Ged, who is general secretary of the specialist finance union Accord, will serve in the role for a year and preside over the next TUC Congress in September 2020. He will also chair the TUC’s general council and executive committee.
Ged started work at 16 in the Halifax Building Society in Liverpool in 1979 and joined the union on his first day.
Over the next seven years, as he built his career and continued his education on a part-time basis, he undertook all of the lay roles in the union including health & safety officer for the North West region.
He moved to Reading in 1988 to work as a full-time officer for the union, and was elected general secretary in 1992 - a position he has held since the age of 30.
He led his union and its members through a number of mergers between employers and through the financial crisis. He is committed to maintaining Accord as a sustainable and independent union.
He is an advocate of constructive industrial relations and is a non-executive director of the Involvement and Participation Association.
He was appointed to the board of the Health & Safety Executive on 1 September this year (2019) and is the chair of the trustee body for the TUC’s own pension scheme.
Speaking after his election as President Ged Nichols said: “It’s an enormous privilege to be president of the TUC.
“It’s a testament to the hard work and commitment of the staff, union reps and members of Accord that, as such a young union, we have withstood and grown through all of the changes that the industry has been through. Our values have stood the test of time and the privilege of being elected as the President of the TUC is something I want to share with everybody in Accord and, of course, my family and friends whose support is so important.
“Accord’s key campaigns are for secure jobs, fair rewards and dignity at work. All of these will be challenged as a result of the political and economic uncertainties caused by Brexit.
“It’s going to be a tough year to be President of the TUC but I’m looking forward to the challenge and doing everything within the collective power of the 5.5 million members of TUC unions to protect jobs, living standards, families and services.”
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “We are delighted to have Ged as our President for the next year. He’s a proven negotiator, ably steering his union through the financial crash, technological change and huge disruption in the sector.
“At last year’s Congress, Ged was at the forefront of calls for unions to be right at the heart of securing a fair deal for workers in the face of the coming workplace digital revolution. He’s a truly committed trade unionist and I can think of no one better to be our President.
“A lifelong Evertonian and proud to be a Scouser born and bred, I know Ged will be a tireless and vocal advocate for union members and working-class communities up and down the country.
“I look forward to working with him, in what looks likely to be a tough year for our movement. He brings such an infectious energy that will no doubt keep us all fired up for the challenges ahead of us.
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