Search

Jane Doolan: Branch secretary on 37 years in Islington UNISON

PUBLISHED: 12:29 10 January 2018 | UPDATED: 12:29 10 January 2018

Jane Doolan, branch secretary of Islington UNISON. Picture: Polly Hancock

Jane Doolan, branch secretary of Islington UNISON. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

As branch secretary of Islington UNISON, Jane Doolan has an important job standing up for 2,000 public sector workers. She discusses it with the Gazette.

If you’ve worked for Islington Council in the past 37 years, chances are you’ve come across – or worked with – Jane Doolan.

Jane has been branch secretary of Islington UNISON, the trade union for public service workers in the borough, since 1999.

But her association with the union goes back to 1981, when she became a steward on the libraries committee.

Jane, born and bred in Islington, recalls: “I had always been very interested in the trade union movement. I didn’t really think of getting involved, it was just an interest.

“But like an awful lot of people, I went to a meeting, voiced an opinion and my predecessor thought: ‘There’s someone who might be interested in being a steward.’”

At that point, she had been employed by Islington Council as an assistant at Central Library, off Holloway Road, since 1974. Today, she works in the same building, with Islington UNISON headquartered there.

Jane continues: “Branch secretary is definitely the hardest role I’ve had at Islington UNISON. I’ve also been chair and vice-chair. But this is also the most rewarding. I like getting involved in campaigns, and doing personal casework.

“There’s day-to-day stuff, like running the branch and dealing with members’ issues. Sometimes it’s dealing with pay briefings, other times it’s like counselling as some members just want to talk to you.

“We also do campaigns. As a branch we want to give something back to the community, so we support local initiatives like the summer reading challenge in libraries.”

Islington UNISON has about 2,000 members, largely made up of employees from Islington Council but also other groups such as the Howard League.

Jane also describes how the demographic has changed since 1981: “It used to be incredibly male-dominated. I was the first female branch secretary.

“Now one of our issues is being an aging union. We want to get more young people interested and sometimes they don’t know about us until they have a problem.

“I’d really like to get more young people on board, and if Jeremy Corbyn becomes Prime Minister, who knows? He’s a member of the branch himself, and is certainly quite a crowd puller when he attends our meetings.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington News Stories

Yesterday, 17:25

If you supported Arsenal or had an N5 postcode in 1988, it’s almost certain you’ll remember the “Battle of Highbury”.

Yesterday, 12:52

A brave six-year-old girl foiled a kidnapper who tried to snatch her friends.

Yesterday, 12:11

The government has said maintenance work at Pentonville prison will continue as normal after contractor Carillion went into liquidation.

Yesterday, 10:09

An end is finally in sight after two years of closures on the Gospel Oak to Barking Overground line, which has reopened today for what commuters hope is the last time.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our three-minute Met Office video forecast.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Sixteen new council houses have been unveiled on top of the new Cat and Mouse Library in Archway.

Friday, January 12, 2018

There are no pets in Islington’s newest library, despite its name. Islington Museum curator Roz Currie tells Rhiannon Long where the Cat and Mouse Library got the title – and how some Suffragettes got the upper hand using martial arts

Friday, January 12, 2018

Protesters packed Islington town hall last night to fight the Whittington Hospital’s contract with Ryhurst, owned by Grenfell Tower-linked Rydon.

PROMOTED CONTENT

“With teenagers there’s a lot of banter, and you can really establish a relationship. You have to trust teenagers to make their own decisions.”

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now