Introducing the new President
When I wrote my last profile, I had just joined Committee as an Officer, now I am the next President. I am alternately excited and petrified at what lies ahead for the next two years.
I am lucky that I have the support of my husband Mark who has now retired after 38 years in HMRC and both of its predecessor departments. As with many who retire we often forget to thank them. So I am thanking him now for all the work he did for ARC, USRO, AIT (what’s in a name?) over the years and, in particular, for his casework.
So why did I agree to stand as President and what do I want to achieve? Well firstly I need to acknowledge the work that the previous Committee and Tony Wallace have done to bring us back into the fold. When Tony took over in 2014 we were in dispute with our employer and as a union we had become disjointed. Tony and Committee have worked hard and while we are far from perfect we have improved. So my first task is to continue to build on that work.
That is why I agreed to stand; I think we have a real basis to move forward and modernise our union. We have the building blocks in place to consult and we are starting to see real efforts by some to engage with us in real time. We have a new dynamic at the top of both ARC and HMRC; Paula and I are the first all female team to lead ARC, working with two new people at the top of HMRC (well one new and one we already knew) and with a new Head of Employee Relations.
Secondly I want to hold HMRC to account as it moves us towards Regional Centres. I want to make sure it follows its own guidance throughout the one-to-one processes and throughout the transitional period when some regions have extra buildings being provided to help accommodate the business expansion plans. I want each and every one of you to be involved in this. We need you on the ground, attending the Regional Implementation Groups, feeding back the issues to your regional Committee Liaison Officers, so we can get an overall picture across the country. We can then go to meetings armed with the current issues as reported back by our membership – it makes us more powerful. We are seeing this with the results of the survey Paula put together – with almost 1,000 members responding it gives us a good representative sample of how the plans will affect us.
So there are the two big ticket items, modernisation, including consideration of how we can move our Centre structure towards a Regional structure – and consultation on BoF and Regional Centres.
But what else?
Those who know me well will know that I have been a Centre Manager for graduate recruitment for the last eight years and that trainees and training courses are a subject I remain involved with. I want ARC to help the department as it seeks to change these courses so that we ensure the future of our training and keep our ability to fight, successfully, those who attack our legislation.
Then there’s pay, terms and conditions, pensions, the grievance process, workloads, TOIL and PMR; all of which we continue to discuss. There will be many more as we move through the next two years. I’m prepared to work hard to try and make a difference on as many of these issues as I can.
Who’s with me?