Essex UCU is keen to hear from members who want to get involved. Choose how much or how little you want to do, depending on the amount of time you can spare, or the type of practical assistance you can give.
Here are a few ways you can help:
- Hand out recruitment material to new staff
- Help at recruitment stalls or induction days
- Attend general meetings
- Join the committee
- Be a Dep Rep
- Train as Personal Case Worker or H&S rep – nationally run training courses are available at no cost to UCU members
- Stick up posters and distribute newsletters
- Contribute to/write articles for/collate & print the local newsletter
Your first port of call should be the Essex UCU Office. Our Branch Organiser, Lorraine Collins, will be able to answer your questions and give you some guidance about the sort of things you might be able to help with. The office is room 5A.102 and is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9am-3pm. Or e: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 01206 (87) 4967. Alternatively, contact any member of the committee – they will be very pleased to hear from you and will be able to answer your questions.
I don’t have much time to spare
It all counts! If six people are able to offer us ten minutes each for sticking up posters or distributing leaflets then that’s an hour of help we didn’t have before. If you let us know how much time you can spare, we’ll find something you can help with that fits in with your other commitments. Union reps are entitled, by law, to use a reasonable amount of their working hours to carry out union duties.
I am worried that being seen as an active member might affect how others view me
Feedback from existing active members suggests that others will see you in a different light once you become a more active union member – but in a good way! Union reps are widely respected for their dedication and for the help they give to fellow union members and other members of staff. Essex UCU has a very good working relationship with the University and there shouldn’t be any negative comeback for our active members.
You can also get help and support from Lorraine in the Essex UCU office or any Committee will support you. If you want to become a Personal Caseworkers or a rep, we recommend that you attend training and we will also support you whilst you shadow colleagues currently carrying out those roles. UCU and the TUC both offer free specifically targetted training courses. You are entitled to time off work to attend trade union training courses.
You could add another string to your bow…and help your colleagues: we’re all in this together.