Date: Monday, 27 September 2010
Head of Scotland’s biggest public sector trade union set to stand
almost 40 years of service to the trade union movement, Matt Smith
will be standing down as head of Scotland’s biggest public sector
trade union later this year.
Matt, 58, has led UNISON Scotland as Scottish Secretary since
it was created in 1993 and is the only one to have held the post.
Over the years, Matt has worked to promote policies which advance
the interests of members, particularly in relation to low pay
and equal pay. He has also played a pivotal part in championing
the role of trade unions and ensuring their relevance as a major
stakeholder in civic society.
In 2004, Matt was awarded an OBE in recognition of his contribution
to trade unionism.
Matt was also a key voice in the campaign to establish the Scottish
Parliament, serving on the McIntosh Commission on Local Government
and a Scottish Parliament, as well as a member of the Calman Commission
on Scottish Devolution.
Matt said: “It has been a great privilege to lead UNISON in Scotland.
This has provided many opportunities to serve and to work with
colleagues committed to advancing our public services and those
who work within them. I am particularly proud to have contributed
to the creation of our Scottish Parliament which is now so essential
to the life of our nation.
“We face exceptionally challenging times ahead and I know that
UNISON is committed to supporting and promoting our public services.
I am very proud to have been a part of UNISON for almost two decades
and I believe that now is the time to hand over and to let others
continue with this work.”
UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis said: “Matt has played
an integral role in shaping and developing our organisation at
UK level and, in particular, within Scotland. His passion and
determination for protecting public services has seen him lead
UNISON through many challenges over the years and he is highly
respected by everyone in his field. Over the past four decades
Matt has made an exceptional contribution not only to public service
but to the trade union movement as a whole. He will be missed
by all of his friends at UNISON and we wish him every success
in his future endeavours.”
A former President of the STUC, Matt was recently appointed by
the Scottish Parliament as a Commissioner with the Scottish Human
Rights Commission. He also serves on the Scottish Standards Commission,
is a member of the Employment Appeals Tribunal and is a serving
JP in Ayrshire and JPAC member. Matt is also an executive member
and Honorary Fellow of the Scottish Council for Development and
Over the years, Matt has served in a wide range of public and
voluntary organisations. He is a former member of the Church of
Scotland Church and Nation Committee and former vice chair of
the Broadcasting Council for Scotland. He also served as an elected
councillor and Dean of Guild in the former Stevenston Town Council
and was a parliamentary candidate in 1979.
Notes to Editors:
1. Matt Smith will be standing down as Scottish Secretary in
December 2010. His replacement will be announced later this year.