News round-up from Prospect September 2016

News round-up from Prospect September 2016

A snapshot of what’s happening in and around Prospect in September 2016.

Prospect and BECTU hail union merger vote

BECTU, the media and entertainment union, is to merge with Prospect from January next year after its members voted decisively in favour of joining forces with us. The two month-long ballot saw 83% of BECTU members who took part vote “yes” to the merger plan, which will see our numbers grow to more than 140,000. Find out more about BECTU on its website.


Hinkley go-ahead will help keep the lights on

Following the belated decision to give Hinkley Point C the final go-ahead, politicians should start being honest with the public about what needs to be done to keep our lights on, say Prospect.


Principal fire officers to join Prospect

Members of the Association of Principal Fire Officers have voted overwhelmingly to join Prospect. The ballot saw 89% of those who took part vote in favour of the proposal. APFO represents brigade managers, area managers and equivalent.



Video shows Prospect women inspire schoolgirls

A female firefighter, forensic scientist, archaeologist and two Babcock engineers – all Prospect members – visited a north London primary school to talk to nine- to 11-year old girls about their career aspirations. See what happened in an inspiring video that records the girls’ opinions before and after hearing from their guests. There’s also a picture gallery at the same link.


Unanimous support for sexual harassment motion at TUC Congress

Moved by Prospect deputy general secretary Sue Ferns, the emergency motion seeking to stamp out sexual harassment at work was unanimously passed by delegates on the first day of the TUC Congress in Brighton.



TUC fringe focuses on smarter working

Prospect’s fringe event at the TUC conference on Tuesday focused on new research that suggests we’re all working harder while failing to see the obvious benefits of doing so. The Smith Institute report, Working Harder Not Smarter: the employee contribution to meeting the productivity challenge reports the views of 7,500 union members who responded to a survey.


Performance management bias continues

Performance management figures published by the Ministry of Defence confirm that a completely new system is needed, says Prospect. For a third year, the statistics show discriminatory outcomes, with disabled and black and minority ethnic staff less likely to be marked Box 1 (the top performance category) and more likely to be marked Box 3 (the lowest category).



Panorama sensationalises Sellafield clean-up challenge

The recent BBC Panorama programme on Sellafield presented the public with a partial and sensationalised view of safety at the nuclear reprocessing and clean-up site in Cumbria, says Prospect. The programme did highlight some of the challenges of historic underinvestment and the problem it creates for future generations. But staff are committed to the highest safety standards, the union emphasises.


National Trust for Scotland shake-up fears

The proposed restructuring of the National Trust for Scotland could damage the conservation body, according to a survey of NTS members by Prospect. Some 140 staff remain at risk of compulsory redundancy as the union and management continue discussions.    


New grammar schools are a backward step

Education and children’s services professionals in Prospect say opening more grammar schools risks increasing rather than reducing existing inequalities among school children. A widely reported story in the Sunday Telegraph earlier this month first flagged up the plans by prime minister Theresa May to re-introduce selective education.


Gender pay gap exacerbates skills shortages

Efforts to close the gender pay gap must be redoubled in the interests of both fairness and the economy, says Prospect in response to research from the Institute for Fiscal Studies. It showed that women’s pay still lags behind men’s by 18% on average, with the gap widening when they have children.



Your questions on Ofcom review answered

Members in BT have many concerns about the regulator Ofcom’s recent digital communications review, which proposed the maximum possible degree of so-called “functional” separation of Openreach from the rest of BT. A new Prospect briefing seeks to answer some of their questions.



#talkProspect – 3-7 October 2016

Hundreds of events are planned across the UK for Prospect’s Union Week from 3-7 October. Most have been publicised in your local workplace, but if you don’t know what’s happening in your area, please call or email your regional office. More information and materials are in the Union Week area of our website.

Why are you a member? – video competition

Members are encouraged to enter a 30-second video clip into our competition on the theme “Why I’m in Prospect” . The prize is a camcorder worth £250. We have extended the deadline to Friday 14th October. Please upload your videos to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #talkProspect. Email [email protected] with a link to your video so we can share it, too.



Pension Protection Fund

Prospect pensions officer Neil Walsh blogged in August about the government’s unfulfilled promise to increase the cap on compensation for some individuals in defined benefit pension schemes that have been transferred into the Pensions Protection Fund as a result of insolvency of the sponsoring employer.

Progress on the PPF

Within a week, Neil blogged about a promising development. Thanks to questions raised in parliament by Ed Vaizey MP, the Pensions Minister said he was committed to the long-service cap and will be making a statement soon. Many Prospect members living in Vaizey’s constituency were in the AEA Technology Pension Scheme, now transferred to the PPF.

Brexit and defence

Prospect negotiator John Stevenson blogs about potential opportunities for re-invigorating the defence industry arising from the vote to leave the EU.


The impact of Brexit on pensions

The true impact of leaving the European Union will not be known for some years to come.  However, members can download a briefing by Prospect’s pensions team that explores the early implications for pensions of the Brexit vote.

Prospect in QinetiQ

Prospect has concluded a new framework for cooperation and engagement with the multinational defence technology company QinetiQ. The union has also launched a new website for people working at the company’s 37 UK sites to highlight the benefits of joining us. 

Video: ten reasons to join Prospect

Whatever the climate… we will stand up for your rights at work

Prospect's latest Brexit recruitment leaflet.



Young professionals’ forum

Members aged 30 and under are invited to this year’s young professionals’ forum at the People’s History Museum, Manchester, on 12-13 November. Due to overwhelming interest the Forum is now full but we are holding a reserve list for anyone who has not yet registered – email [email protected] for information.

World mental health day

The theme for world mental health day on 10 October is “Dignity in mental health – psychological and mental health first aid for all”. It is an opportunity to encourage your employer to support the anti-stigma campaigns Time to Change (England and Wales), See Me (Scotland) or Action Mental Health  (Northern Ireland). Prospect has its own stress pages and neurodiversity guidance.

Wear red to Show Racism the Red Card

Show Racism the Red Card, the campaign that uses top footballers to educate against racism, is holding Wear Red Day on Friday 21 October. People in workplaces, schools and elsewhere are urged to wear red and donate £1 and encouraged to organise an event.


What’s new with Prospect Extra?

You can register now for the Autumn Prospect Extra Energy Switch. In our Summer Energy Switch we saved members an average of £381.30 by using the power of collective switching to negotiate low energy tariffs. Simply register your interest before 18th October.

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