It’s ♥ Unions week, a chance to reflect on the good work UNISON has done for our members over the course of this past pandemic-hit year.

Here in Bexley we’ve achieved a lot together with our members, including:

  • raising such significant objections to the council’s consultation on plans to close its Children’s Centres that they had to scrap it and keep our members in their jobs
  • pushing hard for the council to recommend the same 2.75% pay rise for all its staff (rather than awarding many staff just 1.1%), which was then agreed last month
  • helping numerous members with Covid-19 safety concerns, such as intervening to ensure people with health vulnerabilities have been able to continue working at home on full pay when some employers have tried to make them go into workplaces
  • supporting members to get the best possible outcomes in restructures and redundancy processes, including the ongoing significant voluntary redundancy programme at the London Borough of Bexley

It’s no surprise then that UNISON Bexley branch is now bigger than it has been for many years, with so many of our colleagues at employers all round the borough seeing the benefits of being part of the union.

Play your part

Whether you’ve recently joined, or been with us for years, thank you for being a part of the branch!

Have you considered getting more involved? It’s a really rewarding time to be supporting your colleagues and to make a real difference to people’s lives when things have been so hard for so many people.

To celebrate ♥ Unions week, we’re extending your chance to put yourself forward for a role within our branch!

You can join the small, friendly team of colleagues who run the branch, supported by expert staff from UNISON’s Greater London Region!

Here are some of the ways you could play a part:

Become a steward, safety rep or workplace contact

If you’d like to support colleagues with their workplace issues, you would make a great steward!

All UNISON stewards receive full training and support to develop into the role, learning valuable skills as well as making a real difference to your colleagues’ working lives.

You’re entitled to paid time off work to undertake your duties as a steward, whether that’s accompanying members to meetings or simply offering them some advice.

If you’d like to be a steward, simply get in touch with us, any time!

Another type of workplace representative that has perhaps never been more relevant than over this past year is a safety rep. Find out more about becoming a UNISON safety rep here.

And if you’re not quite ready to support your colleagues in this formal way yet, but would be up for being our point of contact within your team or department, alerting us to any issues you become aware of there and generally being our eyes and ears in your workplace, we’d love to welcome you on board as a workplace contact instead. Again, please let us know and we’ll get back to you about it!

Join the committee

If you’d like to play a part in running the branch, why not join our friendly committee?

We meet monthly (online at the moment of course) to discuss workplace issues and how we’re addressing them, and take decisions around how the branch runs, and it’d be great to welcome you into those discussions.

There are numerous roles on the committee, which you can see the official details of via the list below, but we’re a very flexible bunch who all work together to get things done, so whatever you’d like to contribute, we’re sure there’ll be a role for you, so don’t get too hung up on the details!

These are the roles you could take on:

The bold ones are currently vacant, so of course if you’re interested in doing one of those that’s particularly welcome! But don’t hold back on considering any of the above roles as there’s usually a way to share roles or a willingness among those currently doing them to try something new.

If you’d like to chat about any of the roles, or get some help with thinking about what you’d like to do, please get in touch and we’ll happily have that conversation.

If you’d like to stand for one of these roles, there’s a simple online form to complete here – but by all means have a chat with us first if you’re not quite sure about the process!

The newly extended deadline to put yourself forward for one of these roles, ahead of our AGM at 12.30pm on 18 March, is 2pm on Wednesday 24 February 2021.

You can do it!

Your UNISON branch is run by members just like you, working in jobs all over Bexley borough. Members like you volunteering to hold these roles is what has meant the branch can support all our members in the ways we have been.

So why not learn some new skills, and apply the ones you already have to a new area, by getting involved in UNISON Bexley branch? We’d love to hear from you soon!