REDESIGN – NEW SUPPORT PACKAGE FOR CWU REPRESENTATIVES
Branches will be aware that one of the key objectives of Redesign, as agreed by General Conference, is to develop and introduce a new support package for all CWU representatives.
The purpose of this LTB is to explain more about why we think this initiative is important to our future, set out the scope of what it is we are looking to include in a new support package and highlight the process the NEC has agreed to help bring this policy to fruition.
For many years the CWU has prided itself on being the strongest UK work based union, with a unique connection to members, underpinned by a culture of strong representation in the workplace.
However, what has become increasingly clear is that to maintain and enhance our model of trade unionism, we must respond to the growing pressures that representatives now face. We see this from the pace of change, the scale and complexity of today’s individual and collective representational issues and also the increasing levels of stress, wellbeing and mental health issues that are now prevalent throughout society.
It is against this background that we believe it’s important for our future that the union finds a way to offer improved and more consistent support to all existing and new representatives of the CWU. In effect, the concept of a new support package can best be summarised by saying that if you are or become a CWU representative, this is the level of support you will receive and this is what we expect in return, effectively creating a contract between the union, our Branches and all our representatives.
The package should be seen as a vehicle to raise both the standard of how our Branches consistently support their representatives and the overall standard of representation within the union. The thinking behind this initiative is very much connected to the 14 Measures of Success and should also be viewed as supporting CWU succession planning and as a pathway to building a greater and wider understanding on the values of our movement.
The Scope of the Package
The scope of the package we are looking at is really a combination of pulling together the best of our existing support mechanisms e.g. training, mentoring etc., alongside new initiatives like access to confidential and professional wellbeing services. In this regard, the package can be as broad and innovative as we want, within the parameters of an affordable investment. We will also look to tap into the expertise and ideas that exist in Branches and we want to place on record our thanks to Darren Glebocki and the Nottingham District Amal Branch, who we know have already undertaken some excellent work in developing this approach.
Whilst the detailed package will evolve through the Working Group that has been agreed by the NEC, the broad areas we are exploring are as follows:-
- Creating a one stop reference document for all Branches, outlining the level of support we will consistently provide to representatives and the values of CWU and the wider trade union movement.
- Providing a platform for Branches to jointly own the project and the package, enabling them to promote this locally to their representatives.
- Providing a level of access (if required) for all CWU representatives to confidential and professional wellbeing services.
- Looking at the potential for the union and its Branches to provide a consistent standard of equipment to our representatives.
National Joint Working Group
The NEC has agreed to set up a National Joint Working Group to develop this project and we are looking for 4 Branch Secretaries (2 Postal, 2 T&FS) to join this group. If your Branch is interested in becoming a member of this National Group, please write to the GS Office, (email@example.com) quoting the above LTB as a reference, by Monday 29th April. We would also like you to submit a short note explaining your reasons for wanting to join the group.
The group will also scope the level of investment required to put in place this type of package and look at ways of working in partnership with Branches to contribute to this. Furthermore, the group will establish pilot activity to enable the package to evolve in the light of working experience.
Developing and introducing a new support package for CWU representatives, particularly those on the frontline, is an ambitious project which needs to be seen in the wider context of the challenges our representatives face in today’s world of work and the overall objectives of Redesign. It really does go to the heart of the difficult choices we face on what our priorities should be in the future, including the tradeoffs in other parts of Redesign that will be required to ultimately make this type of investment affordable and worthwhile.
Any enquiries on the above LTB should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org