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UOCE mourns the passing of Helen Kelly

Friday, 14 October 2016 3:17pm

Helen Kelly, life long unionist, educator, and champion of workers’ rights, died last night aged 52.

She made a major contribution to teaching, to people’s rights at work, and to workers and employers understanding of and accountability for keeping safe at work.

Helen qualified as a primary school teacher and after a short stint teaching joined the Kindergarten Teachers Association as a union organiser. Thus she began 20 years of campaigning for better pay and conditions in education for teachers, lecturers, general and ancillary staff alike.

"Helen was one of the greatest union campaigners for education, particularly on behalf of those who worked in early childhood education" says Professor Helen May.

Helen then went onto represent University staff as the general secretary of the Association of University Staff (AUS) between 2002 and 2007 before becoming president of the Council of Trade Unions in 2007. In this role she led a range of campaigns for workers rights, most notably in the forestry and mining industries, and notoriously for some, through her support of film industry employees' calls for fair conditions and pay at work”

Our sincere condolences go out to Helen's family. May her wonderful legacy persist.