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The team

Last updated: 19.10.16

Becky Wright, Executive Director

Previous to her post at Unions 21, Becky spent five years as the Director of the TUC’s Organising Academy and was responsible for the development and delivering of the Academy’s training programme for union organisers and officers. In 2001, she joined the TSSA as an Academy Organiser and then went on to take national and regional organising projects for Prospect, NATFHE and ATL. Becky holds a BA(Hons) in Politics, an MRes as well as a Diploma in Education and has also studied Contemporary European Labour Studies at Masters level at the Universiteit van Amsterdam. She also acts as a trainer/consultant for the ETUI, FIA, EFJ, FIM and UNI-MEI

Working with Unions 21 and our unions

Tom Hunt, Senior Fellow, Research

Following on from his work with Unions 21 on COVID-19 and The Work of Trade Unions: New Challenges and New Responses, Tom joins us to work on our work exploring the use of data and digital to revolutionise unions. His substantive role is as the Deputy Director and Policy Research Associate at the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI) at the University of Sheffield where he is the co-leader on their Labour and Decent Work research theme. Tom’s research focuses on the changing nature of work and the effects for workers. He is interested in exploring efforts by unions, workers, states and employers to improve work.

You can find out more about Tom, his research and publications here.

Vic Barlow

Vic advises Unions 21 on communications and engagement strategy, taking a lead on press and PR, newsletter content and campaign messaging.

Having started her union career as NASUWT's press officer, Vic worked her way to Assistant General Secretary for communications and membership at ATL, then NEU. Her work with Unions 21 has seen her support the Association of Educational Psychologists with a member recruitment strategy, NGSU with a social and digital plan and ASLEF with a database and digital project. She is currently working with Nautilus.

Duncan Robertson
Duncan works with Unions 21 and our unions on digital projects. He has worked on the websites of the AEP, ASLEF and helped the NGSU in building their digital strategy.

Katherine Bassey

Katherine Bassey works with our unions on organisational change and HR development. She previously headed up the HR Development functions at UNISON, latterly as Head of Staff Engagement and Innovation.

Matt Ball

Matt is a freelance campaigns, communications and policy consultant. He was formerly Communications and External Relations Director at the Community trade union for over six years following five years as the union’s Head of Research, Industrial and Public Affairs. He has over twenty years experience working in the labour movement across communications and policy, including three years as Director of Unions 21.

Simon Sapper

Previously at the CWU, Simon works with membership based organisations on governance, workplace relations as well as strategy.


Sue Ferns, Chair

Sue is Deputy General Secretary at Prospect, the union for professionals. Her responsibilities in Prospect include leading the union’s work on equal opportunities; legal services; skills; campaigning and communications; and on science, engineering and sustainability.

Jon Skewes, Vice Chair

Jon is the Executive Director of Policy, Employment Relations and Communications for the Royal College of Midwives.

Amy Leversidge, Vice Chair

Amy is the Assistant General Secretary for FDA, the union for senior civil servants.

Martin Furlong, Vice Chair

Martin is the Head of Employment at the Royal College of Podiatry.

Rachael McIlory, Treasurer

Rachael is the Senior Research Lead at the Royal College of Nursing.

Wider trustee group: Louise McMullan (Equity), Hardev Sohal (AEP), Simon Weller (ASLEF), Jim Fahie (CSP), Kate Dearden (Community)