6 October 2021

President’s column

Welcome to this new format of Defender.

Our union has continued to work hard for members throughout the pandemic. We have adapted to support those working from home as well as those who have had to attend workplaces because of the roles they do.

I am proud of the way that our union’s reps have worked effectively with departmental and local managers to adapt HR policies and working practices to support individuals.

Many members have become more active in their workplace during the pandemic, getting involved in issues that are important to them. We would welcome more volunteers to join them. No matter how much time and commitment you can give, we want to hear from you.

We must now think through how engaging with members and potential members will work in a smarter or hybrid working arrangement, where most staff are likely to spend more time away from their previous place of work.

We have trialled online meetings through Skype, Teams and Zoom. The department’s laptop rollout offers greater opportunity to explore this further. However, there will also remain advantages for face-to-face meetings.

Increased working from home will also mean that we will need to be able to contact members wherever they are located. Please help us to do so, by making sure that we have your up-to-date contact details recorded on our membership system.

We want to hear from all of you about how we can engage with you in this brave new world. Please contact us with any of your thoughts and ideas.