Greetings, social media and metaverse. Wombles. This is episode four of the West Park park bench podcast. And today's episode is fit for purpose. I do like phrases which have multiple interpretations something I can think about something that I can live with it's not too taxing on my brain is not too clever. It's not too esoteric. It's just something to keep nudging my brain when I'm putting the kettle on or when I'm making dinner, or when I'm brushing my teeth. And 2022 My word was posture. Posture for my physical being, because I didn't want to have weight loss, but that is a key component, but mainly fitness and flexibility.
So fit for purpose. Today is also going out to members of equity UK and especially members of the equity online brunch, of which I am chair and moderator so anyone who has not heard my voice before and is a member of the online branch.
Hello and welcome. I am Karen. I have been an equity member since the late 90s. I am a stage manager turned creative producer employed rather than employee in equity has a confusion about that term. But I've been on the stage management committee. I have been on the independent Theatre Arts Committee I've taken part in the negotiations for the ITC contracts. I know equity contracts better than I really should do small scale touring local events, national events. But in recent years in the last 10 years I've been a social technologist working with arts and small businesses, helping them podcast and live stream and just generally making the best use of the technology in their pocket.
So the online branch is very, very close to my heart. So if you are an online branch member, welcome. If you are an equity member and you are not aligned to a physical branch, please do log into the website. Visit the tab that says branches and opt into a branch. opting into a branch activates your voice. You can turn up to their meetings and you can ask for something to be done. And if there are 10 people or more at that meeting, your idea will be passed to the organiser who progresses it through the organisation and the staff to council and that is that is our democracy if you're an equity member that that is the mechanism for your democracy. That is the mechanism for your voice.
Now fit for purpose. That system works only if we are an active and fit unconscious member of the system of the environment. And that's kind of this fit for purpose for me I'm trying to make myself fit for purpose. Tuesday's when I'm recording this podcast on a park bench in West Park, hence, West Park park bench podcast. I've been swimming, I've chosen that date it's in my calendar and I will be swimming I come out swimming I come and sit on my park bench and think about what it is that I want to capture what don't want to say this week it is really hard because I don't script I don't edit. It's about just having that stream of thought that Point of Presence. Whilst you're listening to this for you to do the same. Where are you right now? Where were you last week? Where are you going next week? Are you in work are you not in work are you currently writing? Do you have a creative drive? Do you have a creative block? What is happening? What are you doing right now and and also check into your body? You know those aches and pains or no aches and pains? Just what do you feel like today? For me? The sun's shining. It's a little bit overcast, but it's really important for me to do this.
So why so much Equity focus?
Reason is, June is Equity Election month. So the Equity Council are elected every two years. You'll say but there's elections every year. There are indeed one year is Council. One year is committee. Then you loop back round to council, and then you have committee this year. It is the council elections and as well as electing the council. We elect the president and we also elect two other committees. One is the standing orders and one is the appeals committee, but the big one, the big one that really affects us as members and needs to be fit for purpose. And a council fit for purpose is a council that is aligned with the thoughts and ideals and drive and need off the membership which is us. If we do not vote we do not have a council fit for our purpose. The only way we can make that council fit for our purpose is to vote. But tricky. Who's standing for election? Well, I'm not going to name any names. What I want you to do is have a look through the booklet and the conversations that the committee and members that went to the annual conference mid May often realise is that unless unless you were engaged with Union business, you probably don't know anyone in that booklet. You might read through some of the proposals and secondaries and recognise them because like everybody, they might be names that are in the entertainment industry. They're on telly they're in films, they're in the theatre. You may be a branch member, so you may recognise some but majority of members and there are 47 to 49,000 members. It sits around about that.
Right now. Don't really know where to start. And so, you know, no one wants to vote on looks. No one wants to vote on random Oh, well, I need to pick x number in this group and tick the first lot because then the people who are alphabetically at the end of the list end up missing out and that has happened on more than one occasion where people whose names have a later alphabet name don't get elected and everybody who was up at the top of the alphabet do so please don't vote just on the first few.
So fits purpose. What's going to happen? So your election papers will come through your door with the biannual magazine used to be four times a year it's now twice a year comes with the magazine. You have until the eighth of July to submit your ballot papers. However, you have to bear in mind that the council election is a postal vote. So you are also at the mercy of the postal system. We've had a look at it in the committee and we kind of think that you want to be submitting your papers at the latest by the fourth or fifth of July. In the UK. The online branch do have some overseas members. So greetings overseas members. For the US because you've got Fourth of July. We really do recommend that you get your ballot papers back in the post by the first of July 1 of July. So if you don't want to just look at the booklet and you think who are these people? Well there is some videos or there are some videos on YouTube and you should have that link from an email but I will put it in the show notes. So there will be some links in the show notes to the candidate document to the videos to the videos. And there'll be some of the links as well. Some interesting stuff. There's a really interesting campaign at the moment about artificial intelligence, a members working I'm not going to talk about that in this podcast but that might come soon. There are going to be two Hustings.
One Hustings is being organised by the London branches which there are five if you did not know. The five London branches for general and one variety are holding their Hustings on the 16th of June. It's a Thursday they're doing 730 till nine. It might be seven till half eight. You must check that questions for candidates need to be in by the 13th of June. So 13th of June Get your questions in for candidates 16th of June the first of two Hustings being organised by the London branches. What happens Hustings? Well, all the candidates are going to be notified that this Hustings on the 16th is taking place. They will let the London branch know they are available and they want to attend. And they'll turn up it's on Zoom. By the way. When we turn up questions that have been proposed by the 13th will be targeted at each of the candidates. Each candidate will have a couple of minutes to say who they are, what a big thing is and they will have seen the questions beforehand. Or if they haven't for this they will for the second one, which I'll tell you about in a minute. But the first one they will be asked those questions and they will be able to respond to that. So if there's something very specific that you are interested in equity addressing this is the perfect opportunity to ask candidates who are looking for boat votes. If you were to vote for them, what do you want to hear from them? So really, really vital time is the key point of union democracy happening in June.
So let's say can't attend the 16th the online branch are also going to have a Hustings again on Zoom and it's the 23rd So it's the following Thursday, and it's from 330 till five potentially it will be a little bit more formal in terms of the recording. Because we are going to invite candidates. We will invite an audience, but we will run it more in the style of a podcast so that we can edit it top and tail it and give it to the online branch members who are in different time zones so that they can listen back to it to hear candidates answering the questions that have been proposed by the online branch.
One of the questions that's come through so far, is just asking the council the candidate if they're elected or not, if they're elected, it's asking them what is their stance on the online branch? Do they support it? Are they aware of it? And if you're elected, how will you support us? Really good question.
Another conversation I've been having recently is with a group of members who are campaigning to save the actor centre. Actors at the centre, I believe is what the campaign is called. And for them coming to a Hustings submitting questions. Partly they will be able to hear what people are saying candidates. Also the people who are at the hustings will be made aware that the campaign exists. And it's real opportunity for them to champion the candidates that they think will support them the most. So there's a lot of candidates at the moment who are dropping posts into different Facebook groups of branches saying I'm standing. I'm standing I'm standing. But what we really need those of us that are not standing, we need to tell as many people outside of the equity Facebook groups that place where people are already engaged to vote, because fit for purpose.
So it's been really important for me to use these episodes to talk about the equity. Hustings the equity elections of 2022 it's also the presidential election. So do check out the candidates and tweet at them, tweet to them, let them know that you're supporting them. Use the hashtag equity elections 20 to look through that booklet, search their name, it should say where they're standing and especially if it's a specialist committee what their specialism is, so sticking their name into Google, with a key word of their specialism should bring up their stuff and you'll find their websites, you'll find their Twitter, whether they're on Facebook, whether they've got a Facebook group. Alternatively, if you are in the online branch, do come into the forum. We operate through a Loomio decision making platform so unlike general branches and Friday branches, we don't have a physical meeting in which to conduct our business. The majority of our members are across different time zones. And 730 For one is not 730 for another 730 is curtain up for one 730 is leaving set for another.
So it's been really important for the online branch to kind of move away and evolve from that physical structure of meetings. Come to the end. Okay, so let's say you are an equity member. Log into the online branch, check to see which branch you're actually opted into. Also, look at the other tabs because there is a interests tab. And in the interests it lists all of the lists lists all of the lists that members can join to get information specifically about an industry sector. I'm delighted to say that influencer and blogger is now an interest you can tick which means people who are doing newsletters people are running branches. Many staff members or doing campaigns can target very specific interest areas. So do go on those and please just opt into a branch.
I would love you to join the online branch if you do. Bear in mind, and this is for anyone that opts into a branch. The branch organises in the branch members that run the branch, only know who you are. If you turn up to a physical branch or in the online branches situation if you join the Loomio otherwise you are just a number that we are gaming to try and convert to either be a physical attendee or to be a member on the branch. At that point, you have opted in and you can engage you can give us your email address. You can choose to accept notifications you can choose to leave, but you need to know that at that point. Your democratic voice is loudest so my question is equity currently fit for purpose? And when I say fit for purpose, I mean have you ensured that your democratic voice has been used to make it fit for your purpose?
It was such a great place to end so there's a pause so if you've listened right to the end, brownie points. Just a reminder that ballot papers will be dropping through your door any day. Voting closes on the eighth of July at 12 o'clock, but it's a postal vote. So get those papers in to your post boxes. By the first to the third of July. Two Hustings, one on the 16th Zoom, one on the 23rd on Zoom. If you have questions for candidates, get them in for the 13th I'm Karen at PCM creative on Twitter. At equity Oh lb on Twitter. Facebook group is equity. Oh lb. Everybody else social media Wombles Metaverse, Wombles, thank you for listening. Do let me know are you were you an equity member anyway? Are you not? Are you interested? Again? Contact me if you think that your interest might be one of those lists. I will put a link to the blog post that has that listing. That is it. I am good to go now. Thank you so much for listening.