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First black nurse elected vice-president of UNISON

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Eleanor Smith, a theatre nurse from Birmingham, was elected vice-president of Unison last week, becoming the first black person to hold the position.

She said: ‘Tackling inequality in the workplace and promoting fairer access to health care and public services is an important priority for me over the next two years.’

Ms Smith began her nurse training at the age of 19 at the city’s George Elliott Hospital, and now works at Birmingham Women’s Hospital.

She was Unison’s assistant convenor for the West Midlands region from 2003–2004 and was elected to the union’s National Executive Council in 2004. Since 2007, Ms Smith has represented Unison on the TUC General Council.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • So what?

    First of all why is it huge news whenever someone gets a new position in Unison or the RCN? Who really cares.

    Second of all why even mention that she is black? Or is this the 'equality brigade' out in force again.

    Why not just leave it as 'this woman is a qualified and skilled nurse, and she is now head of unison'? But no, the issue of her race HAS to be mentioned.

    Noone actually cares what colour her skin is as long as she can do the job. It is things like this, people who like to sprout 'equality' every other word, that are mentioning race and colour all the time.

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