You will, by now, have settled down and be aware of the prospects in your chosen career. You will also be members of the Staff Association and NALGO and contribute to their respective Benevolent Funds. You will, however, only have a vague idea of the objects, functions and organisation of these Associations unless you have been at a Branch where there is an active member to inform you, and it is to hoped that when you have read this article, you will not only be more enlightened, but also be prepared to play your part as members of these organisations.
THE STAFF ASSOCIATION - which is responsible for publishing this magazine with the help of Head Office Secretarial Staff - arranges all the Social functions held during the year, visits sick members and ex-members who are ill for any length of time, and the Management Committee meets every month in Head Office to deal with any outstanding business. Amongst the objects of the Association, provision is made for discussion with the General Manager of matters of interest and concern to the Staff and also to make representations to the Birmingham Municipal Officers Guild (our local branch of NALGO) in respect of Service Conditions and allied matters.
The Annual General Meeting of the Staff Association, as you will read elsewhere, is held in January. The Management Committee for the ensuing year is elected at this meeting. Comment and constructive criticism is expected and welcomed at the AGM and this is your opportunity to air your opinion as to how the Association should conduct its affairs, to voice any objections you may have and seek further information on any matters contained in the Annual Report which is put before you. You may exercise your right to vote on any matter put to you.
The Staff Association has strong links with the Birmingham Municipal Officers Guild and as the Association cannot negotiate Conditions of Service, such matters which, after discussion with the General Manager cannot be agreed are, if necessary, referred to the Guild.
THE BIRMINGHAM MUNICIPAL OFFICERS GUILD MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE - consists of representatives from each department of the Corporation and also meets once a month. The number of representatives elected from each department depends on the membership strength, and the Bank is entitled to six members as the membership of NALGO is nearly 100%. The Guild Management Committee has several sub-committees which report to the Manager Committee at each monthly meeting.
One of the most important of these is the Local Government Sub-Committee which deals with all matters concerning Conditions of Service for all Departments of the Corporation. This Committee elects representatives to serve on the Staff Panel - a staff side of the JOINT CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE, a standing Committee of the Birmingham City Council and the highest level to which representations can be made at local level.
THE WEST MIDLAND DISTRICT COUNCIL - consists of representatives elected by the NALGO branches in the West Midlands and all the services covered by NALGO are represented there - Health, Local Government, Water, Gas and Electricity. It is through this Council that matters are referred to the various Service Conditions Committees at District and National level.
The six members of the National Executive Council, elected annually by the NALGO members in the West Midlands area, report to the quarterly meetings of the West Midland District Council. Two members of the Birmingham Branch are members of the National Executive Council.
Many senior and distinguished members of the Staff have, in the past, been senior officers of the Staff Association and Guild. A past General Manager served on the Guild Management Committee and the office of Guild President has been held by both Mr S F Jones and Mr K N Whittaker.
Mr N C Goddard was a Chairman of the Finance Committee and Mr J A Cox is now Honorary Treasurer.
The "Guildsman" is the Guild's monthly magazine, with a circulation of over 7,000 copies. A past editor is Mr H W Powell who has also been the Editor of "Contact".
Your responsibility as members of these organisations, which exist for your benefit, is to take an active part - join one of the many clubs under the aegis of the Staff Association; attend the Annual Meeting of the Staff Association and the Guild, and voice your approval or displeasure. If any particular aspect of either of these organisations is of particular interest - seek nomination, don't wait to be asked.
The future of any organisation is dependent upon active interest and participation in its affairs by its members, and as young members, the continued success of both these Associations depends on YOU.
J. A. C.