- 2017 National Delegate Conference
- 20 February 2017
- Carried as Amended
Conference recognises the increasingly hostile environment in which UNISON branches are operating. Austerity cuts have reduced the number of activists and put further pressure on facility time; while increased fragmentation of the workforce has made organising more difficult. Meanwhile the need for us to develop an organising approach has never been greater.
There is no one single model for an effective organising branch and Conference welcomes the various initiatives that branches, regions and the centre have taken to develop an organising approach, including the development of:
1)New branch structures including mergers and arrangements for joint branch working;
2)Shop Front organising facilities;
3)Digital support for organising;
4)Advice on and support for facility time agreements;
5)The use of Fighting Fund Organisers.
The challenge facing branches is that with all the other pressures activists often find it difficult to make time for organising, as other competing priorities crowd out organising work.
Conference believes that one way of overcoming this barrier is for branches to agree to establish an organising working group made up of activists solely focused on organising. Their remit will include developing an organising plan as part of the Joint Branch Assessment process, which they will then help implement.
The aim of the plan should specify how the organising working group members will help:
a)Increase recruitment so that UNISON is stronger in the workplace;
b)Develop new activists, to improve communications between UNISON, the members and the employers;
c)Ensure that new activists are trained and supported, with the aim, wherever possible, of getting an activist in each workplace;
d)Reach out to workers in the fragmented workforce;
e)To encourage democratic participation in UNISON by members through the democratic structures and Self Organised Groups.
Conference therefore calls on regions and branches to develop this approach to help branches deal with the challenges we face.
Conference also calls on the National Executive Council to ensure that a suite of materials and training is developed to support this approach.
In light of the increasingly serious challenges faced by branches, Conference calls on the National Executive Council to produce a paper before next year’s National Delegate Conference setting out the various options available to branches to deal with the fragmented workforce and increasing pressure on activists.