BECOME A STEWARD
This is your chance to become a Steward and make a difference.
Workplace stewards are at the heart of our union. They are the first point of contact for our members in your local workplace, and they work to make your workplace a fairer and better place to work.
And we need more! We have vacancies in lots of areas at Sheffield Hallam. As new ways of working are rolled out across all professional services in the University, we need stewards in as many areas as possible.
THE ROLE OF A STEWARD INVOLVES:
- Participating in a range of activities including organising, recruiting and representing UNISON members.
- Being involved in how the Sheffield Hallam University UNISON branch is run.
- Being the first and main point of contact for members in your constituency.
- Supporting and advising members on workplace issues, both individual and collective.
- Acting as a spokesperson for the members in your constituency and informing and involving members in branch activities.
- You will receive facilities time in order to carry out your role – Facility time
You will receive training and support from UNISON in order to carry out your role.
“But I don’t have the skills!”
Ever thought of becoming a steward but you’re worried you don’t have the right skill or the time? Don’t worry – you receive excellent training, plus paid time off work for your union duties.
Here are six common worries you may have about becoming a steward – and how you can overcome them.
I don’t do public speaking……but I do raise issues I am concerned about in team meetings at work.
I don’t do negotiation……but I did complain when my gas bill got too high, and I did sort out a better deal with the company.
I don’t do campaigning……but I did support my local library when it was threatened with closure.
I don’t do recruitment……but I do get my neighbours to support the local school
I don’t organise meetings……but I do organise outings and holidays with my friends and family
I don’t do representation……but I did go to the doctors with my partner to make sure they got their views across.
Sound like you? Your colleagues need you! Shop Steward Nomination Form 2019
BRANCH OFFICER ROLES
The Branch Secretary (rule G4.2), is responsible for ensuring the proper completion of the following tasks. It is not expected that, especially in larger branches, the Branch Secretary will personally undertake all these functions but will act as the strategic lead officer and co-ordinator within the branch. The secretary will encourage partnership working within the branch committee and the development of new representatives, will be the manager of branch staff and will manage the delegation of work to other branch officers and branch staff as appropriate, whilst providing support and guidance.
Tasks relating to the office of Branch Chairperson:-
- to preside at all meetings of the branch and branch committee
- to agree the agenda for meetings with the secretary
- to ensure that business is properly conducted
- to advise the branch officers and branch committee in respect of matters relating to procedure and interpretation of rules
- to ensure that all functions of the branch are carried outto work closely with the secretary to provide leadership to the branch.
- To deputise for the Branch Chair.
- To carry out functions related to Branch elections as set out in the Branch Rules.
Tasks relating to the office of Branch Treasurer:-
- to conduct the branch’s financial business
- to keep accounts in accordance with the rules
- to provide reports on the financial position of the branch committee
- to provide a detailed financial report for the annual branch meeting(s)
- to advise the branch officers and branch committee in respect of matters relating to financial management and appropriate expenditure
- to provide an audited annual return of branch income.
Tasks relating to the post of Branch Education Officer:-
- To make sure all new stewards and safety representatives receive initial information and guidance about their duties, e.g. stewards handbook, rulebook, service conditions agreements, etc
- To publicise the range of educational and training opportunities available to members and activists
- To get untrained stewards, safety representatives and other branch officers onto appropriate training courses
- To co-ordinate and support the work of learning representatives to encourage branch members and activists to make use of the UNISON courses
- To maintain contact with the regional education officer/regional learning and organising committee
- To establish a plan of training for activists and to produce an annual budget to meet its costs
- To keep records of what training has been undertaken and by whom within the branch
- To make sure that activists get paid time off for training where appropriate.
All UNISON representatives should promote equality and challenge discrimination in their union role. Equality Officer, whilst not expected to be an expert on all equality matters, lead and co-ordinate the branch’s equality work. The Equality Officer is not a representative of self-organised groups but is elected by the members at the Annual General Meeting. They are however expected to work with representatives of self-organised groups, with equality representatives and all activists. They support the training and development of other union representatives and monitor progress. Branch Equality Officer should share good practice where there are multiple workplace representatives within branches.
Branches can elect equality representatives for each of their work groups. The role of the equality rep is to promote equality and challenge discrimination in their local area, keeping the Branch Equality Officer updated on developments.
Health and Safety Officer
Tasks relating to the post of Health and Safety Officer:-
- to increase the awareness of members, health and safety representatives and branch officers of health and safety issues
- to organise the information held by the branch on health and safety
- to co-ordinate the activity of health and safety representatives and to organise regular meetings of health and safety representatives to exchange information and consider priorities
- to be closely involved in all negotiations with the employer on matters related to health and safety
- to advise the branch committee on health and safety issues arising in the branch and to recommend policies and priorities
- to act as a link between the health and safety representatives and other branch representatives to ensure that health and safety issues are treated as an integral part of the work of the branch
Tasks relating to the post of Branch Communications Officer:-
- to explain UNISON’s policies and to provide the information members need to play an active role in their union
- to assist with efforts to recruit new members
- to help support UNISON’s national and regional campaigns
- to help create a positive image for the branch among members, potential members and the public
- to produce news-sheets or bulletins for distribution to branch members
- to lead on the development of electronic communication with members – email, web, etc
- to ensure branch communications are in the accessible formats members need – audit for any particular requirements such as large print/Braille etc
- to ensure that nationally and regionally produced publicity and campaign materials are distributed, as appropriate, to stewards and onward to members and non-members
- to monitor local media for stories which affect the branch and take appropriate action
To help ensure that the branch makes effective contact with the media whenever necessary by:
- creating and maintaining lists of media and contacts
- writing press releases
- ensuring that appropriate individuals within the branch are available for comments, interviews etc
- writing ‘letters to the editor’.
Tasks relating to the post of Membership Officer:-
- to map the branch’s membership in order to identify membership density and steward coverage
- to monitor the branch’s recruitment, and also leavers rate
- to work with the branch committee to develop and implement its organisation and development plan
- to make recommendations to the branch committee on recruitment activities, targets, resources, budgets, etc.
Tasks relating to the post of International Officer:-
- to co-ordinate the branch’s work on international relations
- to ensure that branch members are informed of national policy on international matters
- to receive and distribute relevant information
- to encourage members to be aware of the importance of international solidarity issues within the context of the overall work by the union
- to liaise where appropriate with regional international structures and to ensure that the views of the branch on international activities are reported appropriately
- to liaise with other branch officers concerning publicity and education on international issues
- to liaise with the solidarity organisations and campaigns that UNISON is affiliated to
- to encourage members of the branch to take action and participate in international solidarity activities organised nationally or regionally
- to ensure that information on branch activity is shared at regional and national level
- to seek to develop an international perspective among members, stewards and branch officers.
Young Members’ Officer
The role of the Branch Young Members’ Officer is ideal for someone who is interested in becoming more active in the union. The post may be a stepping stone to becoming a steward or taking on wider roles.
Branch Young Members’ Officer must be under 27 years of age for the whole of their term of office and be nominated by young members.
Labour Link Officer
The Labour Link Officer is elected and accountable to the Labour Link section within the branch and must be an individual member of the Labour Party – this is because the post holder should work to take UNISON policy forward in the party, often being a delegate to the general committee of the party and encouraging joint work and campaigning with the local constituency Labour Party (CLP).
The branch UNISON Labour Link Officer is the key contact point for information about regional and national UNISON Labour Link matters and is responsible for co-ordinating our activities in the branch. They also represent the interests of Labour Link levy payers on the UNISON branch committee. The Labour Link Officer must be nominated by members paying into the Affiliated Political Fund.
The Labour Link officer will receive support, training and advice on their role and responsibilities from their regional political officer.
Tasks relating to the post of Branch Welfare Officer:-
- to ensure that branch officers, stewards and workplace representatives, and also employers, have regular up-to-date information about UNISON “There For You” and its range of services
- to ensure that members seeking welfare assistance receive a prompt, supportive and effective response
- to liaise and co-ordinate with regional and national levels to ensure that UNISON support is provided effectively
- to undertake training and seek advice from UNISON “There For You” where necessary
- to develop and implement local activity
- to develop links with local charities and sources of support such as Citizen’s Advice Bureau and women’s refuges.
2018 elected post holders were:
Branch Secretary Dan J. Bye
Vice-Chair Ian Chesters
Treasurer Tracey Holland
International Officer Lucinda Wakefield
Health & Safety Officer William Tierney
Welfare Officer Tongriang Lohor