Barry Dickinson has been the Usdaw Union Learning Rep (ULR) at Tesco Southend Extra since 2011 and has been helping members in his branch develop their digital skills to help them at work, and at home.
Barry was asked to become the ULR by several of the stores experienced union reps and was pleased to be asked, and to have the opportunity to help colleagues.
It’s nice to know that your colleagues think you can do a good job.”
I wanted to become a ULR because I left school with not many qualifications and wanted to become more involved in Usdaw and in learning at his workplace”.
After completing his training Barry was able to set up some courses at his local store using the local College.
In 2015 he suffered a severe stroke and he was off work for several months. Fortunately, he made a full recovery and has continued in his role, and at 75 Barry has no plans to stop or to retire, saying:
I enjoy my role as a Union Learning Rep and helping members!”
Prior to working in Tesco Barry owned his own business selling equipment, fixtures and fittings. Its experience he uses to help people in his workplace. He feels the biggest change he has seen in the workforce is the move from full time employees to part time.
The store has an increase of older employees and also an increase of staff having caring responsibilities.
I feel that my members need union led learning more than ever due to Tesco moving more into the digital age with payslips and our terms and conditions online and an increased use of digital apps! People in my store nee more digital skills. I believe I can help further with help and support from Usdaw and from my Rep team.”
Barry has also helped members by signposting them to help and advice on their pensions.
As well as helping others in their learning, Barry would like to further develop his own skills by attending training and development. He has also expressed an interest in becoming a Mobile Union Learning rep in Usdaw.
Usdaw Project Worker Fred Behardien said:
Barry is a great example to everyone.”
His enthusiasm and commitment to learning lights up the store and it was no surprise when he was nominated for a Divisional Union Learning Rep award at this year’s Usdaw National Reps Ceremony”.