Reps are the backbone of UNISON. Without branch reps there would be no one to act as the link between members and the union and to organise and support people in the workplace.
What would I have to do?
- Talk to, recruit and organise members around workplace issues
- Talk to members about workplace problems, advise them and keep them informed of latest developments
- Represent members in your workplace
- Be involved in how your branch and union is run
Will I have to negotiate with the employer?
It always helps if reps go to meetings with employers – it’s usually the best way to talk to them! But you won’t be forced to do anything you don’t want to do and we will offer you training and backup.
Some reps may be involved in local negotiations or in grievance or disciplinary cases – with training and support from the union. Senior reps or convenors often take part in negotiations about pay and conditions with employers.
Do I have any rights as a branch rep?
Yes – in a workplace where UNISON is recognised by the employer reps have rights to time off for training and to carry out their work. This includes:
- Meetings with members and management
- Preparation and research
- Keeping members informed
What about training?
All new reps are encouraged to go on an induction course and on a course for handling grievances and disciplinary matters.
You will receive regular information on training courses covering a wide range of workplace issues which are normally run at regional level.
Where do I go for support and advice?
The Branch Secretary Owain Davies is accessible on 07949 084109 from Monday to Friday.
Other experienced branch reps, health and safety reps and branch officers will also give advice and help.
How many branch reps do we need?
We are always encouraging reps to come forward and we need many more reps as certain areas are very low or unrepresented by a dedicated rep.
Tell me how to become a branch rep?
All you need to do is print out an application form and get 2 other branch members to propose and second you.
If you require anymore information contact the Branch or contact one of the Branch Officers. Branch reps are elected every year by the group of members they represent and confirmed at the Annual General Meeting.
Become a Branch Health and Safety Rep
One of the most important issues affecting UNISON members is health and safety at work. Issues such as stress, RSI, Back problems from lifting heavy objects and insufficient training are all health and safety issues.
UNISON is at the forefront of campaigns on issues such as stress at work and violence in the workplace and many of our branch officers are active health and safety officers as well as union reps.
But we still need more Health and Safety reps!
To be effective in our fight for safe working conditions we need people in every work place to act as advisors and watchdogs on health and safety issues.
You’ll get full training and support from UNISON as well as paid time off from your employer to carry out your union role. Find out more about becoming a health and safety rep by contacting the branch.