Friday, 21 June 2013

Organising to support members in dispersed workplaces

#undc13 With more and more fragmentation of public services, through outsourcing, personalisation or the break up of established bargaining arrangements, conference backed a range of measures to recruit, organise and support members in these dispersed workplaces.

Scotland’s Stephen Smellie told delegates that although we all know that recruitment is essential to everything we do, we regularly fail to make this a priority.

He called for a more proactive and innovative approach, but highlighted that this will also take resources. He supported North West’s call for the union to mount a one week recruiting and organising drive each quarter.

Katrina Murray, moving Lanarkshire Health’s amendment, reminded delegates, however, that it is not just about recruiting new members but also retaining the members we have by proving to them the continued benefits of being in a union.

“We need to be very clear that we don’t take our membership for granted. We need to keep justifying why it is important to stay as UNISON members as well as recruiting new members,” she said, adding that members appreciate a strong local infrastructure, local reps who know their members and managers and who can often sort things out with just a phone call; and who know when to keep things low key and when to escalate to a full scale campaign.

Willie Docherty, of the Scottish Electricity Branch welcomed the amendment from the National LGBT Committee highlighting the key role for self organised groups in organising and recruiting around the equalities agenda.

“We all recognise that organising and recruitment is our biggest priority and we need to use every means to do this. However we need the resources to back this up.”

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