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Joint venture F

So what can the Joint Industry Board (JIB) do for you? Steve Brawley, chief executive of the JIB, answers some key questions to explain its role

or those who think they know the JIB (Joint Industry Board) – think again. Since the appointment of chief executive Steve Brawley in January 2009, the organisation has been rapidly introducing a

number of changes to modernise its operation and improve and expand its services to members. ECA members are entitled to free membership of the JIB. Membership gives companies a ‘one-stop shop’ for their contracts of employment and procedures, and these are designed specifically for the electrical industry. The JIB resolves disputes by way of professional mediation. Membership also provides access to an employee benefits package that includes BUPA health cover (with all pre- existing health conditions covered), health screening, sick pay, death benefit, accidental death benefit and permanent and total disability cover.

The JIB is based on the concept of fairness and good standards

So is the JIB still relevant? Steve Brawley: Very much so, but I do understand why people ask this question. The JIB has not always been good at communicating effectively and alerting people to the changes it is making to its services and products. We are now putting considerable effort into being much more pro-active in our relationship with existing and potential new members. We have introduced a monthly e-newsletter to communicate more effectively; we will launch a radically new website in the autumn; and we have just initiated a recruitment campaign to secure new members after running a pilot campaign in the ECA North East region. The JIB pension scheme is being relaunched and is in a great position to expand on the basis of the pensions legislation that takes effect in 2012. Are many ECA members also members of the JIB? Steve Brawley: We have around 1,250 ECA members within our total of 1,400 members. That means that there are around 1,750 ECA members who are not in the JIB; between now and the end of the year we will be in touch with them to describe what we offer and see if they are interested in becoming members. What changes have taken place recently? Steve Brawley: In May we introduced significant discounts for members on our products and services. This is designed to add value to membership and more discounts will apply to a series of new services that will be available in the autumn. One of the new services will be the provision of expert advice on productivity from an individual who, in my opinion, is the best in his field. We will continue to introduce more new services that are relevant to our members’ needs. What do you say to ECA members who wonder what value they are getting from their JIB membership? Steve Brawley: The fact that we charge them no membership subscription is a good start! The new discounts give members an edge against non-JIB companies and the benefits package really is incredible value at only £13.50 per week for each employee. When we ran our pilot recruitment campaign recently in the ECA North East region, the companies who joined us were really keen on the benefits package. One of them told me it was a ‘no brainer’ to become a member, after he had looked into the value-for-money this represents. Another real money saver is our mediation service. We successfully resolve around 90 per cent of the cases that are handled by our mediation team, led by Sheik Khan. Each case is settled in a day and often saves thousands of pounds that would otherwise be spent defending a claim

44 ECA Today September 2011


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