‘ You don ’ t achieve anything in the movement by yourself ’
UNISON’s new president Gordon McKay is a mental health nurse from the union’s Ayrshire and Arran health branch. He’s been a member of the union for 31 years, having joined the NHS in 1987 and UNISON forebear NUPE on the very same day. “In working class communities in Scotland, that’s what you did – you joined your union straight away,” he says. But he’s keen to stress that joining a union was far from an unthinking action. “It was recognised that the best way to defend yourself was to defend your colleagues, in the knowledge that when the time came, they would defend you.” It was always a conscious solidarity. Gordon moved into his speciality of mental health nursing in 1988. He recalls: “I was on days off on Monday and Tuesday and on strike on Wednesday. My first working day in mental health was the 1988 day of action.” He didn’t become an activist immediately, he says. He and his wife were just starting a young family at the time. But Gordon does remember, very clearly, the incident in the early 1990s that led to him becoming more active. ‘I just thought, I ain’t putting up with any of that’ A young colleague was being dressed down by “a relatively junior” manager. “He gave her an absolute hell of a bollocking in the middle of a corridor. And that was because she had nipped off for five minutes to use the phone. The woman’s two-year-old daughter was at home with chickenpox, being looked after by her grandmother. “She...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - Category: Food Science Authors: Tony Braisby Tags: Magazine mental health Northern president presidential team Scotland UNISON Cymru/Wales Source Type: news
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