Tina MacKay

July 30, 2011 at 4:24 pm (good people, health service, Jim D, Unite the union, workers)

Gill George writes on the UnitedLeft list (29 July):


Comrades in London and Eastern Region and the Health Sector (of Unite) will be shocked to learn of the death of Tina MacKay yesterday.

Tina (pictured above) was the victim of a hit and run incident when she was on her way home late last night. She died instantly.

Tina was the Lead Officer for Health in the region.  She cared about what she did. I’d seen her twice in the last few weeks – at a meeting where we established an embryonic ‘action committee’ for speech therapists in London and before that on Unite’s demo in defence of the NHS on 5th July. She pitched up early at the demo, bouncing around with armfuls of Unite flags to press on anyone who would take them – as she always did. She brought passion and commitment to building the union, on the little things as well as the big ones.

Over the last few months, Tina played a brilliant role building support in Unite for a whole series of NHS demonstrations in London. I met her in the street a few days before one of them and she grinned and said, ‘Yeah, we’re gonna go mental about this.’ She had infectious energy and enthusiasm and threw herself behind any hint of a fight back in Health. There’s a layer of young active pushy reps coming through now in Health because of the work Tina did, sensing the beginnings of a mood and going with it. There’s a layer of us older ones who are still around because of Tina’s support.

Tina really was a lovely person – good fun and great company. She’ll leave a big hole in Unite, and she’ll be missed by very many lay members, officers and staff.


  1. Denis Ryan said,

    The smile, the warmth and the wonderful dedication are memories of a colleague who represented Unite the Union with professionalism at all times. Tina’s energy was endless. Her commitment was her driving force as she cared so very much about the members in the Health Sector. Her goals will live on by those who are in place under Tina’s guidance and those goals can be achieved by the Workplace Reps who Tina knew were the lynch pins to achieving them – this is Tina’s legacy to us. Colleagues within Unite will miss Tina as much as the members whom she worked tirelessly to represent. My heartfelt sympathy to her family who will struggle to come to terms with this terrible loss.

  2. Tim Sandle said,

    Tina was a great officer and organised some very good London Region events based around health topics. She will be rgeatly missed.

  3. Mark Sherwood said,

    I have fond memnries of working with Tina when I was a lay rep in the finance sector of MSF, Amicus, Unite and was shocked to get a phone call from a regional officer at the weekend.

    As is mentioned above, Tina was full of enthusiasm, a fighter, and she and I both had an interest in equalities which we often spoke about over a few drinks at Whitehall.

    Not only was Tina good at her job but she was one of those people that everyone liked and I pass my condolences to her family and those who were closest to her.

    Mark Sherwood

  4. Neil Walker said,

    Hope they catch whoever is responsible

    • Mike Edden Cusiness Development and rep for Unite said,

      Tina was a very good friend to myself and all of our members at Capita Learning and Development.She would offer everyone support and advice during difficult times.Tina was extremely hard working going well beyond the call of duty when help was needed for members.We will miss her as a friend and true professional.

  5. Jim Denham said,

    I understand there will be a celebration of Tina’s life this Saurday, 12 noon at Lauderdale House, Highgate Hill, London N6 5HG. Friends, comrades and colleagues are invited.

  6. Gill George said,

    There will be a celebration of Tina’s life at 12 noon on Saturday 6th August at Lauderdale House, Highgate Hill, London.

    Tina’s family have asked people to bring picnics, as this was one of Tina’s favourite things to do, and a single flower.

    If you would like to share any memories of Tina with her family or friends please email remembering.tina@unitetheunion.org or send letters to:

    Fiona Mackay
    c/o Central London District Office
    Unite House
    128 Theobalds Rd
    WC1X 8TN

  7. Jim Denham said,

  8. Sue O'Donnell said,

    Bless you Tina – I met you whilst working in insurance and found you to be passionate, inspiring and thought provoking – I would never have had the confidence or or self belief to move forward in the way I did without our meetings – My deepest condolences to your family and friends xxxxx

  9. Scott Gordon said,

    Dear Tina ,

    My first real girl friend

    A few days after meeting Tina , I got a call at home .

    Tina was inviting me out to her birthday in a few days time J

    That certainly got my attention .

    Tina’s Mom was a great host and along with Doug and Fiona , Tina and I had a fabulous evening .

    We had a few more over the next 18 months .

    Tina never looked more gorgeous than when she came to my uncles wedding . I still have the picture .

    Small in stature , she had the heart of a giant . Tina took me under “ her “ wing J!

    Many fun evenings in the attic of St Bernard’s , was it 35?37 ?It has been 40 years !

    The picture was taken near the end of the school year 1971, I had to dash back to school for a swimming and water polo match .

    And that little girl could pack a punch J

    A romantic back row at the Acocks Green cinema. While watching Woodstock , Tina accidently clocked me one on the jaw .

    Or at one party After returning from a sleepless biology cruise . We lay on the floor together . I fell asleep for over an hour , Tina would not move in case she woke me up 🙂

    My choice to come to South Africa in 1972 broke us up . Tina’s Mom invited me over for a farewell chat and cup of tea .

    Tina would not join us ! I was gutted .

    Yet Tina stuck to her principals .

    And from reading the various reports , she did it for the rest of her life .

    Over the years I made some vague attempts to contact her . Just to hear about her . Tell her how important she was/is and will be to me .

    Now I will never get the chance .

    R.I.P my dearest Christina and Tina , we had a thing about her name .
    Dear Tina ,.




  10. Jim Denham said,

    From the Unite website:

    Tina Mackay, our friend, colleague, and regional officer at the Central London District Office, tragically passed away on Thursday 28 July 2011.

    Tina passed away in the most terrible circumstances, the victim of a hit and run traffic accident near to her home in Tottenham. There are no words to describe the shock and sense of loss that we have all immediately felt.

    Tina had spent her last day doing what she loved and what she did best – enthusing, encouraging and guiding her reps in an organising training session. She was in full swing, imparting her energy and passion for the union’s current efforts to build popular and effective resistance to the dismantling of our National Health Service. She later spent a pleasurable evening, over dinner, with a close friend.

    Tina was a life-force – and a force to be reckoned with. She was a generous, warm-spirited, principled and courageous woman. She was a warrior for justice and equality. And she was an enormously loyal and lovable friend to many, many people both within and beyond our movement. She will leave a huge hole within the health sector, the region and Unite.

    We will all have our own thoughts, feelings and memories at this saddest of times. We will need to pause and reflect upon this cruel waste of a vibrant life which so harshly brings some perspective to all of our other sorrows and problems. Those closest to her will need to do what we do in our union – support each other. Some colleagues have spoken about coming together to mourn, but also to celebrate our friend and comrade, Tina.

    Our thoughts and solidarity go to Tina’s family in the hope that some little comfort can be derived from the shared sense of loss and the huge affection that we all felt – and will continue to feel – for Tina.

    Pete Kavanagh, Unite regional secretary


  11. Bob Williams-Findlay said,

    I’ve just learnt of the untimely death of Tina Mackay, a comrade and sister for many years. Words can’t express how I feel at the moment .,..

  12. nicole Brenders said,

    Nicole Brenders ( Belgium)
    2nd March 2012
    It’s your birthday today!

    On this very day I’ve learned about the accident!
    I am speechless and there goes Memory Lane : St Bernards’ Close where I first met you in 1970.
    A Belgian girl determined to improve her English with an English family.And what a great family they were!
    From the beginning, Tina and I were very close, our birthdays too ! Just one day difference. Pisces! ( first new (English) word I learned)
    The kitchen of the big house always smelling of freshly baked bread and then the loads of friends( boys with long hair!) from Solihull, popping in for a cup of tea and talk talk talk.

    In the blue Jag with “the girls” via the lake district to Edingburgh
    Visit of London.
    Our little outings to Solihull/ Birmingham, parties,music the park

    Then you came to visit us in Antwerp on various occasions and especially always on your way back from a big bag pack holiday with soaked through clothes in your rucksack. Enjoying a comfortable bed and nice food.
    I also became a regular visitor of St Bernards.

    In 1975 you accepted to be my best (wo)man for my wedding.
    Each year at Christmas I got your detailed report of another exciting year past.
    You helped me to write a letter fighting for women rights at the European parliament.
    Tina, I cannot and will not wipe you out of my memory and like the song we used to sing together : “Butterfly, my butterfly, dans un an je reviendrai…”

    R I P ma chère .

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