21 Jan 2015

Patricia King Congress General Secretary

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has announced that Patricia King is to succeed outgoing General Secretary David Begg, when he steps down in March.

Patricia will be the first woman to succeed to the post of General Secretary in the 121 year history of Congress.

Outgoing General Secretary David Begg welcomed the news and said Congress was “very fortunate to have someone of such calibre and wide experience” to lead the movement.

Patricia King said she was "very honoured" to be named as General Secretary Designate and paid tribute to David Begg, saying he had led Congress in “extraordinary times and circumstances and had shown exceptional leadership. I am conscious that the movement is losing a really effective leader.”

She said she would be governed by three clear principles when she takes up the post:

“Every worker is entitled to enjoy fair pay and decent conditions; all workers should be entitled to negotiate collectively with their employer without fear and every worker is entitled to be treated with respect.

“I think youth and young people generally have been let down and hit particularly hard in recent years and that is another area that has to be addressed,” Patricia King said.

Currently the vice-President of SIPTU, Patricia also serves as one of two vice-Presidents of Congress.

A full time official with SIPTU for over 25 years, she was the first woman to serve as a national officer of the union when she was appointed vice-President, in May 2010.

She has represented workers in all areas of the economy, in both the public and private sectors.

Patricia was a lead negotiator in both the Croke Park and Haddington Road agreements and is a member of the National Oversight Body tasked with implementation of the latter agreement.

She played a leading role in the Irish Ferries dispute (2005/6) and in subsequent negotiations that saw an overhaul of employment rights law and the establishment of the National Employment Rights Authority.

Patricia currently serves on the boards of Pobal and the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) and was recently appointed to the board of the Apprenticeship Council.