New to the NEC: George Ryall

New to the NEC: George Ryall

George Ryall, one eight new members of the National Executive Committee, introduces himself to the wider membership

George Ryall

Tell us about your day job 

I work at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory for the Science and Technology Facilities Council (part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body that was formed in May this year).

When I am not representing members in the workplace I develop a web service that supports the worldwide particle physics computing community. I also help coordinate a small computing apprentice scheme at the Lab.

How long have you been in Prospect and why was it important for you to join a trade union?

I have been a member since I joined the graduate scheme at my current employer. I looked around and realised only one of the recognised trade unions was active, and joined them.

It was important to me that I joined as I recognised it was the local trade union side who were negotiating my terms and conditions.

What’s your proudest moment so far as a Prospect member or rep?

Most of my proudest moments involve personal cases, so it is hard to go into details. There was one member that went from possibly losing their job to being secure in it thanks to my action and support.

When my new employer was formed this year it agreed to a new recognition agreement, the text of which I had drafted and for which I had lead the negotiations. Seeing it finally signed and published felt like an achievement.

How has Prospect been of benefit to you in your career and professional development?

Through my trade union work I have been exposed to a variety of people across all levels of my organisation that I wouldn’t have otherwise met and I have gained knowledge of people management processes along the way. When I went through a promotion board last year, this knowledge and experience was invaluable.

Why did you decide to stand for the NEC?

I have sat on number of sub-committees nationally and on my sector executive. From this experience I decided I could still contribute further to Prospect.

What are of some of the workplace issues that you hope to make a difference on as part of the NEC?

The potential impact of Brexit is very large. I hope to support any activities Prospect can develop in this area to lessen the impact.

As a member of the NEC, how will you approach some of the difficult decisions that might pit the interests of close colleagues in your own sector against the greater good of the whole union?

Impartially. The role of the NEC is to act on behalf of the whole membership. Self-interest needs to be left at the door.

What’s your message to a colleague who is perhaps reluctant to join a union?

I am lucky in that I work in a workplace that has trade union recognition, which makes my message simpler.

We are negotiating your pay and conditions on your behalf, the more members we have the louder the voice we have doing this, so support our work.

It is not hard to find specific examples of where we have had an impact locally and showing that we more than outweigh the cost of the membership.

What are the best and worst things about attending Prospect National Conference?

The best thing is meeting other representatives and learning about the hugely diverse range of workplaces they come from.

The thing I least enjoy is when we end up in long debates over motions that the floor is clearly going to support by a wide margin (take note chairs!), when we could spend that time reducing the number of motions remitted for lack of time.

Tell us something about yourself that maybe even some of your colleagues wouldn’t know...

Outside of work I am an explorer scout leader and tuba player.