The branch secretary (rule G4.2), is responsible for ensuring the proper completion of the following tasks. It is not expected that, especially in larger branches, the branch secretary will personally undertake all these functions but will act as the strategic lead officer and co-ordinator within the branch. The secretary will encourage partnership working within the branch committee and the development of new representatives, will be the manager of branch staff and will manage the delegation of work to other branch officers and branch staff as appropriate, whilst providing support and guidance.
Tasks relating to the office of branch secretary:
- to guide the branch’s development through the preparation and implementation of a branch organisation and development plan
- to ensure the representation of members within the branch in accordance with national guidance (see UNISON guide to representation, and stock no 2426) and that case forms and applications for services forwarded to UNISON offices are properly completed and authorised
- to convene and attend all meetings of the branch and branch committee.
- to arrange for the minutes of meetings to be kept in a proper manner and circulated to all branch officers and stewards
- to arrange for branch records to be kept in a proper manner
l to ensure the branch, speedily and accurately, processes applications for membership and maintains records in accordance with UNISON’s systems
- to ensure regular communication with the members of the branch with news of campaigns, negotiations, issues, branch developments and activities
- to communicate with the union’s regional and head offices on behalf of the branch
- to ensure that branch members are aware of opportunities to participate in the activities of the wider union, or within self-organisation if appropriate
- to support, mentor and encourage the stewards in the branch on an individual and collective basis. The branch secretary should seek to meet with each steward on a one-to-one basis,
- to discuss issues and workplace organisation, on a six-monthly basis l to ensure that members and stewards are aware, and take advantage, of educational and training opportunities within UNISON
- to ensure that appropriate publicity activities are developed and co-ordinated by the branch
- to act as spokesperson for the branch when in contact with other levels of the union and external organisations
- to ensure that members receive the benefits, rights and services to which they are entitled
- to co-ordinate all branch negotiations and industrial relations matters
- to ensure, in conjunction with the branch committee, that the branch observes the union’s rules, supports UNISON campaigns and works towards achieving UNISON’s objectives
- to ensure the proper management and direction of any branch employed staff.
Click here for details about training to help undertake this role.