Martin Furlong has joined the Society as Interim Head of Employment Relations. Martin was previously a National Officer for the FDA – the union for senior civil servants – where he built up extensive experience representing union members in a number of government departments and leading national bargaining on terms and conditions.
Previously Martin worked with the then relatively new Managers in Partnership union within the NHS. Here he helped the development of a new specialist organisation within the NHS develop its structure and grow into a new and successful union that was part of Unison. So restructures within the NHS are nothing new to Martin. As this was a national role Martin also has experience of the NHS in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as England.
Prior to working for MiP Martin had his first spell at the FDA as a negotiator where he helped members who had complex work related cases and other difficulties at work. Some of this work involved working with union members in the secret services – but he can’t tell you about that!
Before working for the public sector unions mentioned above Martin also worked for the telecommunications union Connect where he helped to organise IT professionals in the large telecommunications company’s like BT, Vodafone and the now defunct Orange.
His first employment by a trade union came from the union for Airline Pilots in the UK – BALPA. Working for BALPA involved looking after members in companies such as Ryanair, Virgin and EasyJet where working with unions was a new thing. Martins work there directly led to a growth in membership in this companies – not a bad return for someone with a well-known fear of flying.
Before becoming involved in the world of trade unions Martin spent 17 years working for NatWest in a variety of roles and spent his last five years working on a secondment to one f the banks unions – BIFU – whilst chair of the unions National Committee in NatWest. It was whilst working in NatWest that Martin returned to education and studied for both a degree and a post graduate diploma in Employment Law and Human Resource Management at Keele university.
Martin lives in Purley and is a music lover and helps run a record label in his spare time – when not on his allotment that is.