We live in interesting times and often this seems to be a curse. I have just looked this up. The Chinese have a saying “Better to be a dog in a peaceful time, than to be a man in a chaotic period.” In my next life I would like to be a dog, please. Someone from POD once told me that they are so busy that at any one time they could be doing any of five things. I thought “try running a union.” Union work is never far from my thoughts. There is a lot of detail. We try to share as much of it as possible. We do not want to be accused of only representing ourselves and not representing the members and Professional Services in general. Hopefully, members have noticed an increase in us sharing. We share the draft JCNC minutes and the communications that come in from outside of the university that feed our thoughts. We get a lot of suggestions from members too.
Two years ago I went on training. The theme of the training was about how to be a organising secretary and not a servicing one. A servicing secretary or any servicing role is one where the role only reacts to events, a bit like a service desk. Organising the branch seems to focus on growing the branch and delegating or sharing the work. Servicing the branch, as it turns out, is more about the representation we do. We get better at representation all the time. We get new members primarily because members pass on their experience of how we have helped them or how we have helped them to understand a situation. We can do this because we have some idea of the bigger picture at DMU. We are the bottom up to management’s top down. I digress, some organisation is important because it helps with sharing and transparency. To this end we have finally got around to creating a website. Early feedback is good but we have not finished creating the structure or the look and feel of the site. We want it to work on as many devices as possible and for the content to be as accessible as possible. There is an open part to it that talks about what is happening in the union and our events. There is a closed part too. That is where we hope some of the conversation we have with you and you have with each other will happen. We have to keep in mind DMU’s Social Media and Code of Duty policies but we hope that it will be a breeding ground for good ideas that we can share with management. The site is My Union Life: http://myunion.life. We do hope that you like it.