Rita Donaghy, Baroness Donaghy

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Official Portrait

Rita Margaret Donaghy, Baroness Donaghy, CBE, FRSA (born 9 October 1944) is a British university administrator, trade unionist and Labour life peer in the House of Lords.

A graduate of the University of Durham, Donaghy worked at the Institute of Education, University of London, as an Assistant Registrar and later as Permanent Secretary to the Students' Union. She became active in the trade union NALGO, becoming a member of its National Executive by 1973 and serving as President for 1989/90. She was a member of the General Council of the Trades Union Congress from 1989—representing NALGO which merged to become UNISON in 1993—and was TUC President in 2000.

In October 2000 she left her trade union positions on being appointed as Chair of the industrial conciliation service ACAS, a post she held until 2007.[1] She served on the Committee on Standards in Public Life (Nolan Committee) from 2001 until 2007,[2] briefly as Chair after Sir Alistair Graham's three-year term ended.[3]

She was a member of the Low Pay Commission[4] and the Employment Tribunal Taskforce and chaired the TUC Disabilities Forum.[5] In 2009, Donaghy was invited to chair an enquiry into work-related deaths in the construction industry, whose report published in 2010 contained many recommendations for improving safety in the industry.[6]


Donaghy was awarded the OBE in 1998 for services to industrial relations, and CBE in 2005 for services to employment relations. She has Honorary Doctorates from the Open University (2003), Keele University (2004) and the University of Greenwich (2005). In 2003 she was awarded a Fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, followed in 2004 by Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).

It was announced in the 2010 Dissolution Honours List that Donaghy would be created a life peer.[7] She was created Baroness Donaghy, of Peckham in the London Borough of Southwark, on 26 June 2010.


  1. ^ ACAS Annual Report 2007/08
  2. ^ Annual Report 2006 Archived 16 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Downing Street press release
  4. ^ Low Pay Commission Welcomes Historic Introduction Of National Minimum Wage Archived 20 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Acas annual report 2004/05
  6. ^ Government Responds To Donaghy Report Into Construction Deaths Archived 16 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Department for Work And Pensions, Wednesday, 31 March 2010
  7. ^ "No. 59459". The London Gazette (Supplement). 15 June 2010. p. 11151.
Trade union offices
Preceded by
Hector MacKenzie
President of the Trades Union Congress
Succeeded by
Bill Morris
Preceded by
John Hougham
Chair of Acas
Succeeded by
Ed Sweeney