Bold leadership and austerity fight needed

Chas Berry on a demonstration

Chas Berry on a demonstration   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Socialist Party member Chas Berry, currently vice-chair of Napo, the union for Probation and Family Court workers, is a candidate in the union’s election for national chair. Ballot papers go out on 15 July and voting closes on 25 August. Chas outlines his election programme:

Our challenge is how to stay relevant to our established members while appealing to the broader, more diverse and generally younger group of staff likely to enter the workforce in future.

Decent pay, quick progression ‘up the scale’ and manageable workloads are what members tell me they want, and these are the priorities around which we can unite and re-build our union. This starts with defending national collective bargaining and increasing our membership density in existing workplaces.

We cannot stop there, however. In the rapidly changing criminal justice and family courts sectors we can extend our influence by attracting new members with a recruitment strategy that does not limit itself to our traditional base of support.

This will be tough but I think our union is uniquely placed to achieve it.

As national vice-chair for the past two years I have the knowledge and experience to lead the officers group and provide some continuity while

we make the changes necessary to adapt to the new environments. Many activists recognise me as a socialist and anti-austerity campaigner.

I will bring combativeness to the chair, recognising also the full range of views on the most effective ways of promoting our collective interests.

Confidence will be restored when members start to see improvements they can measure.

This requires bold leadership and a willingness to link our day to day struggles with the wider trade union movement in the fight against austerity. I believe I can provide that leadership.