A group of Community’s organisers and officers recently took part in a joint training session to understand and build on the partnership approach the union takes within financial services company Zurich.
During the one-day event, Community’s team learnt alongside HR professionals at Zurich so each could gain a greater understanding of how the partnership between the two organisations works in practice to the benefit of Zurich employees.
Caroline Taylor, Community’s National Secretary for financial & professional services, said:
“There was a good discussion through the course of the training event about how we work in partnership together. We believe our partnership approach is the best way of ensuring the strong relationship our organisations have continues to flourish and it is an effective way to provide the best support for our members within Zurich.”
Kevin Watts, Head of Employee Relations at Zurich said:
“When Caroline Taylor and I set out and planned such an event and prepared the agenda, you can never know how it will work – it was a cracking day and great to meet Community’s full-time officials from around the country who will get involved in future support to members.
“I also took away from the day that Zurich was seen as a progressive and forward-thinking employer.”
Caroline responded: “The day was a great example of how a joint pragmatic approach to employment relations helps maintain a positive working environment for staff – our members.”
The programme included sessions looking at the union’s partnership agreement with the company; hearing about case studies demonstrating the partnership approach in action; as well as examining the differences between the partnership approach and what would happen without Community as the recognised union.
The Community team who participated in the training event alongside Caroline were Assistant Organiser Katie Allan and Regional Organisers Chris Hale, Michael Davies, Dan Francois, Nick Caton, Nicola Wells and Lynda Merrett. Collectively the team will look after Zurich locations right across the UK from the start of 2020.
Community has represented staff within Zurich and its predecessor companies for over 30 years. The event also provided an opportunity for some of the newer members of the Zurich HR team to gain a more in-depth understanding of how the company and the union work together in partnership.
“This was a good way of introducing both Community and Zurich people to the unique way we have been working together for many, many years. As we move into 2020, this will mean that our members will benefit from even better levels of support no matter where they work within the company.”
The event took place at Zurich’s ‘People Hub’ in Swindon, where the company’s HR function is primarily based.
Community also recruits and organises within Zurich’s outsourced services in companies such as Capita.
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