RCM learning rep scoops TUC award

on 27 September 2023 Midwifery Midwives Midwifery Workforce Maternity Services NHS Government England MSWs - Maternity Support Workers NHS Staff On Employment Caring For You campaign Midwife Shortage NHS England Staffing Levels Stress TUC Workplace representatives

A midwife and RCM learning representative has won a TUC award for her work supporting members at the TUC Congress Awards ceremony on 10 September. Afshan Ali received the TUC Union Learning Rep Award for making sure that all the learning needs of all those in the South Tees Trust Branch are taken into consideration.

Afshan also worked hard to recruit new members throughout the pandemic where pressures from COVID led to all other branch committee members standing down. Single handedly she raised spirits, prioritised the learning needs of staff and promoted the important Deliver a Decent Deal pay campaign.

Membership is Afshan’s branch ranges from maternity support workers, midwives and senior managers.

On what being a learning rep means, Afshan said: “It’s never too late to learn a new skill or move onwards in your career. For me, anything that can improve people’s lives at work or even outside of work I think is really important. I think the job that we work in, we’re always learning and I think opportunities should be available to everybody.

“The responses of organising study days and promoting learning have been really positive and sometimes I’ve been quite taken aback about the impact that I’ve been able to make on people by encouraging them to access a course.

“I feel such a sense of achievement when I know somebody has gone on to either develop themselves further in their career or achieved something. It means that the work that I’m doing is making a difference.”

RCM Executive Director Trade Union Suzanne Tyler said: “We are so proud of Afshan. As the first ever RCM learning rep to be presented with a prestigious TUC award, she has gone above and beyond for members. When the branch was facing a critical moment in the pandemic, Afshan was the last woman standing in her committee and she was tenacious in her commitment to support others through an unpredictable time.

“She has been that remarkable person who is in everyone’s corner, willing them on for success. Her passion for learning and development is an inspiration to so many in her branch but also among the wider community of RCM activists. Afshan is a shining example of how good representation and activism in the workplace can directly impact the workforce morale. She is the shining example that one person can indeed make a huge difference.”

If you or anyone you know is interested in becoming an RCM activist, find out more here.