Awards highlight reps’ innovation and dedication


Organising awards highlight reps’ innovation and dedication

The energy, enthusiasm and innovation of reps across the union were recognised in the recruitment and organising awards presented at conference.

The awards are for small, medium and large-sized branches, an individual member and a young member.

The branch winners were: Heathrow Airport Ltd; the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science and the archaeologists’ branch.

The young reps at BT Adastral Park scooped the young member award and Lloyd Collier from Diamond Light Source scooped the individual member award.

Prospect president Denise McGuire and BECTU sector joint president Jane Colclough were the judges.

They said: “These awards highlight lots of great work and ideas from reps across Prospect and we were very pleased to see involvement from branches across the union.

“This made it very difficult to pick winners. We would like to thank everyone who contributed in their own way to making our union bigger and stronger.”

The awards were sponsored by College Hill Press.

And the winners are…

Heathrow Airport Ltd (small branch)

The nature of the site makes access to members and potential members difficult. But that didn’t deter the reps who have:

  • grown the membership and it is still growing strong
  • recruited new reps
  • created a Young Professionals Network
  • allowed Prospect to look at attracting contractors who work across multiple airports.

The reps created bespoke branch literature; did face-to-face recruitment with targeted groups at a time (eg transport specialists) and wrote a short letter to every member, telling them who their new full-time officer was and encouraging them to recruit a colleague. Two bespoke membership packs were sent with each letter.

They also managed to get a rep into a key building which allowed them to start mapping the workplace more effectively.

Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (medium-sized branch)

Visibility, contact, communications, events – and asking people to join – are the key ingredients for success at CEFAS.

The reps are relentless in promoting Prospect and maintaining visibility in their workplaces at Lowestoft and Weymouth.

They are enthusiastic about the union and the benefits of membership and this enthusiasm creates a positive feeling about joining.

The section has a very good relationship with the employer and is instrumental in engaging in employer-led activities, such as well-being events.

All new staff are made aware of Prospect as the sole recognised union in the workplace and contacts about joining are followed up as a matter of course.

Members and non-members are kept up to date about the union’s activities and input through newsletters and minutes of meetings.

Archaeologists branch (large branch)

The archaeologists have achieved brilliant results in an area of precarious employment. This has included multi-targeted campaigning across all potential groups of members. They created their own campaign ‘Tool Box’ and linked up with Prospect campaigns that resonate in the branch (Brexit).

They have almost doubled in size since 2013 and are planning to almost double again in 2018-19.

Ben Saunders became a Prospect rep in 2017 and has been very active in promoting and organising the union in Wessex Archaeology.

He has also helped to raise the profile of the branch in archaeological communities by:

  • helping to produce the joint Diggers Forum and Prospect advice on the withdrawal of the Construction Related Occupation card
  • actively promoting the branch on social media and other archaeological forums
  • helping to negotiate company support for more health and safety reps
  • organising in-house training for new reps
  • producing literature to promote the branch
  • writing and producing promotional leaflets specifically for Wessex Archaeology.

Young member award – BT Adastral Park YPN committee

This has been a real team effort from the young reps who have overcome barriers and built from a very low membership density. Between them, they have spoken to more than 400 graduate entrants and are determined to convert them all into members!

BT Adastral Park is a very large site so the reps were effectively talking to strangers and introducing themselves cold. They also faced a wall of indifference from a large number of young people.

The YPN reps looked for opportunities to organise talks and events of interest to young people at Adastral Park.

They have shown particular tenacity in publicising their events via desk-topping flyers and floor-walking to talk to members and non-members.

At first they helped the older reps reach out to younger members by being involved in events. Existing reps helped them develop by giving them training and they are now self-organising and have taken on planning, organising and publicising events.

They joined the older reps to talk to more 400 graduate entrants to BT at induction events. These graduates were from all over BT, not just those based at Adastral Pak.

The young reps have also:

  • hosted a pay day drinks event at a local bar
  • organised a bowling evening
  • ran a performance management event which they wrote and role played themselves
  • organised a mortgage talk.

Membership among the under-35s has increased and they have drawn more people into doing things for the YPN.

Lloyd Collier, Diamond Light Source – individual member award

Harwell is a huge science, innovation and technology campus in Oxfordshire that hosts 6,000 people working for more than 200 world-leading research infrastructure and innovative organisations.

Lloyd is a tour de force when it comes to organising diverse events and activities. This has increased Prospect’s profile across the whole campus and led to excellent recruitment, with a net increase of 25% in the past two years.

He has built an excellent relationship with the campus management team and gained access to campus communications such as the website and email distribution channels.

Examples of activities that Lloyd has organised include:

  • Setting up and chairing a Harwell network – a group of local Prospect branches that meets four times a year to exchange knowledge and best practice.
  • Lunch time seminars – approximately every other month which focus on topical issues such as Brexit, elections and housing.
  • Setting up a YPN, recruiting at least two new YPN reps at Diamond and several more across the campus.
  • Setting up on-campus reps’ training – including reps from other local branches, such as AWE, NERC and Fusion.
  • Learning at Work week – which is very popular and has now become a joint collaboration between the employer and Prospect.
  • Harwell music and dance festival – using his contacts, Lloyd was able to obtain a stand at Harwell’s inaugural music and dance festival in 2017.
  • Medical Research Centre – through his work in promoting technician professional recognition, Lloyd has worked closely with MRC Harwell. Good relations with senior management has resulted in him being invited in to promote Prospect membership.
  • Lighthouse financial advice sessions.

Highly commended, branch award

Met Office – building on a pay campaign, using an equal pay claim and taking industrial action led to 200 new members joining between January and December 2017. Lots more members also volunteered to become reps.

Commended, individual members

Colin Skelton, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory – a fabulous achievement from Colin who recruited 40 new members by contacting all non-members via a mailshot! He has done his own research to position the union as attractively as possible and the branch grew by about 100 in 2017.

Del Northcott, Devonport Royal Dockyard – great work by Del in using networks and equality strands to make the branch relevant to all potential members. This resulted in a 10% growth in membership.

Commended, young members

Leanne Clancy, Department for Transport – Leanne has shown tenacity in overcoming barriers and pursuing all opportunities to contact potential members

Bekah Cioffi, Joint Nature Conservation Committee – Bekah has established a Young Professionals’ Network and run lots of events. This has increased membership and led to greater engagement with Prospect.