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BALPA elects Amy Leversidge as new General Secretary

Amy Leversidge has been elected unopposed as the General Secretary of the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA). Leversidge was nominated by the National Executive Council (NEC) after an extensive and exhaustive recruitment process.

Leversidge, who will take up her post on 8th January will be the first woman to be elected as General Secretary in BALPA’s 86-year history.

Amy Leversidge, is currently the Assistant General Secretary at the FDA and will bring her substantial experience in industrial relations to the role at BALPA. She will take over from Miranda Rackley who has acted as Interim General Secretary after Captain Martin Chalk retired earlier this year.

Executive President Paul Copland said:

“I am delighted the National Executive Council’s chosen candidate, Amy Leversidge, will be joining us.

“We must thank Miranda Rackley for her hard work and dedication during the past year as Interim General Secretary. The new year will be a time of new challenges for BALPA, with a new NEC leadership and General Secretary working together to ensure our members are at the heart of all we do.

“Amy’s experience in her previous roles will add an extra dimension to our team and will help us continue to represent pilots and ensure action is taken on the issues that matter to our members.”

Amy Leversidge said:

“I am honoured to become BALPA’s General Secretary. I am looking forward to working with the excellent staff and elected reps to ensure BALPA continues to deliver real outcomes for pilots across the UK and is a strong and influential voice for the piloting profession.

“The airline industry contributes significantly to the UK economy and supports over a million jobs and pilots are at the heart of the industry. As the voice of UK pilots, BALPA will ensure our voice is influential with employers, regulators and government on the many challenges the airline industry faces.

“It is a privilege to be BALPA’s General Secretary and to make history as the first woman in this vital leadership position in the union.  I will work tirelessly for every member to ensure pilots are valued by all of our employers; to ensure we are influential around the opportunities and challenges in the future of the aviation industry; and most importantly that we focus on BALPA’s core principles of safety, strength and unity.”


Amy Leversidge Biography 

Amy Leversidge is currently Assistant General Secretary at the FDA union (the trade union for leaders in the civil service), leading the union’s central pay negotiations and its work on pensions, terms and conditions, and senior civil service issues.

While at the FDA, she led on their successful campaign for a fully independent policy to deal with bullying and harassment in Parliament, which removed the role of MPs in investigating and adjudicating on complaints. Throughout the long-running campaign, Amy made extensive broadcast and print media appearances, including writing articles for The Times, The Guardian, The Huffington Post and House magazine, as well as appearing on Radio 4’s Today programme, Newsnight and the Victoria Derbyshire show.

In 2023, Amy led the FDA’s pay campaign, including preparations for what would have been the union’s first national industrial action ballot on pay in forty years. This resulted in the Cabinet Office agreeing to enter further discussions with the union on the eve of the ballot, and ultimately a significantly improved pay deal for civil servants.

She previously led on the union’s organising strategy, and acted as the strategic lead for the FDA’s communications and learning and development functions. As well as overseeing a significant expansion in the union’s communications work and media profile, she also led the introduction of a very successful online learning offer for FDA members – with a programme of webinars introduced within days of the COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020. She also increased the training and support available to Workplace Representatives.

As well as her extensive media experience, Amy has represented the union at party conferences; worked with stakeholders including the TUC, Unions 21 and the Institute for Government; and given evidence to parliamentary select committees.

Previously, Amy worked at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), leading their 2014 pay campaign. This involved the first ever ballot for industrial action in the 134-year history of the RCM, which included developing how midwives could take industrial action safely, without compromising care.

At the RCM, Amy sat on the NHS Staff Council, the negotiating body that covers over one million NHS staff, chairing their Equality and Diversity group, and sitting on both the Health and Safety group and Pensions Scheme Advisory Board. As well as leading on many campaigns, she also represented the RCM at European level at the European Public Services Union.

Amy has a masters degree in Human Resource Management and Employment Relations from the University of Warwick, has two children and been on the judging panel for the House magazine’s Parliamentary People Awards for the past three years.