Branch secretary bids LFB a reluctant farewell
AT THE BEGINNING of this year, I took on the rôle of London Freelance Branch secretary, having a few weeks previously been elected to the branch committee as a member without portfolio. During my brief tenure as secretary, I have handled the administration of the largest branch in the NUJ, and recorded branch activities and decisions with detailed meeting minutes.
Out of personal interest in developing new ways of working within the union, I recently set up an email-based policy forum for LFB, which for the time being is restricted to committee members. In the longer term, we plan to open this forum up to the branch at large, if it so wishes. The aim of the policy forum is to provide LFB members with a space between NUJ-wide Delegate Meetings to draft and refine detailed policy proposals, which could then be put to full branch meetings.
I have very much enjoyed my time as branch secretary, but sadly it must come to a premature end. The reason for my departure is that I have accepted an offer of a job from the University of Cambridge as communications lead for the European Graphene Flagship (http://graphene-flagship.eu).
Given that from the start of September I will no longer be an exclusively freelance journalist, I cannot remain as an officer of an NUJ freelance branch, or, for that matter, of the union's Freelance Industrial Council, on which I sit as the Equality representative. Having been self-employed for the past 11 years, the prospect of returning to full-time employment in academia is daunting. Still, I am reasonably flexible, and will I'm sure cope with the transition from the real world.