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Supporting me during a difficult time

Ruby Annan-Nettey
19th March 2021

Having worked for a number of years in the early years sector, I didn’t always see the need for joining a union even though I was somewhat aware of what they represented.

I always was with the notion that ”what could possibly happen to the point where I won’t be able to defend myself?”.

After a number of years without being in a union, I finally decided to join one just in case.

When I eventually decided to join the union, I was faced with another decision as to which one to go with. I remembered a colleague of mine mentioning “Voice Union” to me at the time, recommending them for their specific support for employees within the early years sector, which convinced me to join them.

I joined the union and from then on I can say that I have never regretted it once. It remains one of the best decisions for my job security that I’ve ever made.

For a number of years after joining, all seemed to be going well at work and there didn’t always seem to be much of a need for it. However, my gut feeling told me to keep my membership and little did I know that danger was looming.

In the early months of 2020, I experienced bullying and victimisation at work and decided to consult with my union for advice on taking up a grievance.

That was when I got into contact with Letitia at Voice Community, who turned out to be not just a representative but a rock, and a true advocate at my lowest ebb. Letitia proved to be a very good listener who supported me with great empathy and wisdom.

My first impression after speaking with Letitia was “hmm… she seems to have excellent knowledge about early years practice which makes it easy for her to understand the things I was telling her”. She also struck me as very intelligent and intuitive, which made her very easy to be open with.

The level of competency demonstrated by Letitia has been outstanding, always going the extra mile for me with excellent counsel and encouragement.

She is so skilled at what she does that when the situation at work impacted on my health and things got extremely difficult for me, she was like a counsellor and personal solicitor; always so professional, knowledgeable and intuitive but still steadfastly supportive.

When things got extremely challenging for me during the grievance process she carried on with the same level of interest, support and enthusiasm for my case, never fazed by the many challenges we encountered.

This made me feel less worried, like I was the only person she was supporting even though I knew there must have been countless others she was supporting at the same time.

She is so intuitive that she was always able to capture my thoughts and feelings and put them into the right words to support my case when things got very difficult for me to express myself clearly.

I don’t know what I would have done without the support of my union at this crucial time in my career. Had it not been for the extraordinary representation of Voice Community, I would have lost my job and my hard earned professional reputation.

The way Letitia has handled my case gave me so much faith in my union. In my view, she has simply put Voice Community union on a pedestal and I cannot thank her enough! To everyone in any kind of employment, I couldn’t recommend them more highly.


To join Community, visit www.community-tu.org/join.

If you are a member of Community and need help or advice, please contact us at servicecentre@community-tu.org or on 0800 389 6332.