Branch Secretary :

Our Reps and Activists are Schooled in Leadership!

Our hardworking reps quite often have to work unsociable hours, evenings and weekends, and any time off is therefore very precious. However, over 20 reps were prepared to give up a Saturday to come along to our first Leadership Forum on Saturday 15th July.


Every Rep’s a Leader, and Every Activist is Too!


The Leadership Forum was run on the basis that every representative has to use leadership skills in their role, whether it is in collective bargaining, organising and campaigning, making sure the union is visible in the workplace, or taking on casework. The strange thing about leadership skills is that most people don’t even recognise that they are using them, and few really effective people identify themselves as ‘leaders’. Becoming more aware of your role as a leader in the workplace is essential to being an effective rep.


This Forum session for activists aimed to help reps make the most efficient use of their precious time, inspire a wider circle of members to become active so that the work is more evenly spreadout, ensure that their activities havegreater impact, and recruit new members to give everyone more power in the workplace.


Organising and Leverage Leadership Session


This inspiring and information opening session was led by Maggie Hazelhurst from Unite's Organising and leverage department. Maggie drew on her own experience as a representative as well as her role in leading high profile campaigns on behalf of the union. Click on the image below to see Maggie's slides.



Maggie also explained that Unite now has a fantastic resource to arm representatives with pay bargaining information, helping them to see pay settlements by employer and region, and also with anniversary dates. This comprehensive database will allow reps to coordinate pay campaigns across a particular sector and to see what the same employer is paying in different sections or regions. For full details, see here to get your login details and access the database.


The $15 Now Campaign


In the next session, reps watched short videos on an inspiring campaign led by Kshama Sawant, a Socialist Alternative city councillor in Seattle who led the successful struggle for the $15 minimum wage. Kshama is a seasoned working class activist who wouldn’t accept the impossibility of building a fairer society. She went on to build a campaign alongside the most poorly paid and insecure workers in the US. The videos we watched and others in the series are available as follows:



Applying Leadership Skills


The day closed with a practical action planning session in which attendees thought through how we could use what we have learned about leadership methods to build the unions in our own workplaces more effectively.


Solidarity with Unite Strikers at St Barts NHS Trust


We finished up with a solidarity action in support of Unite strikers at St Barts NHS Trust. Serco Unite members working as domestic staff, porters and security workers at St Barts NHS Trust were taking industrial action over pay, job cuts and working conditions so we all stood in solidarity.



See video here and see here for more details.


If you are interested in attending one of our Reps Forums, please contact


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