Getting involved in the committee

Ndala Mukanda · 25 July 2022

My name is Ndala Mukanda and I joined prospect when I first started working in BT as an engineer in 2016. I’m still a young worker and have been part of the young workers network since joining the union.

Ndala, second from the left, with other young workers at ITV Anglia

I began to get a little involved as a lay member in my branch first before then having the opportunity to apply to the prospect young workers committee. At first I didn’t really know what to expect, but the prospect of engaging and networking with other young activists from across a wide range of sectors was appealing. I also wanted to get more involved in the union, to understand the mechanisms of the union and how it functions.

With that in mind, I put forward my nomination to the prospect young workers committee of 2019. I was honest in my application and included as much detail as I could on what I wanted to get out of being part of the national young workers committee, as well as what I thought some of my strengths were. As long as you show a willingness to get involved and are enthusiastic in your answers the team will pick up on this and consider you strongly for selection. In my case I heard back after a month or so I recall, advising that I was successful in my application and was soon invited to meet the rest of the committee at our first prospect young workers committee meeting and the journey began there.

I served for 2 years on the committee where I was elected vice chair in my last term and had so many highlights; with introducing and piloting the young worker rep training, running a suite of online events, touring the house of lords chambers and meeting one of the house of lords, to the many networking events I had the privilege to attend.

Ndala, right, at a Prospect stand

Ndala, right, at a Prospect stand

My time on the Young Worker’s Committee allowed me to grow in my understanding of our union, I also got the opportunity to attend various NEC sub-committee groups as an observer, and meet some of our union senior officials. I have gone on to form and run BTs first Young Workers Network, growing that steadily year in year out. Throughout the work we did there we won a branch award for recruitment, and in 2020 I was also awarded the Ailsa Sparkes Young Member Award.

As a network we had some big wins with securing pay rises for our young graduates and increasing the base pay on entry, campaigning on the right to disconnect, changing our branch structure to have reserved seats for young workers and getting the young voice on our union agenda.

I have now gone on to serve on the executive committee within BT and constantly looking to encourage young workers to pick up their voices and continue to drive the union agenda and policy at work. I think I was strongly encourage by many of my colleagues on the committee who where also doing amazing work in their branches, it was great to learn from them, pick up ideas and trial them locally in my branch.

I would highly recommend applying, get involved – it is our future and we should have a strong voice on how that looks like.