If you’ve ever thought about what it would be like to be one of our reps – or even if you’ve never thought about it – the two films below are worth a few moments of your viewing time.
Every one of the reps in the films is an RCN member. Obviously, it’s a pre-requisite of their role.
But every one of those reps was, once upon a time, not a rep.
Every one of them decided – maybe tentatively, maybe with the confidence that practising as a nurse can instil – to see if they were cut out for it.
They discovered that they were. Not only that. They found that they have developed their knowledge, skills, influence and insight along the way.
Sense of satisfaction
And they have found a sense of satisfaction in serving fellow nurses as compassionately and as professionally as they do their patients.
For those in the NHS and working for employers with whom the RCN has a recognition agreement, with their experience has come an important assurance that they have a statutory right to paid time off from their day-to-day job to carry out union duties.
In that sense, being a rep is not an extra thing they somehow have to eke out time from somewhere to do. It’s something that’s part of their work.
Enlightened employers understand and appreciate the availability and achievements of our reps every bit as much as we at the RCN do. For employers, it can make staff relations business easier to do and more effective. In many cases, they welcome the idea of a higher profile locally for the RCN.
If you're thinking
So, if you’re thinking how do our reps find time to be a rep, the simple answer is: They do.
And if you’re thinking would you have time to be a rep, the answer is: Yes.
In 2018, we’ll be stepping up our search for new representatives in the West Midlands. Some of our plans are new and ambitious.
One of the things we’ll be doing is looking to identify teams of new reps in the same organisation, teams whose members start their rep journeys together and support one another – a kind of #RCNtagteam, which, as it happens, is the hashtag we’ll be using on our social media channels to promote the initiative.