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Introducing Prospect

To do your job well, we believe you need to understand what Prospect does, what we stand for, and what we are trying to achieve. That way we can all – individually and collectively – send out a strong, coherent, and recognisable message to our members, potential members, internal and external colleagues, and various other influencers such as the government and the media.

Who we are

Prospect is a non-profit, politically independent trade union run by members, for members. All membership subscriptions go back into supporting members at work and in their future career.

Our members work in areas as diverse as agriculture, defence, energy, environment, heritage, shipbuilding, film, theatre, telecoms, and transport.

They range from air traffic controllers to archaeologists, web developers to industrial chemists, directors to draughtsmen, vehicle examiners to vets. They include graduate trainees, apprentices, freelancers, and short-term contractors as well as permanent staff.

If you’re not sure what a trade union is, you can read more about Prospect and how we work on our website – prospect.org.uk. You can also read some of the ways we’ve helped members.

What we do

They help more than 142,000 members across the UK have more fulfilling careers. They provide expert, independent advice when members need it.

Prospect members can access one-to-one employment law, contract, and workplace advice at any time throughout their careers, including representation in court or at an employment tribunal if they have a good chance of success.

They support members’ careers by offering training, mentoring, networking, and the opportunity to have a voice in their industries. Prospect save members and staff money by providing financial discounts that can more than cover the cost of members’ annual subscription. These include university discounts, collective energy switching, a free 24-hour legal line, free financial advice, insurance deals, and many more.

How we do it

They put people at the heart of everything we do.

Most of their members are organised in workplace branches based around their employer, with large branches being broken down into sections. Most work-related issues are dealt with locally by the branch or section representative.

Prospect also have individual members in regional branches, grouped by the area they live in. Their retired members are also grouped into regional branches.

The BECTU sector is organised slightly differently with branches being grouped into six divisions: arts and entertainment, BBC, communications and digital, independent broadcasting, London production, and regional production. The divisions lead on industrial strategy for the branches they represent. Trade unions work in a different way to a company – They are a democratic organisation (and are categorised as an ‘organisation’ rather than ‘company’).

Individual members can raise issues with workplace representatives that can be taken through their branch conference, right up to the national conference level, and become union policy.

Workplace representatives are not employed by the union but are often given paid time off work to do their work as a trade union rep (known as facility time). At a national level, they have an executive committee (also known as the National Executive Committee or NEC).

The NEC conducts the business of the union in line with the policies set by our national conference. The powers of the NEC are laid out in Prospect’s rules. The NEC is elected by working members every two years from a list of candidates nominated by branches. Members of the NEC are members of Prospect and are not employed by the union – they get time off of work from their employer to undertake their union role and are often referred to, along with Prospect reps, as lay officials.

You can find out more about Prospect’s democratic structure including the NEC, presidential team, and NEC sub-committees on the induction area of Prospect’s intranet.

Where we do it

Their members are based in more than 400 workplaces across the UK. They are serviced by Prospect workplace representatives and 250 Prospect staff based in 17 offices.

Why we do it

They want to make people’s working lives better. “When a group of workers act and speak together, their employer has to listen. That’s how unions make things better at work.” Trades Union Congress.

Unions are groups of workers organised together to win a better deal at work. In Prospect, they have formed groups of members who get together to talk about what’s going on in their workplaces and industries.

Proscects members discuss and negotiate on issues like pay, pensions, equalities, safety at work, unfair treatment or the way work is organised and managed.

Hear more from our General Secretary

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