Your help can make UNISON stronger
BECOME A STEWARD
Stewards are the backbone of UNISON. Without stewards there would be no one there to act as the link between members and the union; they can keep their colleagues informed of latest developments and support and organise their fellow members around workplace issues. We aim to have at least one steward in each workplace and deparment and as many as possible in each directorate. Afterall, UNISON is only as strong as it's members.
What does the role involve?
- Being the first point of contact for members in your workplace
- Organising and advising members around workplace issues
- Keeping members informed of latest developments
- Help to recruit new members
- Encouraging existing members to become active at a local, regional or national level
- Being involved in how your branch and union is run
As a member, you are the ideal candidate for the role as you have the innermost understanding of what is going on in your workplace.
What would I get out of the role?
- It will give you a deeper understanding of employment law as well as group and individual rights within the workplace, including local and national issues, concerns and campaigns
- There are regular training opportunities that will help you to develop as an individual
- You will gain a sense of personal satisfaction from helping others, having a positive input and changing things for the better
- The branch will support you all the way and be on hand to advise you, provide you with information regarding training opportunities as well as covering all expenses and costs that are incurred as a result of being a steward.
What kind of training is involved?
New stewards are encouraged to attend an introductory course. There is also training available on how to handle grievances and disciplinary matters, if representing members is something you’d be interested in. Training courses take place on a regular basis and they cover a wide range of workplace issues. With the support of your branch, you can decide which ones would be of most benefit to you.
What rights do I have as a steward?
In workplaces where UNISON is recognised by the employer, stewards have the right to time off for training and to carry out their work. This includes:
- Meeting with members and management
- Preparation and research
- Keeping members informed
- Attending necessary UNISON training courses
- Representing/accompanying members in meetings and hearings
It sounds like a lot of work
Not at all. You can do as much or as little as you want. Different Stewards get involved in different activities depending on experience, skills and time factors. You can also spread the load with other stewards by working together and supporting each other. You will have the opportunity to speak to fellow stewards and officers at the monthly branch meetings.
Who can I go to for support and advice?
Colleagues, experienced stewards, health and safety reps and branch officers will all help and assist you.
Our UNISONdirect hotline has a special stewards' helpline open 6am-midnight Monday to Friday and 9am-4pm on Saturday. You can contact them using the details below. Alternatively, you can contact your branch office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02085 475 166
Tel: 0845 355 0845 or contact
Text tel: 0800 0 967 968
How will I get hold of resources and Information?
• You’ll find free online employment advice for members and the public at our website www.troubleatwork.org.uk.
• UNISON’s magazine inFocus will keep you up to date with all the latest news and developments. Go to inFocus.
How do I become a steward?
Simply get in touch with us and let us know you're interested. We will support you from there