continues to attract the support of hundreds of
employers and public funding from the government.
As Deputy General Secretary since 2003, Frances led on winning the 2012 Principles of
Co-operation Agreement with the Olympic Authorities,
guaranteeing on-site minimum standards for local jobs, health and
safety and the London living wage. Frances has also led on
industrial policy, arguing the case for a strategic approach to
rebalancing the economy in the wake of the financial crash. Fair
pay remains a core ambition and she represents the TUC on the Low
Pay and the High Pay Commissions, and on the Resolution
Foundation's Commission on Living Standards. Frances is a
strong believer in protecting the public service ethos, opposes
privatisation and leads the TUC campaign to save the NHS.
Frances was born in Oxford, has two adult children and lives in