Organising School Staff

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2009 Local Government Service Group Conference
13 June 2009

Recruiting and organising school staff remains a major issue for this union. The proposed negotiating framework for schools in England and the changing working environment, resulting in increased roles and responsibilities for all staff in schools, highlight the need to improve the unions’ organisation in this area.

Conference is aware that some branches have been very successful in recruiting school staff but there are still major difficulties in getting access to schools and in particular getting time-off for school based staff.

Conference calls on the SGE to develop a realistic and co-ordinated strategy working with regions and branches to organise in schools, increase the number of UNISON stewards and to ensure school staff are supported and empowered to participate fully in the union.

This should include:

1)Branches, regions and national office to map the current number of school based stewards.

2)Producing recruitment materials for school staff appropriate for Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland

3)Ensuring UNISON training is available for school representatives, encouraging branches and regions to run school specific training and monitoring take up and impact

4)Supporting the work of the SSSNB (School Staff Support Negotiating Body) in seeking a national agreement on improved Trade Union Facilities for School Support Staff and ensuring improved time-off and facilities, funding and resources for backfill remain a priority in any national negotiations.

5)Producing specific advice for branches on negotiating time-off for school representatives which include issues of backfilling for staff as appropriate, the use of all local available funding and protocols for working with other unions including teaching unions

6)Urging and supporting regions to develop school recruitment plans and monitoring the impact of these

7)Networks of school stewards to be facilitated at branch, regional and national level.

8)Progress on this strategy must be monitored by the Service Group Executive and reported to Local Government conference 2010.