The trio – each from a different part of Prospect’s diverse membership – will take up office from the end of the union’s biennial national conference in Bournemouth this week. They are: President Alan Grey (from defence); Vice-President Denise McGuire (from IT and telecoms); and Deputy Vice-President Craig Marshall (from the energy sector).
Alan Grey, President, began his career at the Ministry of Defence, working at Scotland’s Rosyth Dockyard and then Coulport, where he became an active union representative. He is now based at MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support procurement organisation at Abbey Wood, Bristol, and also chairs the union’s Defence Maritime and Logistics Group.
Alan, who was also Prospect’s President from 2004-06, said: “I feel privileged and honoured to have been elected for a second time. However, I take up the position at a very difficult time for professional workers, as working men and women are clearly bearing the brunt of the austerity measures affecting not just those in the UK but internationally.
“I see Prospect and the wider trade union movement as leading the fight against this government’s policies of equality of misery, as it drives down pension entitlements and attacks workers’ employment protection, pay and conditions in a determined race to the bottom.”
Denise McGuire, Vice-President, is a chartered marketer at BT, working at BT Tower in London. She was formerly President of IT and telecoms union Connect, which merged with Prospect in 2010. Denise is also a member of BT’s European Works Council and world women’s president of UNI Global Union, representing skills and service sector workers around the world.
“I want Prospect to be a growing and campaigning union, working hard for hard-working members and their families,” she said. “I am delighted to be elected and feel that it is a sign of the success of the recent merger.”
In the next two years the need for much faster broadband will be a key issue, she believes, both for members working in IT and telecoms, and for everyone living and working in the UK.
She added: “Investing in skills, jobs and the telecoms infrastructure is as important to the UK as roads, rail and energy. But of £200bn committed to these sectors by the government, only £1.3bn has been allocated to broadband. Not only are we falling way behind what people need, this is also affecting the UK’s ability to compete effectively in the international arena.”
Craig Marshall works for EDF Energy in Scotland. He is trade union secretary of the EDF Energy company council and the nuclear generation business unit’s national joint council, looking after members across all the UK’s former British Energy sites.
Craig said he was honoured to be re-elected DVP, after holding the post from 2010-12. “I pledge to work with colleagues to deliver the services members need in what will be very challenging times ahead.”
He pointed out that the government’s premise that the private sector would provide the economic stimulus to relieve massive job cuts in the public sector had been shown to be flawed.
“Within the energy sector, investment in infrastructure projects is being reviewed and down-sized; renewable projects are being postponed; and some companies are withdrawing from new nuclear build, already leading to significant job losses and lack of opportunities.
“The lack of a coherent energy policy poses a very real threat of major disturbances to energy supply, and Prospect must continue to be a leading voice within the industry representing the needs of members and the public interest.”
Following a series of mergers in recent years – including with Connect in 2010 and Aspect in January 2012 – Prospect now represents over 120,000 members in the public and private sectors, up from 74,000 in 2000. Prospect professionals work as engineers, scientists, managers and specialists in areas as diverse as agriculture, defence, energy, environment, heritage, industry, IT and telecoms, education and transport. It is the largest union in the UK representing professional engineers. It has 34,000 members working for Government departments, agencies and non-departmental public bodies.