We’re delighted to announce that following a grueling interview process the IWGB has filled this new full-time position. Nancy has been volunteering for the last year with the union, most recently as our Senior Caseworker, and writes below about what she’s got planned in her new role.
This is a very exciting time for the IWGB, as it continues to expand both in terms of membership and with new campaigns at the Royal College of Music and against CitySprint. Thus joining the IWGB in the role of the Legal Department Co-ordinator is both an honour and a privilege and not least a challenge.
My vision for the Legal Department is to provide legal advice and representation of the highest quality to our members, and for the IWGB to further improve its reputation as a union that can support workers professionally and compassionately with any workplace issues.
Part of our ethos as a trade union is our desire to continue to empower our members by arming them with knowledge of their employment rights within the workplace. This approach, implemented via employment law workshops, has enabled members to spot when their rights are being infringed, and directly challenge the breaches by their employers, which in turn is redressing the imbalance of power that so often operates within the workplace. It is my intention that we continue in this successful vein.
Our immediate and short term strategy will involve re-evaluating and implementing systems to improve the way we deal with cases on a day-to-day basis. Every member who comes to us with a case will be assigned an individual caseworker and will receive a personalised service, with the option of scheduling appointments around their work commitments. We will not only be looking at how to improve the administration of cases, but also at the time scales within which they are successfully resolved.
Our long term strategy is without doubt to see the growth and expansion of the Legal Department. At present, the Department is a centralised unit that serves the members of our four existing branches (the University of London Branch, the Cleaners & Facilities Branch, the Security Guards Branch and the Couriers & Logistics Branch). As the need exists for more branches to be opened, this in turn will dictate the expansion of the Legal Department. All our branches are currently located in London. However, this will change as part of our long term strategy and the goal is to open branches of the IWGB nationwide. As part of this evolution, our intention is to provide equally accessible legal advice and representation to our members in and around the country, which in turn will mean opening up localised Legal Departments.
So in conclusion – there’s a lot to do, but I can’t wait to get on with it, and to carry on playing my part in providing a new kind of casework support for a new kind of union!