Retaining Members When They Retire

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2011 Retired Members' Conference
7 June 2011
Carried as Amended

Conference notes the efforts of many branches and branch retired members’ groups to retain members when they retire but regrets to note the apparent lack of support, co-ordination and reporting to sustain these efforts.

Conference believes a haphazard approach may lead to patchy results and may reproduce or exaggerate patterns of inclusion and exclusion among full members and in the workforce.

Conference calls for a more systematic approach to retaining and organising retired members and for this to be monitored so it can be developed and targeted.

Conference recognises that the availability of well-designed and specific publicity material can be of crucial importance in this matter, and notes with disappointment that there would appear to be only two items in UNISON’s online publicity resources catalogue which relate directly to retired members: the joining form and the Handbook for Retired Members’ Secretaries. For long periods of time even these have been unavailable.

Whilst many retired members’ sections and retired members’ organisations do produce their own newsletters etc., there is still a need for nationally produced materials such as:

1. Posters for workplaces to recruit members into the retired members’ sections at the point of retirement

2. “Not Just Pensions” – leaflets etc. about the wide range of things that retired members can still get involved with in the union.

3. Information for branches about what retired members’ sections can do and how branches can help retired members organise

4. Information about the links to other organisations working with older and retired people.

Conference calls on the National Retired Members’ Committee to work with UNISON Communications Department and with regional and branch retired members’ organisations to improve the quantity, variety and availability of materials specifically concerned with retired members.

Conference instructs the National Retired Members’ Committee, seeking the support of the National Executive Council as need be, to:

i.Develop a target-led approach to retaining members at retirement with appropriate reporting and monitoring; and,

ii.Share best practice between regions and branches, promote retention and reward results.

iii. ensure that Regions organise courses to train newly appointed Retired Members’ Secretaries and contacts