Women: get involved in your union

5 March 2021

Jess Bryan is Chair of Prospect’s Archaeology branch and told us how she first got involved in the union. At the start of her career when working on a site where the physical welfare conditions weren’t great, a colleague who was an active Prospect member explained that speaking to the company with one collective voice would be more effective.

“I’d never really encountered unions before – my parents were not unionists at all so it was a new concept to me. But it all sounded great so I joined up.”

It wasn’t until around ten years later when she started at the Museum of London Archaeology where she was inspired to get more involved in the union by brilliant work done by the active branch reps there.

Her advice to anyone thinking about becoming a rep would be “go for it! We need all the voices out there, so that we can help resolve any workplace issues”. She says people shouldn’t be intimidated by the workload, becoming an active member doesn’t have to take up a lot of your time, as you could volunteer to do a range of roles that don’t require massive time commitments.

The different roles you could take on

There are a number of different roles you could take on in your branch. We spoke to Tasneem Akhtar who is a Health Physicist at Magnox Ltd – she was elected as her branch equality and diversity rep in 2020. She told us that one of her proudest achievements in her career so far was becoming chair of Magnox’s race equality network, and how she hopes to use her links with Prospect to bring the network to life.

Clare O’Neill is a Storm Surge Modelling Scientist and is Chair of our Met Office branch. She joined the union when there were pay issues at one of her previous employers, and was encouraged to become a rep by a colleague “because I was quite outspoken in meetings”.

Claire would women and specifically younger women to consider becoming reps, she believes it’s important we have a diverse range of reps. “At the Met Office we’ve done really well at getting a broader range of people as reps and I think that really helps us understand the issues that staff face”.


Get in touch and we can tell you more about what it involves and answer any questions you may have.
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