Union Reps are the lifeblood of any trade union. Here, union rep Mervyn Sams explains a bit more about the role.
“The work that reps do in recruiting, organising and supporting members is key to the strength of UNISON. As the levels of involvement and participation are increased, this can be mirrored by increases in personal fulfillment and satisfaction with knowing the union is growing stronger and you are increasing your level of knowledge and skills.
On a practical level, volunteering and becoming a workplace rep gives you access to important rights and benefits, such as: training by UNISON which will develop your skills both at work and in your role as a Rep; advice and information from solicitors; knowledge of impending changes in the work place; and support from the UNISON office.
Reps working for Capita have rights to: paid time off for training, meetings with members and managers, and some other union work; use of the employer’s telephones, email and internal mail; access to an office and lockable facilities at work.
What would you have to commit to? Reps engage in different levels of activity depending on their experience, skills and time they are able to commit. A UNISON rep should seek to: be the first point of contact with the union for members; recruit and organise new members; support and advise members on workplace issues, both individual and collective; act as a spokesperson for the members they represent and inform and involve members in branch activity; represent members with the employer, depending on Reps’ experience, confidence and willingness to do this.”
Who to contact?
For information on becoming a UNISON Rep talk to a fellow Rep, or call the UNISON office on 77636.
- Mervyn Sams – Office Services, Chichester
- Kim Unwin – Office Services, Horsham
- Ian Harvey – Contact Centre, Bognor
- Abi Holdsworth – Contact Centre, Bognor
- Jamie Thomas – Health & Safety Rep