UNISON renews ties with RCOT/BAOT

UNISON and the British Association of Occupational Therapists have renewed their partnership agreement. This means that occupational therapy staff working in the UK who are members of BAOT/RCOT will continue to be members of UNISON.

UNISON and BAOT have been working together since 1993, helping to ensure that more than 36,000 occupational therapists have access to a voice and collective bargaining through the UK’s largest union.

Commenting on the new contract, Christina McAnea, UNISON General Secretary stated:

“UNISON warmly welcomes the signing of the refreshed BAOT/UNISON Partnership Agreement. Having been in a partnership for almost 20 years, the relationship between our organisations has grown from strength to strength. We are proud to represent the interests of occupational therapy staff and to support them at work. We will continue to encourage BAOT members to be actively involved in the union, providing a strong voice for occupational therapy in every workplace.”

RCOT Chief Executive, Steve Ford said:

“A key part of our new strategy is that we will open up new opportunities by joining forces and forming alliances. Our new contract with UNISON does just that. By working alongside UNISON, who have over a million members, we will have a  powerful voice to promoting our views.

“Our close ties with UNISON are seen as an important benefit for many of our over 36,000 members. They are your trade union and represent you. They lobby on your behalf and are a strong advocate for the profession. When they issue a statement or press the government on an issue, that includes RCOT’s voice.”

Getting involved

Many BAOT/UNISON members volunteer to get involved in the union and play an active role in their local UNISON branch. We want to have a BAOT/UNISON steward in every department in every workplace. Here is what some of our stewards have said about their experience of getting involved:

“Being a union rep has equipped me with a wide range of skills which have benefitted me in my clinical role.  I have learned how to build relationships between different groups with diverse interests, how to deal with challenging behaviours, how to engage in policy development and strategic planning, and how to be a successful negotiator.  These skills are transferable across any setting and can greatly enhance future career prospects.”

“It’s because I put myself forward as a BAOT rep that I’ve been able to attend meetings with directors and chief executives and bring an OT perspective to discussions. I’ve always been at pains to promote the value of Occupational Therapy – being active in the union gives me many opportunities to do this.”  

“It is our job as union reps to promote what we do and to let others know about the benefits of partnership working with trade unions. During my time as a rep, I have witnessed time and again that where an employer works in partnership with the unions to resolve an issue or meet a challenge, it always results in better decision-making and outcomes for both patients and staff.”

If you are interested in becoming a workplace steward and want to know more, contact baotstewards@unison.co.uk.