Today was a NEWI event at the University of Greenwich. For those who don’t know, this is a regularly held event for new employees and NEWI stands for ‘New Employee Welcome and Introduction’. It is an orienteering programme that introduces the larger context of the university to its new employees.
For the unions it is a great opportunity to meet the new employees and tell them about our work and encourage them to join. We set up stalls and talk to people during the lunch break. I have attended three of these events now and each one has shown itself to be worthwhile. Some people join straight away, others will take forms and think about it. At the very least people see a friendly face and know we are there.
If you are a member you can probably imagine that people will often either tend to join when they are approached or when they think they might need help, sometimes even quite committed unionists will delay joining if they don’t see an active presence, it gets pushed to one side because they are so busy, they intend to join, but somehow… So it really is good to be able to meet people when they are still new to the organisation and even if they are not convinced that they need to join a union, a seed might be planted.
And the more members we have, the stronger we are when we need to influence our employers. This is important, we need members as much as members need us. So, if you are looking at this and thinking of joining, please do, then we are there if you need help, and if you are a member, maybe think of becoming more active, we can never have too many activists. And lastly, if you are one of those new employees, it was nice meeting you, I hope I have convinced you to join.