As a rep your role would include providing information to other members in your workplace, ensuring that members continue to have a say about potential changes at work, recruiting new members into NEU membership and acting as a communication link on key education issues between NEU and the members in your workplace.
You may undertake some, but not all, of the activities discussed below. As you grow in confidence, and with support and training, you will feel able to take on more.
Build union presence in the workplace
- The single most important job of the rep to make everyone aware that the NEU exists and is a strong collective voice for members. Strong union groups experience fewer workplace issues – union presence stops management causing problems.
- Be visible – wear a NEU badge or lanyard and keep the noticeboard up-to-date.
- Talk to people about the union. Keep them aware of our wider activities by encouraging them to take part in union surveys or sharing campaign materials.
- Organise regular members’ meetings.
- Be available to talk to members about questions, problems or concerns they have.
- Assist members in raising concerns and accompanying them to meetings.
- Raise the collective concerns of members.
- Build relationships with other union representatives and managers to help resolve potential problems at an early stage.
Organise and recruit
- Recruit new members to the National Education Union.
- Involve members with our democratic structures, such as encouraging them to go along to a members’ meeting or to attend their union branch or district meetings.
- Help to build a rep team in your workplace, eg recruiting a new health and safety rep and/or union learning rep to support the work of the union.
- Organise members to act collectively if there is an issue that needs tackling.
- Promote members’ professional development by encouraging attendance at our learning events.
- Keep members in your school/college informed about your work on their behalf.
- Circulate national and local information from your branch or district, or from the national union.
- Help members access advice, guidance and support.
- Communicate this through member meetings, emails and NEU noticeboards.