Earlier this summer, Prospect ran its biennial all members survey – the first time this exercise has been carried out since the merger with BECTU.
The survey is a chance for members to let us know how we are doing and where we can improve; what their priorities are and how we can help.
More than 6,000 members took part. We will produce more a extensive analysis of the results in the forthcoming issue of Profile magazine in October.
For now, some of the key findings are as follows:
How is the union doing?
There has been an increase in the proportion of respondents contacting the union for support or advice in the past two years, rising from 34% in 2016 to 36% in 2018.
Respondents were asked to rate the speed of response and the quality of the assistance they had received from the union. In both cases members said the assistance is very good or good, with a slightly higher rating when compared with the 2016 survey.
Direct communication from the union continues to be important; 87% of respondents receive information from the union nationally, 85% have read the union’s journal, either Profile or BECTU’s Stage, Screen and Radio.
Overall 74% of respondents describe the information they receive from the union as useful.
Respondents were asked to rate which three issues they felt were the most important for them in the past 12 months.
The top three issues remain unchanged from the last members’ survey in 2016, these are;
- The level of pay
- No pay progression
- Organisational change or restructuring
Inevitably sector priorities vary depending on the issue; for civil servants pay and progression pay are the greatest concerns; whereas for members working in BT the top priorities are changes to the pension scheme and organisational change. More information on sector priorities will be provided to the relevant sector committees.
The survey also asked respondents how secure they are in their jobs. Only 6% of respondents feel secure in their job compared with 45% who feel less secure. The threat of job losses is clearly affecting workforce morale respondents in the digital, defence and energy sectors, which all report a significant decline in morale in the last year.
Members’ comments clearly signalled that Brexit will be the most important issue in the year ahead.
Respondents used the survey to strongly signal their dissatisfaction with the government’s preparations for Brexit. Just 7% are satisfied with the government’s approach to Brexit negotiations and only 10% are confident that a good Brexit deal can be negotiated. A clear majority of members in every sector expressed this view. In the civil service and BECTU sectors over 80% of members are dissatisfied with the government’s approach, higher than any other sector.
Supporting the union
Members showed their interest at getting more involved in union activities. Over 800 respondents volunteered to offer assistance to the union.
Nearly 300 are willing to help with recruitment or becoming more involved in their union branch and over 200 are willing to be trained to help other members at work. In addition to these offers of support a further 120 respondents said they would be willing to provide stories about their work to support union campaigning.
We will be following up these positive leads in the weeks ahead and providing further reports from the survey to the union’s leadership committees.