Union reps from the Society of Radiographers gathered in London for the inaugural Rep Summit on Friday, 9 November.
Taking place at Friends House venue, the first SoR Rep Summit was an opportunity for the society’s representatives to gather for a series of lectures and sessions, offering important updates and essential information on the union work of the society.
Sessions on the agenda ranged from a talk on organising and recruitment strategy for the union side of the society, hosted by SoR head of industrial relations Leandre Archer, and a lecture on international recruitment from Dean Rogers, executive director of industrial strategy and member relations.
Other sessions included an update on working laws from employment solicitor Jane Moorman from Valemus Law, and a health and safety session focussed on asbestos at eork with Steve white.
Opening the event with a lecture on ways for the union to best organise, Ms Archer highlighted the declining trade union membership in the UK, in contrast to membership of the Society of Radiographers which continues to grow.
This, said Ms Archer, presented an opportunity for the society to “be active, to fan the flames of activism, and reignite energy within departments.”
She added: “Organising means building a union, campaigning, and reflecting the diversity [of the workforce].”
Ms Archer added that the benefits provided through the union work of the SoR was key to recruiting new members.
The society offers 18 key benefits to its members, ranging from Professional Indemnity Insurance to professional support.
Dean Rogers then delved into international recruitment, and the importance of protecting the rights of radiographers joining the workforce from outside of the UK to fill vacant roles.
Mr Rogers highlighted that the latest figures show a threefold increase in the number of registered radiographers entering the workforce from overseas in the last 12 months.
He added: “Radiography is a 21st century profession, no other profession in health or anywhere else has changed as quickly as radiography, and we are competing in a global market for radiographers.
“We will always be relying on a huge number of international recruits. Demand for radiography isn’t going to stop.”
Mr Rogers also highlighted concerns around some unscrupulous employers recruiting international radiographers by enticing them with promises and benefits that are never actually delivered.
Other sessions throughout the day included an update on working laws by Jane Moorman, focused on holiday entitlement, discrimination claims, and the role of union representatives in relation to working laws. Rhys Martin, SoR’s health and safety officer, also provided an update on the work being done by the society, particularly around lone working, and ensuring the safety of staff when travelling to and from work.
The Rep Summit, held this year as a pilot event, gave SoR reps the opportunity to ask questions of the society’s directors, and also offer them updates and essential information to help them support.
Find out more aboutSoR's union activities here.