Karen Staples

I decided to become a workplace contact for Unison as I’m aware of the importance to have friendly reassuring face in times of need.  Since starting work at the University in 1994, there have been occasions when I’ve needed help and guidance from the Union. On these occasions I was encouraged by the support given and was grateful for the help and advice received.  I hope to give this same level of help, guidance and compassion in my role as workplace contact.

I see the role as an important connection between members and branch.  It’s a first point of contact for members and any prospective new members, offering support and further provision of information and assistance as required. It also gives members a voice when they are afraid to speak out, as I can raise any questions and queries with branch on their behalf.  As well as offering advice and support, where appropriate, this role also involves distributing information amongst the members whilst encouraging participation in union meetings and events.

With this being relatively low key role, it allows me to still play a small part in the union and provides a wonderful opportunity to help and support members the way I have been supported and importantly give something back to the team who helped me.  With a busy workplace schedule and increasing caring responsibilities at home, I am able to juggle things around and still offer time to the union and would actively encourage anyone who is interested to be initially involved at this level.