The Park Avenue Hotel, Belfast recently saw the launch of the 'Prospect Northern Ireland Reps Network'. Nineteen reps from employers as diverse as NATS, AES, NIE, BT, and the National Trust, met to launch a network for the benefit of Prospect's local members.
Three of Prospect's staff from the Regional offices, took part in the meeting. Clive Scoggins (Full Time Negotiations Officer - covers many of the branches in Northern Ireland). Mike Graham (Prospect Head of NORD. Organisation, Recruitment, and Development), who led a discussion on "Building Prospect". Carol Quinn (One of Prospect's NORD Organisers), shared some of her experiences from Prospect's Wales Network. The aim is that the network will meet three times a year, supplemented by other events such as conference calls on specialist subjects.
The network is intended to enable local reps and relevant union employees, to pool their knowledge, and resources so that they are in a better positon to represent members' specific needs. It should also give Prospect more capacity to tackle local political, and economic issues that affect members.
The event covered a wide range of subjects, relevant to the local reps. These included Prospect's recent submission to the Northern Ireland employment law consultation, Prospect's support for the successful National Trust led opposition to the Northern Ireland Planning Bill, and the Prospect Pledge. The Pledge will be launched locally at Stormont in a lunchtime event, Tuesday 18 March 2014.
Prospect's education programme was discussed. Those present welcomed the fact that a reps's training course had recently been run in Belfast. There is a clear demand for training to be held locally, and it is intended to run further courser in Northern Ireland in the first half of 2014.