Director of the IPA since January 2008, Nita has a long career in the trade union and labour movement. She joined COHSE from university in 1976, working for the health union until 1983; after seven years at the GLC/ILEA including four year’s as Ken Livingstone’s press officer she rejoined COHSE in 1992 and was merged into UNISON the following year.  She was press officer and then political officer for UNISON until January 2001 when she joined Downing Street as Tony Blair’s assistant political secretary with responsibility for trade union liaison.

At No 10 Nita was directly involving in establishing important social partnership developments including the transposition of the Information and Consultation Directive, the Woman at Work Commission, the commissions looking at the right to request part-time working, the Turner Pensions Commission and many others.

She was instrumental in securing government support for the groundbreaking two-tier workforce deal and the Cabinet Office guidance on the treatment of staff in contracting; she was also one of the prime movers behind the establishment of the Public Services Forum, bringing together public sector unions and employers and was one of the government nominated members of the PSF. She was particularly involved in the development of the Drive for Change toolkit, which embodies the principles of partnership working. She also ensured that proposal for a Compact, further equalising the treatment of directly and indirectly employed staff, was included in the Warwick Agreement of 2004, and worked on its implementation right up to leaving No 10 in June 2007. 

She was a strong supporter of a social partnership approach to delivering change and reform in public services and supported successive secretaries of state in education and health in developing partnership agreements.

She has an in-depth understanding of the positive role that modern unions and representatives can have in the workplace and a very wide knowledge of the trade union movement as well as business needs.  She has close working links with the TUC and many individual unions as well as the CBI, EEF, Chemical Industries Association and many individual companies

Nita’s report on relations between trade unions and the voluntary sector for the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations was launched in June 2008.

She was vice-chair of the government commissioned MacLeod Review of employee engagement and co-author of the widely praised report Engaging for Success published in July 2009.  She is much in demand as a motivational speaker on employee engagement and positive employee relations.

She has a BA in history and politics and an MA in labour history from Warwick University.  She was a founder board member of the New Opportunities Fund and is the author of London for Beginners (Writers and Readers Press).


Contact Nita: » [email protected]