We know our reps and activists need support and information, help and advice – even more so if you’re new to the role. Here are three things to do to start you off.

1. Ask your branch for mentoring – contact Anya Greig in the Branch Office

Support, including training, is available at both national and regional level, but the key to supporting new activists is through the personal touch at branch level – in other words, mentoring.

The key roles for a mentor or buddy will be to:

talk to you about your training or other development needs;
direct you to key people in the branch;
encourage you to work out solutions to issues as they arise;
help you find ways to follow up actions from courses and put your learning into practice.

2. Read the Stewards’ handbook

This essential publication is given to all reps and stewards and is packed with useful information. Contact your branch if you haven’t received yours yet.

If you are going to be doing casework then you can refer to the UNISON guide to Member Representation.

3. Join the Organising Space

The Organising Space is a dedicated microsite for UNISON activists to share and discuss the issues and strategies affecting their duties in the workplace.

More about the Organising Space

4. Make the most of Education and Training opportunities

See the Education & Training Section of our website for opportunities for training, development and other learning opportunities.

5. Look out for Activist communications

UNISON distributes a specialist stewards’ magazine, UNISON inFocus, offering support to all workplace representatives. There is also a weekly email bulletin, eFocus, which is sent to all reps and activists who have registered an email address with the union.

Branches also send representatives regular information on local matters and representatives can always ring or email the Branch office, UNISONdirect or check the news section on the UNISON main website.

Are you a new rep?

Make sure you sign up for stewards’ training – contact Anya Greig in the Branch Office.
Make sure your branch knows you’ve been elected as a rep.
Make sure your branch lets your region know and gets you registered as a rep or steward on the membership system. This will make sure you get the UNISON inFocus stewards’ magazine regularly.
Make sure the membership system has an email address for you. This will allow you to receive the weekly eFocus email bulletin with information to help and support you.