Sue Gainey

The branch is very sad to have to record the passing of Sue Gainey, our recently retired Branch Secretary. Sue passed away on Sunday 14 February 2021. She was at home with family.

Sue joined NUPE many years ago when she was working as a Home Help and later Home Help Organiser. She became the leading steward in the south of the County (she was a proud Canvey Island girl). When UNISON was formed in 1993 she became a member of the new Essex County Branch and carried on representing members across the County Council. By the mid-90s he was fully seconded to work for the union, alongside her great friends Babs Whitfield, Mick Mahoney, Kevin Hussey and Mary Feakins. As one of the youngest in this group she kept the flag flying, until, on Babs’ retirement in  2013, she became Branch Secretary until retiring last year.

Sue was a traditional trade union fighter. She argued for what she believed was right and would not give up while there was still life left in a cause. She was in her element when defending a member against an unjust accusation or negotiating against the employer for better pay and conditions (or, in recent years, to try and stop the downgrading of terms and conditions.) Many UNISON members across Essex have reason to thank her for her efforts, not just in taking cases herself, but also in advising and mentoring other stewards, representatives and branch staff.

The sympathy and condolences of the Branch go to Sue’s family.

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