Position: Branch President
Mobile Number: 07300 801855
My name is Jo Callaghan, I would like to introduce myself to you all, as the new Branch President and Full Time Convener for GMB@EEAS, as our previous, Full time Convener and Branch President Donna Thomas, is leaving the Trust to work fulltime for the GMB.
I have worked in the NHS since 1999, where I started my career as part of the domestic staff in Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow. I then went on to become an Auxiliary Nurse on the Cardiac Ward.
In 2004, I moved with my family to Norfolk and began working as a Health Care assistant, in West Suffolk Hospital, first on a General Medical Ward, then in A&E, Where I stayed until 2013, when I joined the ambulance Service as an ECA.
After 3 years, despite being on the wrong side of 40, I was persuaded to take the ECA to EMT pathway, and qualified as an EMT in 2016, going on to become a Senior EMT in 2017.
In 2019, things took a rather unexpected turn, I sustained an injury whilst at work, resulting in spinal fractures and a rather large, herniated disc. This is when I first became aware of the GMB. After a year of being on sick leave, I was facing losing my job, as I was unable to return to the role, I had worked so hard to gain, and loved, and so had to look for redeployment.
After having no communication from the Union, I was a member of at that time, and was fast approaching a Capability hearing, I contacted the GMB.
It was a very dark time for me, and if not for GMB and Donna Thomas in particular, I would most certainly have lost everything I had worked so hard to gain.
She helped get me redeployed into A Make Ready Operative role, and persuaded me to become a GMB Workplace Organiser, as I had experienced first-hand, how devastating, and frustrating it is to lose the role I loved, I wanted to support others through difficult processes, so they would not have to experience, what I went through.
Now Donna is stepping down, I will be stepping into her very awesome shoes.
I want to tell you that I am passionate about our Branch, and with the guidance of and wisdom of Donna Thomas, Chris Bretton, our fantastic Branch Secretary, and the rest of the awesome Reps we have here in EEAST, I will do the very best I can for you all.
Now we have recognition with the Trust, the sky is the limit!