Organising and Recruitment

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2010 Health Care Service Group Conference
18 April 2010

Conference welcomes and endorses the Million Voices for Public Services campaign, which highlights that UNISON members care passionately about the services they provide and want to see changes that put people before profit and public interest before private greed.

As the largest trade union in health, UNISON is best placed to ensure that those working for the NHS have their voice heard. However, Conference is concerned that the NHS and the staff employed within it are facing huge uncertainty with a shifting political agenda and threats of privatisation and cuts to public services. As a union it is vital that we maintain our strength in the NHS to protect staff and to make sure that when they want to stay within a publicly-owned NHS they have the voice to do so.

Conference affirms that we must continue to champion the voices of individual occupations and make sure that all our members are heard. Not only must we build our strength by focusing on recruiting new members, but we must also ensure that we can meet the needs of and keep strong relationships with existing members. We need to ensure that all members feel part of the union and connected to each other through their membership of the union and not only when they have a problem at work.

Conference welcomes the work around the organising pilots in the health group that used the methods from the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers, where the emphasis is on building strong and lasting relationships between the branch and its members and encouraging an active membership. Conference also congratulates UNISON’s regions on their work to ‘Meet the Organising Challenge’; many of our regions and branches through their hard work have created an upturn in recruitment during difficult times.

Conference affirms that particularly during these uncertain times we need to ensure that we use all organising methods at our disposal to ensure that we build the strength of the union. We also need to ensure that pilots are properly evaluated and where they are shown to be successful, the methods should be rolled out on a larger scale, accordingly.

Conference calls on the Health Service Group Executive to:

1.Promote the work of organising pilots and to roll out the methods on a larger scale to other branches where appropriate; and

2.Work with branches, regions and other relevant departments to put in place training and briefing materials on effective organising methods to ensure that branches can access as many organising tools as possible.