Friday, February 15, 2008

I'm back..and so's the blog

Arrived back Wednesday relaxed from 2 weeks in Ghana at the African Nations Cup. Not so relaxed now after dealing with all the emails, letters etc which arrived while I was away.

Wednesday was the TUC Executive, dealing with issues ranging from childcare to the forthcoming budget and from union-busting to international issues. I was able to push for a greater emphasis in the budget submission for monies to be allocated to enforcement of the national minimum wage and health and safety laws and regulations and in the international discussion to highlight the plight of journalists in Ethiopia and in particular the dismantling of their union by the government there.

On Thursday I had more negotiations over the NUJ Staff Pension Scheme and the planned changes to it with the NUJ, GMB and SIPTU chapels.

Today I've issued a statement about the long hours culture pervading journalism as part of the TUC's Work Your Proper Hours day campaign and had meetings about union communications, pensions, ADM and our work with the IFJ.

I also launched a new membership retention initiative today working with 6 of our large branches to make personal approaches to those whose membership, for a myriad of reasons, is about to lapse. Recruitment and retention are priorities for the union - and whilst we continue to recruit in large numbers it is important we pay attention to retaining members too. We will be running the pilot project with a few branches over the next few months and then evaluating the results and plan to roll it out to all the union's branches later this year.

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