On 11 March UNISON launched a major recruitment campaign to boost our strength in workplaces at a time when public services are under sustained attack from the coalition government.
General Secretary Dave Prentis wants the union to represent thousands of workers who have not joined a union and who have little or no defence against the government’s attack on their jobs.
He has told UNISON members and activists: “In many workplaces we’re 50% unionised. We should be 100% unionised.”
And he promises that UNISON will do everything in its power to help its activists achieve that saying: “We need to strengthen the union, we need to make sure that the activists are supported and we need to make sure that our members and potential members know that UNISON is there for them.”
The first phase of the recruitment campaign kicked off on 11 March, spearheaded by a national advertising campaign including television adverts, national and local press advertising, online and social media.
A range of new recruitment materials is available for branches to use in workplaces and the union has reviewed how it processes applications to ensure that people find it quick and easy to join UNISON.
This recruitment campaign is happening against the backdrop of disastrous government policies that Mr Prentis describes as “the most frightening we’ve ever dealt with, more so even than those under Margaret Thatcher.
“Our members are in the eye of the storm. What keeps them awake at night is the worry about losing their jobs, about privatisation and how they can continue to make ends meets after living with a pay freeze that has lasted over three years.
“As their union, they turn to us to help. And we’ve got to be there for them. So it’s important that we as their union are strong. To be a strong union you have to have growing membership, you’ve got to speak on behalf of the whole workforce, not just a small part of it.
“This is about increasing density, making the union strong, putting the union in a position where it will weather the storm and set a legacy for future public service workers.”
What you can do
Find out what is happening in your branch and make sure you volunteer with recruiting new members in your workplace. You can put up posters, talk to your colleagues or make sure that our recruitment leaflets are available to non members where you work.
You can find out what resources are available to help on the UNISON website at www.unison.org.uk/recruitment