My hopes for a year as Chair

BenFor those who don’t know me, I’m Ben Abrams of Leeds No1 branch. I work for Parcelforce customer services within the Royal Mail group. At a CWU Youth committee meeting last weekend, I was honoured to be elected as chair of the committee for the 2014/2015 term of office.

My main aims this year are to ensure the committee engages with young members, better, more often and are more accountable. To continue the work of the previous chair and to continue to promote the great work this committee has done in the past.

I want to focus on three key areas.

A focus on Industrial Issues

In addition to the work we do in the political area, proportionality and equality exercises, I want to see this committee open dialogue with young members about industrial issues that affect them – to allow members who don’t think are being listened to make their voices heard. Although I recognise the Youth Committee is not a committee which is tasked to represent IR concerns, we can build up a picture of concerns that can be fed back.

This committee had the honour of being invited to a special meeting with the Postal Executive and equality committee’s to open a dialogue between the industrial and equality strands of this union. You can read more about that meeting here.

Additionally, your National Youth Committee has the unique position that committee members can attend post the Postal and Telecoms &Financial services Executive Council meetings on an ex-officio basis. I think it is imperative we utilise that link to feed in problem areas to the committee – who can take appropriate action.

Moving forward, it is my hope that this committee will be regularly contacting young members about industrial issues facing them and report back on what the industrial executives are doing to assist.

Youth Committee on tour!

I think it’s important that the National Committee are completely open and accountable. National Youth Committee Meetings are open to all members to attend as an observer (with full speaking rights), therefore I want to see this committee advertise meeting dates with regional committee’s or even aim to have joint regional and national committee meetings, to improve the links between both Committees and see the work we’re both doing.

Improve our communications strategy – be daring

One thing in this union is clear – we don’t contact members as effectively as we could. The youth committee is clear;we want to reach out to young members through more “unconventional”methods. We also need to be visible and approachable as a committee.

This will involve developing a strategy with the Communications Department that is compatible with the desires of young members. We had a great response our #YouthDaySelfie campaign and Thunderclap’- which is clear the advantages of using social media much more, but also think we need to be open to the benefits to alternative communication methods – such as a smartphone app, perhaps. We also want to look at ways we can improve the website and get more young members active on the page.

The three points above are by no means an exhaustive list, but represent some of the areas I’d like to see the committee tackle in the next year.

I’m looking forward to seeing youall in Edinburgh for the National Youth Education event and hope it will be the best yet.