Agility in a time of uncertainty: delivering for our members over the next 30 months

By Raj Jethwa, UCEA Chief Executive
27 April 2021

Like society in general, there is no part of our sector which has not been subject to the dramatic effects of Covid-19. Our responses have had to be both swift and, in many cases, unprecedented. These responses were also delivered against a backdrop of significant challenges already facing the sector: Brexit, changes to sector finances and unprecedented pressures on pay and pensions to name a few. 

Cumulatively, the effects of these challenges are substantial and are likely to be with us for some time to come. Taken together, they result in a precarious and uncertain landscape ahead. 

This is why we need to be agile: constantly attuned to the changing environment, predicting developments where we can and responding to changes as comprehensively as possible. 
It is with this context front of mind that UCEA has developed a strategic plan that is designed to act as a bridge to when we anticipate events will be more stable and we will be able to plan further ahead. 

Agility in a time of uncertainty, which we have published today, sets out what UCEA will deliver for our members over the next 30 months, taking us to September 2023. Our priorities are:
  1. Promoting constructive employment relations. This means building relationships based on mutual trust and respect and working collaboratively with our partners as much as possible. We want to negotiate with the trade unions in a way that reflects this: fairly, with an understanding of different perspectives, and making progress towards an outcome that all can agree with.
  2. Supporting employer aspirations to enhance the employee experience. We will help members to develop the compact they have with their employees, understanding and enhancing the holistic experience a member of staff has with their workplace, from how they are rewarded to their sense of belonging.  
  3. Supporting members through our influence and engagement. We will be responsive to emerging need and proactive and anticipating issues that will become important. We will achieve this by ensuring our channels for influencing external stakeholders and engaging with members are best in class. We will bring together leaders to share expertise and facilitate peer support among members. 
  4. Taking forward UCEA in support of our members, meaning we will enhance our already extensive engagement to understand members’ needs and use this insight to develop our services.  

When delivering this work we will be constantly attuned to members’ needs, proactive in anticipating the changing external environment, take a collective approach, capture learning from the past year, and be as inclusive as possible. 

At UCEA we are very excited about the ambitious and challenging work programme we have set out. We look forward to working with our members and partners from across the sector to deliver it. As always, we welcome feedback as we move forward.