Q. How can I get more involved in UNISON?
A. There are many ways to get involved in UNISON. Everyone can help to do something it all depends on how much you want to do and how much time you can give. The most common way people get involved is by becoming a UNISON representative. There are a few different roles such as a workplace contact, workplace steward, health & safety rep, equality rep or a learning rep to name but a few.
Q. Where can I find out more information?
A. The best way to get information is from somebody who is already a rep. Speak to your local steward, contact, health & safety rep or union learning rep. There is lots of information on the UNISON national website and regional website about the different types of rep and what they do. You may wish to contact the branch office via email or telephone (during office hours) for more information.
Q. What are the different types of rep?
A. The most common type of UNISON representative is the workplace steward. There are also health & safety reps, learning reps, workplace contacts and equality reps. Above these are branch officers such as the branch secretary, branch treasurer and branch chairperson.
Q. I am interested in getting more involved but I am worried about how much time it will take.
A. Holding a position in UNISON can be a demanding role but it can also be very rewarding. We know that everybody has different commitments at work and at home which is why UNISON offers a range of full training and support to help you. If you are elected as a UNISON rep you are entitled by law to reasonable paid time off for appropriate training and reasonable paid time off to carry out your duties as a rep. So you don't have to do everything in your own time. You will also receive support from your branch and more experienced reps.
Q. I'd like to get more involved but I don't know anything about employment law.
A. You don't have to be a lawyer to be a union rep and you're not expected to know everything. The main thing is that you appreciate the aims and role of UNISON and are prepared to do something to help yourself and your colleagues. UNISON offers a range of training so you can pursue the topics that interest you the most. Even the most experienced reps had to start somewhere. As an elected UNISON rep you will be entitled to reasonable paid time off for any relevant training. For more information on training please view the FAQ on activist training.