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· Senior Deputy General Secretary of Prospect union becomes TUC President

· Sue’s priorities for the year ahead include a Just Transition to a green economy, and mitigating the impact of Covid-19, especially on women workers

Sue Ferns
Sue Ferns ©Jess Hurd/TUC

Sue Ferns has today (Tuesday) been elected as the new President of the TUC.

Sue, who is the Senior Deputy General Secretary at Prospect union, will serve in the role for a year and preside over the TUC Congress in September 2022. She will also chair the TUC’s general council and executive committee.

Sue grew up in Sheffield along with two brothers and is the mother of two sons.

Sue was the first member of her family to go to university, studying Industrial Relations at Salford University. She graduated in 1982 and started working for the TUC’s economics department where she stayed for a decade.

After a maternity break, Sue joined Prospect (formerly IPMS) in 1993 as a research officer, becoming head of research in 2002. In 2013 she became Director of Communications and Research and was promoted to Senior Deputy General Secretary in 2018.

Sue’s current responsibilities in Prospect – which has 150,000 members from across a range of professions, including engineers, scientists, managers and civil servants – include leading the union’s work across the energy sector, climate change and gender equality.

Sue is a familiar face at the TUC. She represents Prospect on the TUC’s general council and executive committee, is chair of the Women’s Committee and a TUC Aid Trustee.

She is the general council’s lead on energy, environment and sustainability, chair of the Trade Union Sustainable Development Advisory Committee (TUSDAC), and a member of the government’s green jobs taskforce.

In her spare time, Sue is a season ticket holder at Sheffield United and enjoys running and reading fiction.

Speaking after her election as President, Sue Ferns said: “It is a great honour to be elected President of the TUC for what is set to be a vital year for workers’ rights.

“The world of work is changing rapidly in a way that creates many opportunities for improving people’s working lives – but there are also huge risks as employers implement changes to working practices often with little or no consultation with their workforces.

“It is our job as unions, and mine as TUC President and through my work with my own union Prospect, to ensure we have a laser-like focus on getting to the table so that workers can be involved in all the decisions that affect them.

“The future of work can be better than the past, but that won’t happen unless workers themselves are able to shape the changes that are coming.

“My particular focus will be on getting the best deal for members, particularly for women, in the post Covid-19 world; ensuring a Just Transition for workers as we move to a greener economy; and on closing the gender pay and gender pension gaps so that women can be rewarded fairly, even after they retire, for the work that they do.”

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “We are delighted to have Sue as our President for the next year. She is an exceptional union leader – and we will need her commitment and passion as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Sue takes on the role of President at a challenging time in what looks to be a critical year for working people. I look forward to working with her to create good green jobs, and to challenge the government to deliver the just transition we so badly need.

“It’s time for a new age of dignity and security at work for everyone – women and men – and it’s great to have Sue at the helm as TUC President, leading the way.”

©Jess Hurd/TUC
©Jess Hurd/TUC

Photo: Five of the top positions in the trade union movement are now held by women. A picture is available from the TUC press office of (from L-R): UNISON General Secretary Christine McAnea; outgoing TUC President and Unite Assistant General Secretary Gail Cartmail; TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady, new TUC President and Prospect Senior Deputy General Secretary Sue Ferns; and Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham. Copyright Jess Hurd/TUC. Please call 020 7467 1248 or email - The Trades Union Congress (TUC) exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together more than 5.5 million working people who make up our 48 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living.

Editors note


TUC press office 020 7467 1248

Prospect press office 020 7902 2246

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