Published April 24, 2019 at 9:40
May says spring. It’s the season of growth. And our branches and regions across the country, and across the union, are gearing up to Go for Growth in May: making plans to host events and talk to members and potential members about the benefits of being in UNISON.
Our Go for Growth Campaign starts on 29 April and runs to 2 June, to allow for May’s bank holidays.
Advertising, social media and press coverage will support dynamic ground activity in workplaces and the community by activists and organisers working in partnership.
Other key elements of the work the centre is doing to support branches and activists in the workplace include:
a UNISON Centre phone bank running in the week beginning 22 April to contact branches about the campaign to see if they’ve got all the resources and support they need;
welcome calls to new joiners – if your branch would like to do this, please let the region know, to make sure we meet GDPR requirements and are monitoring;
a dedicated piece of research will be carried out into why people leave the union and how they communicate that, as well as our communication with them.
On the ground, branches and regions are being asked to think about how best they can approach all members and potential joiners – not just those who work nine-to-five.
We saw some great night walks and breakfast stalls last time around when we ran the Grovember campaign, so if why not give it a go in May? It’s a great way of showing that UNISON is there for our members whenever and wherever they work.
As an added breakfast bonus, the mornings are a lot lighter in May than they were in November – and sometimes even sunny.
And remember, nearly 80% of our members now join online, so don’t forget that you can use Join Online (join.unison.org.uk) or EasyJoiner (easy.unison.org.uk) on a tablet or phone when you are recruiting in the workplace.
There are other things our activists, reps and branches can do to make the month’s campaigning that little bit easier. Some of these might be obvious, but we all know how easy it is to forget the obvious things until we’re reminded.
Order and refresh your recruitment materials to make sure you’re well supplied throughout May from our online catalogue at catalogue.unison.org.uk/.
Why not spring clean your branch noticeboards, your Facebook page or social media to give them that fresh, welcoming feeling?
And do check out our new campaign hub at goforgrowth.unison.org.uk for tips, advice and downloadable resources.
Make sure you fully understand your branch and workplace: have you mapped where non-members work and the places you have visited recently, or those where the union hasn’t been visible for a while?
Reach out to members and non-members with an event – a picnic, a stall in the canteen, cupcakes or a social.
Go walkabout! Whether it’s a night walk around the wards on a hospital or a breakfast session with refuse collectors, why not make a special effort to be where your members are when they are working? Say hello to current members and try and recruit some new ones.
Want to organise a local recruit-a-friend competition? You can use EasyJoiner and we’ll help you see all the data you need to pick a winner.
Promote our great new offers and deals to your members. There’s a downloadable flyer coming soon, along with graphics and text, you could use in branch emails. It’s a way of saying thank you to our current members.
If you’re on social media, use the hashtags #GoForGrowth and #JoinUNISON to share what you’re doing – or just what’s so great about UNISON.
And let us know what’s working for you, so that other branches can learn from your successes at goforgrowth.unison.org.uk.
Maybe you face particular problems, such as an employer who won’t allow union access to the workplace? If so, how do you deal with that – meetings, perhaps with food and refreshments, in the local town hall or somewhere else?
Maybe you have to support – and recruit among – a scattered workforce, who work at many sites: care workers, or a number of schools with just a few current members in each site?
Many branches and activists have used “drop-offs” in situation where they can’t meet everyone, leaving packets of publicity material and recruitment forms in tea areas or canteens for instance. Have you done this? How was the take-up? Did you do anything to make packets more attractive than just a pile of leaflets on a cupboard: ribbons, sweets etc?
Again, let us – and more importantly other branches and activists – know, using the address above.
But, of course it’s not just about you and your branch – with UNISON Centre supplying some aerial support above you.
Regions have also been developing detailed plans to make sure organising and other staff are available to work alongside and bolster our activists and branches.
So if you’re a UNISON activist and want to know more about what’s going on in your region and what support is being offered to branches, talk to your regional, area or local organiser, or the regional office now.