The Branch AGM will be held on Friday 6th March 2020 from 1200 til 1430
Nomination forms can be downloaded below:
How UNISON went for growth
Despite all the election talk, you will have noticed that across UNISON, November (and spilling on into December!) was a hugely busy time. As part of the Go For Growth initiative, branches across all the sections of our union were reminding their colleagues of the benefits of being part of the UK’s largest trade union.
In some areas, this meant promoting the learning opportunities available for members. Sue Allan, a Union Learning Rep for Portsmouth City branch explains:
A learning survey of members and non-members showed that managing stress/confidence building lunch and learn sessions were wanted. When advertised, the response was amazing - and we did not have space for everyone who wanted to attend! Both sessions will be on again in the New Year for people who missed out!
For others, this meant promoting the financial advice available for members via our partnership with Lighthouse Financial Advisors. Tracy Vear from East Hampshire UNISON branch was one of the members who took advantage of the opportunity for a free consultation:
I met with [Lighthouse Financial Advisor] James on the 27th November and specifically was after advice and understanding about my LGPS and a previous pension fund I have. James was so helpful, explained everything so clearly and gave me very sound advice regarding my previous pension. For me it was an incredibly useful half hour which has enabled me to make sense of everything. I hope this is helpful and will encourage other members to take up the offer.
In other branches, Go for Growth meant letting staff know the benefits of joining UNISON. This was particularly important for reps working with employers who had derecognised our union. Jeff Emmerson from East Hampshire UNISON branch braved an early start and freezing rain to get the message out:
With the help of a local organiser, I spoke to potential members and handed out flyers outside the offices of the company I work for. We then attended a local pub at lunchtime the same day to give prospective members a chance to find out more about UNISON
At Fareham branch, promoting UNISON meant drawing attention to the reps who make sure their union is an everyday presence in their work place. Fareham branch secretary Cian Wagstaffe notes:
We organised a #Growvember “Meet Your Rep” event where we had a steward on each floor identified with purple balloons floating above their desks. There were chocolates, biscuits and giveaways to entice staff over and we conducted a membership detail audit at the same time as recruitment.
Keeping membership details up-to-date is a crucial activity that also kept several other branches busy. Part of the benefit of being in UNISON is that you are able to access the information you need when you need it. But our members are busy – many of the services they work in are stretched almost to breaking – and when their contact details change, they don’t always remember to let their union know.
That’s why UNISON branches like Portsmouth City, Portsmouth Health and Hampshire Health ran prize draws – one of the ways to enter was for members to confirm or update their contact details. After all, its hard to make the most of UNISON membership when we can’t get in touch with you! And as Jackie Dolphin, Branch Secretary, Hampshire Health Branch explains, it’s more important than ever to stay an engaged UNISON member:
In the climate of private is good/public health is bad, it’s crucial you remain a member. You never know when your service could be outsourced and you will need support during any consultation. We support you at the start of consultation, attend 1-1’s with you and most importantly, ensure your rights are protected.
The more staff within the workplace that are a member of UNISON, the stronger the voice of the union with that employer. It is easier to negotiate when you represent more than 50% of the workforce than if you only represent 10%! If we do not hold a united front, it only weakens our position at the negotiations table. Plus, these days it is impossible to predict if/when you will need support for sickness, disciplinary or redundancy. You don’t insure your house cause you think a storm is coming, you insure it at all times.
Not yet a member of the UK’s largest trade union? Join UNISON.
Poor AGM Turnout leaves Executive Posts Vacant
Fareham Unison held it's Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 12th March 2019. This is the time of year that the branch gets to hear what their Unison branch has done for them over the past year. It is also a time that the branch membership discuss and vote on what they would like the branch to do over the next year.
However, with a turnout of only 10 members (4 of which being retired members) 2019 saw the worst turnout ever. It requires a minimum of 10% to pass any official business we were 16 votes short (as the Chairman can't vote).
The union can only operate when its members get involved. While some members step forward and volunteer to contend with the day to day running and Executive decision making throughout the year, it requires the whole branch to come together and vote on decisions and determine who they want to make the decisions on the other 364 days of the year.
While Officer posts can be assumed by non-contestation of nomination, we also saw a shortage of volunteers standing for many of the posts. The Officer, Steward and Rep roles are essential to ensuring you have the representation you need when you need it. A branch running without these positions will struggle to ensure these areas are tended to.
Positions currently needing volunteers are:
> Branch Environmental Officer
> Branch Health & Safety Officer
> Branch International Officer
> Branch Women's Officer
> Branch Equality Co-ordinator
> Floor 8 & 9 Steward
New Members Benefit Partner
Membership of UNISON gives you essential cover, wherever you work. Every member receives our full range of member benefits which includes:
You can join online by visiting join.unison.org.uk Members can pay by deductions direct from your pay, or by direct debit. Make sure you have your bank sort code, account number and full branch name to set up a direct debit.
Fareham UNISON Branch, Fareham Borough Council, Civic Offices, Civic Way, Fareham, Hampshire, PO16 7AZ
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