2012 has been a pioneering, yet difficult year for Aegis and its members.
We have communicated with you more than ever, via our website. We’ve had more members meetings than ever, giving you an opportunity to let us know just how you feel about pay and pensions, then we’ve expressed your views to the business.
We’ve had several ballots and polls, again, moving forward on the position taken by the majority. We’ve also been to ACAS twice this year, under your instruction, to find a solution to the pay and pensions disputes.
One huge positive that has emerged from all of this is that we are more engaged, stronger and together as a union. We can only grow from this. It’s so important that all our members understand the impact of having your individual voice heard and the effect that this will have on the collective position. We have had many ballots this year and we appreciate this is new to us and for some, it takes a bit of getting used to. We hope that more members will now see how crucial taking part is, how it shapes us collectively and ultimately influences any result. Moving forward, we trust that more members will participate in any future ballots.
We were pleased to announce on 5 September that we had taken further steps in our journey as an independent trade union. We have implemented fundamental changes to the way we operate which means the three full time officers are employees of Aegis allowing Aegis to expand outwith AEGON and we have agreed to three further new separate recognition and funding agreements in addition to the one with AEGON UK. The new agreements are with Kames, AEGON Global Technology and Origen.
Although we are very excited about these changes, the opportunities they bring, and the positive position they cement for the future of Aegis, we remain focused on promoting and protecting your interests and there will be no detrimental change to the service we provide.
The European Works Council recently met members of the AEGON NV board in the Hague. We were encouraged to learn the new strategy which emphasises how you must have employee engagement and you must invest in your people.
Our Union Learn Fund offering is now picking up pace, having presented to all regional sales centres and Origen recently. We now have a Union Learn event planned for Wednesday 28 November in Head Office, which will be supported by local education providers. This is an ideal opportunity for you to find out how Union Learn can help you be proactive in your self development. Alternatively, call our Union Learn Project Manager, Duncan McLaren on ext 4849.
We are delighted that many of you have taken up our offer and benefitted from a free financial review through Personal Touch. This offer is still available and you can access it through visiting the Aegis website.
I would like to finish by thanking all of you for your continued support and especially the Aegis full time officers and reps for their tremendous courage and efforts throughout some very trying times. I look forward to next year as a year of opportunities and prosperity for Aegis members.