Mike Clancy: Sharing my vision for Prospect’s next five years

Mike Clancy · 23 November 2021

Given my recent re-election I wanted to again express my thanks to members and representatives for their support and to share a few thoughts about the next five years, says Prospect General Secretary Mike Clancy.

It is clear to me from my experience as your General Secretary over the last 10 years, that Prospect depends not on the attributes of one individual, but rather the collective force of representatives, members and staff working together.

Our past achievements and our future success, depends on the bonds between us – you as representatives, the National Executive Committee (NEC), members and staff. We are a great union because we work together, and because we put winning for members first.

The next five years will be very challenging. The UK government is long on soundbites but short on content. We hear the Prime Minister’s aspiration to build a ‘high wage, high skill’ economy, but we must press for action that delivers positive change and that we do ‘build back better’. We must concentrate on supporting representatives and members – protecting jobs, bargaining with employers, and improving standards whether members are an employee or a freelancer.

My focus, which is always subject to your wishes as members, expressed through your representatives and our democratic processes, is as follows:

  • To support members to help our sectors recover and flourish. Members in heritage, aviation and the creative sector have borne the brunt of the pandemic. We will support their recovery as engines of economic growth, good employment, and unionised jobs.
  • Ensure equality, diversity and inclusion is integral to all we do. We have taken some important steps; we have reviewed our work across the equality agenda, but this journey continues.
  • Commit nationally and through members/branches to delivering ‘net zero’. We have audited our activities and we are vocal proponents of a just transition. We will champion a balanced energy policy, that includes new nuclear and contribute to a much-needed debate on the future of energy markets and their regulation.
  • Ensure that the public sector is not the lasting victim of the pandemic. We will resist notions of austerity, reminding government of the role that public services played and the invaluable contribution of our members on the frontline. That includes the conservation and promotion of public service broadcasting.
  • Build on our success for freelance members in the Bectu sector, such that we are a pre-eminent union for all employment categories, and we are heard when changes in legislation are contemplated.
  • Widen our reach in the tech sector by organising this broad group of specialists
  • Position Prospect as the ‘go to’ union as the world of work changes, on issues such as work/life balance, flexibility, and the right to disconnect.

To do this we must refocus resources into frontline support for branches and members and make changes to continually improve how we operate by:

  • Improving how we service, bargain, and support you – starting with our new digital strategy and website to make it easier for members to access information, get support, join a network and engage with the union. Our investment and new digital plans are ambitious. They are about giving members support and value for their subscriptions.
  • Investing in representatives – representatives are the bedrock of the union. We will invest in training, giving branches access to better ways to communicate, influence employers and reach members. We will put more resources into supporting branches and finding new volunteers to become representatives.
  • Reorganising how we work and our office estate to strengthen our branches– providing better training and meeting facilities, event space and upgraded technology for online and in person participation. With a real focus for freelance members and branches. We will also review our reach and facilities across the devolved nations.
  • Delivering better value –devising a strategy to moderate subscription increases and to produce consistent subscription structures. We need to decide how we fund this in a way that will allow us to maintain resources for members, whilst we adjust revenue from subscription income.
  • Remain proud and independent – we are an independent union beholden to no-one but members. We will ensure we make financially sound decisions, so we remain an independent union.

These are my thoughts but as we head to a national conference in 2022, we can use that opportunity to have a major conversation across the union about our future together.

It is a privilege to be your General Secretary and thank you for your support.