UK pilot union BALPA has elected its first female general secretary, with civil service union figure Amy Leversidge set to take up the post in early January.

Leversidge is the assistant general secretary at FDA – formally the Association of the First Division of Civil Servants – where she steered high-profile pay and policy campaigns.

She has also previously worked in campaign roles at the Royal College of Midwives.

BALPA says Leversidge will bring “substantial experience” in industrial relations to the cockpit union.

Amy Leversidge-c-BALPA

Source: BALPA

Leversidge brings experience of handling industrial relations in the civil service

She succeeds Capt Martin Chalk, who retired earlier this year, and will take over from Miranda Rackley who was serving in the interim.

Leversidge becomes the first woman formally to hold the general secretary role at BALPA since the organisation was founded in 1937.

“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,” she says.

She joins the union at a point when it is engaged in a number of campaigns, including a drive to maintain two pilots in the cockpit despite initiatives aimed at exploring reduced-crew and single-pilot operations.