Council’s main union leader ‘calls it a day’

Gary Firth - Unison branch secretary, front, is pictured with union members on the picket line outside Northgate House, Halifax.
Gary Firth - Unison branch secretary, front, is pictured with union members on the picket line outside Northgate House, Halifax.

GARY Firth has stood down from his position as head of one of Calderdale’s biggest trades unions.

Mr Firth became the secretary of Unison in 2008.

It has been his job to lead negotiations between his 3,000 members and Calderdale Council during a period of unprecedented job cuts and austerity measures.

Hundreds of jobs have disappeared as services have changed, been slimmed down and privatised, and there are many more redundancies on the cards.

He has coordinated strike action over redundancies and changes to public sector pensions.

Mr Firth was unavailable for comment, but the union’s regional secretary Marrion Perrett said his huge contribution would be greatly missed.

“He had a very important role to play but others will now assist with that and it is business as usual,” she said.

A Unison branch meeting will be held on May 10 with a view to appointing an interim secretary.

“The branch has nothing but praise for Gary,” said Ms Perrett.

“He has been very efficient and effective, and we are sorry to lose him.”