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Society’s union director is named new TUC president

12 September 2012 - 2:44pm

CSP director Lesley Mercer is to be the president of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) for the coming year – a position that puts her in a key role in the UK union movement.

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TUC president Lesley Mercer: 'My year is also the perfect opportunity to stand up for the NHS as something that belongs to the people.'

Ms Mercer will continue in her role as head of the CSP's employment relations and union services function while carrying out her TUC duties.

CSP chief executive Phil Gray said he was delighted at the news.

‘It is a great honour for Lesley and the CSP,' he said. 'It is a recognition of both Lesley's leadership talents and of the increasing contribution which the smaller and medium sized professional unions have to play in the modern trade union movement. This is the first time in many years that the president has come from one of these unions.'

The CSP would have the opportunity to be at the heart of national discussions on generating growth in the economy, employment and health policy that mattered so much to the society’s 51,000 members, he said.

'We wish her well in this new role and will offer her every support in making it a success.'

 Women at the fore

Ms Mercer said that, as a representative of a union where four fifths of the members are women, she was looking forward to being president at a time when the TUC will have its first female general secretary, Frances O'Grady.

‘My year as president is also the perfect opportunity to stand up for the NHS as something that belongs to the people and must always be there free of charge when needed,’ Ms Mercer said.

Ms Mercer has been involved in the trade union movement for 30 years. She joined the CSP in 1995 and became director of ERUS in 2005. She previously worked with Nautilus International and what is now called the Public and Commercial services Union.

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