UNISON is a democratic organisation which aims to put its members at the heart of everything it does. You don’t need experience or free time to be a representative. UNISON gives training and support and is happy that you do as much or as little as you feel able. The workplace representative is UNISON’s most important link between the union and its members.
What is a UNISON Workplace Representative?
There are a number of roles for Workplace Representatives. Representatives are organisers who talk to, recruit and organise members around workplace issues, hold meetings, undertake surveys and help run ballots. They give members information about union issues by publicising UNISON campaigns, distributing leaflets and keeping members informed about and involved in local negotiations. They are advisers and sounding boards, talking to members about workplace problems and – if they feel confident – giving advice on how to deal with these.
Alternatively, they may arrange for the member to get advice or assistance from elsewhere in the union, or work with them to obtain the information they need. They are representatives and spokespersons for members in their workplace.
Where they feel confident and have received appropriate training, they accompany members in meetings and assist them in raising problems with managers before these get out of hand. Otherwise they seek advice and support from other union representatives. They also have an important role in ensuring that the views of the members within the workplace are represented to the wider union.
Workplace representative in UNISON are an essential part of a large and powerful national organisation. All workplace representatives and members belong to a local UNISON branch, which is their main source of advice and support. In turn, branches belong to one of UNISON’s regions which integrate with the national structure. This way UNISON provides strong and effective organisation for all our members and their representatives. More information about UNISON’s structure and organisation can be found on UNISON’s national website at www.unison.org.uk.
Types of Workplace Representative
UNISON has four types of workplace representative, so there’s bound to be one that suits you: