Interview with Michael Leonard Hahn a new member of site representative

Since 2021, Michael Leonhard Hahn (born 1963) has been living in Basel-Stadt with his wife Rachel and their three sons Benjamin, Samuel and Joshua.

We've known each other for a while, and yet you haven’t been in Basel for long. How come?
Even as a student I had a strong feeling I should do something for the general good. So I became committed to standing up for people’s rights. But I only decided to take on a representative role in this when, as a trials manager at Roche Welwyn, I was introduced to Phase 1 & 2 research. There, right from the start, I was active not only as the local contact but also in the REF (Roche Europe Forum). And it was at the regular REF meetings in Basel that our paths crossed, Andreas!

What motivated you to become actively involved in the AVR?
After I was given a fixed contract as a Clinical Scientist in PDN last June and became an AVR member the same month, it was only a question of time until I became active in the AVR.

So when, after the AVR elections in November 2020, I saw that there was still a vacancy on the Board, it didn’t take much for the President, Adnan – whom of course I had known for many years thanks to his much-appreciated work on the REF – to convince me to join in.

What differences or similarities have you noticed between representing staff on the AVR compared with your role in the UK?
The differences between staff representation in the UK and on the AVR are quite striking. Whereas in Welwyn I was left completely to my own devices and, technically, had to represent some 1600 employees, here in Basel (and also of course in Kaiseraugst, Schlieren and Rotkreuz) we have teams with a well-established structure. And really that’s the only way to represent people properly at various levels.

When there is restructuring in the UK there are consultation processes too, but they are tied to different conditions and timeframes. So on the one hand I am used to these mechanisms, while on the other hand I have to get my bearings all over again. And learning Basel dialect is part of the learning curve!

What do you want to achieve on the AVR? What motivates you?
I reckon it’s very important to constantly broaden the AVR’s scope of action. Admittedly, for many employees, this instrument is already a familiar factor in the way they think and act. But for just as many others, that’s not yet the case. So there’s a lot of work to be done and I’m really looking forward to helping out.

The interview was conducted by Andreas Winkler, AVR Treasurer