What do workplace contacts do?
UNISON workplace contacts play different support roles in the workplace, including:
- Making sure members receive union and other important information
- Helping groups of members to organise effectively
- Maintaining contact between members and the union where there is an elected steward
- Supporting other activists such as stewards and health and safety reps
Workplace contacts have a more informal role than stewards or safety representatives. They can also operate as part of a network supporting an elected steward.
Where can I get support and advice?
Your own steward, your health and safety rep and your branch are all there to help and support you in whatever you are able to contribute. You can also get advice from regional offices where necessary.
The union will make sure you:
- Receive regular UNISON information
- Are encouraged and enabled to get involved in branch work
- Get training and access to education, including induction courses for members considering becoming more involved
- Know where to go for advice on dealing with workplace problems
Most branches can give workplace contacts training and support through practical experience, for example, by inviting them to observe and assist in advising and organising members and in meetings with management.
How do I become a UNISON workplace contact?
Any group of members can elect a workplace contact. This group is known as the workplace contact’s constituency.
Members don’t need to hold an election but should find some way of agreeing on who the contact should be.
Stewards may wish to encourage a colleague to become a workplace contact, either to assist with stewards’ work or to encourage them to become more active in the future.