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Unions 21 at work - Becky Wright


For the next six weeks we will be working hard to grow our individual supporter base through our #ForMeForMyUnion campaign. The key driver behind this activity is to showcase that joining Unions 21 as an individual isn’t just about personal reward. People who join us repeatedly tell us that their union and wider colleagues have also reaped the benefits.

A key part of the campaign is introducing some of our individual supporters and some of the key players within Unions 21. This interview with our Director,  Becky Wright is the second in a series of blog posts to showcase why they are involved with Unions 21, what drives them and what goes into their work on a day- to-day basis.

How would you describe a typical day with Unions 21?

Can’t say there is a typical day at Unions 21 which is one of the reasons why I love doing this job.  I firmly believe that unions offer employees/workers the best vehicle to improve work and then by extension our wider society.  I don’t come from a union family background, my family have either been self employed or in non unionised workplaces and this experience has completely shaped how I view the world of work and unions.  I know how hard it can be to talk to people about joining, I know how hard it can be to go into new areas and I know how hard it can be to shape strategy that works.  This is what drives me in my role at Unions 21.  I want to make things easier for unions to go into new areas and organiser new workers as well as keeping those we have and achieving the best possible result.  Unions 21 is about a space to talk through these issues and consider new ideas or approaches and as someone who thrives on ideas, I love being a part of such a dynamic organisation.    

How do you start your day?

By and large, I’ll start the day with checking emails and making a to do list to try and get some idea about what tasks are outstanding and where we’re at with our projects.  When we have so much on at any given time, that time is really important to keep things on track.  Nearly every day I’ll speak with our union and stakeholder supporters in some way about the work they’re doing, how we can add value and support them as well working on our research projects and events.  I really enjoy the events and masterclasses that we’re doing more.  Maybe it’s the tutor in me, but I think it’s really important to get people together to share experiences.  Typically, I’ll end the day starting the to-do list for tomorrow or catching up on any outstanding work.    

What’s at the top of your lists this week?

Right now, I’m editing a few pieces that we’ll be releasing soon on Devolution and unions so as well as the everyday work my priority is to liaise with contributors, our designer as well as writing my own section and getting that all ready for May.  I can be found in various places working on the document.  I like a bit of noise around me, so will sometimes be in a café or busy area.  The flexibility of this job gives me the space to get a lot of white noise!  

On top of that we’ve got a really great Digital Day coming up which I’m working on with our colleagues at the LSE, APT and Co-Worker

What’s the biggest challenge you face in your role?

The biggest challenge in this job is the amount of work we can do but can’t because of capacity.  We are constantly thinking of ideas to work on but have to dial it back because it’s me, our trustees and steering group.  But it’s great to have the feedback from union supporters or individual supporters and their input is invaluable to make sure we’re on the right track.  To me, there is no point in putting out research that can’t be used.