From education to employment

Paul Nowak to be TUC’s next general secretary

Paul Nowak, Deputy General Secretary, TUC

A former call centre worker from Merseyside is set to succeed Frances O’Grady as TUC General Secretary when she retires at the end of the year.

Paul Nowak, TUC Deputy General Secretary, was the sole candidate nominated by unions and will become General Secretary Designate at Congress in Brighton this September, before officially taking the post in January 2022.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Paul led union efforts to make ministers publish strong safe working guidance, negotiating significant improvements to ensure millions of workers had a safer environment to work in.

Before joining the TUC, Paul had a variety of temporary and agency jobs as a call centre operator, a hotel night porter and a supermarket worker.

Paul Nowak said: “It’s an honour to be chosen as the next TUC General Secretary.

“Working people need strong confident unions to fight their corner.

“A decade of standstill wages, overseen by successive Tory governments, has left working people at the mercy of this cost of living crisis.  

“But unions are rising to the challenge and fighting back.

“As TUC General Secretary, I will push back on attacks on workers’ rights, make the voices of workers heard, and back our unions to grow and win for their members and for all working people.

“Before I was a trade union official, I had never had a permanent contract at work, so I know the anxiety of life in temporary and agency jobs first-hand.

“I will be a General Secretary who fights for every worker.

“It doesn’t matter if you work in a care home, a supermarket or a power station – everyone deserves decent pay, job security and dignity at work.

“Join a union, get active and together we can win.”

On succeeding Frances O’Grady, Paul added:

“Frances is an outstanding champion of working people – and an inspiration to many as the first woman to lead the TUC.

“From securing the furlough scheme in the pandemic to overseeing an increase in union membership during her tenure, she leaves a great legacy for working people, and I am determined to build on it.”

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