With the next National Recruitment Week fast approaching in just over a month’s time (27th February until the 3rd of March) please discuss with colleagues what activities you are going to run to invite more staff to join UCU, and let the Scotland office know your plans. We are all available to help, so again please put your requests in as soon as possible.
Quite a number of branches have asked for advice on what activities they might undertake. We have therefore put together a short list of suggestions for activities you might consider. Experience fed back from branches has shown that the recruitment activities which bear most fruit are the simplest, and take the least effort and organisation.
- Start early – make sure that members know that it is recruitment week. Email members and let them know when it is. If possible let the other campus unions know what you are doing and work with them. You should have access to lists of your members via eMembership system (If there is a problem with this let us know). Ask for your members help in organising recruitment and ask them for their suggestions.
- Run a stall or run a workshop? If you have suitable area with good throughput or if you have a central dining area where everyone goes, run a stall. In bigger campuses, what we find work particularly well are stalls in individual buildings which involve local reps and members. Why not run a drop in area? “Come to us to ask advice.” Try to run it for an hour or two over lunch every day to allow access to the maximum potential audience, rather than all day. It may take a few days for word to spread.
- Visiting staff rooms and door knocking- Many find this prospect daunting, but having a reason to be there (workload, the pay ballot, local issues) can be the key to overcoming this and if possible letting the members know in advance. The staff from the Scotland office can also help you with this activity. Activities like this raise the profile of the branch. This takes little time to organise and can be done for a short period of time each day over the week rather than lots of time spent on one day. Look at your membership list. Sort it by department. Where do you have few members? Make a point of visiting these areas.
- Involve as many people as possible. Members? Their interests are best served by a strong branch. Committee? Recruitment is the responsibility of all. Many branches as well as reps have local contacts so this is an ideal time to involve them. Everyone should be aware that this is UCU national Recruitment Week, the more participation, the more potentially successful the outcome
- Celebrate your successes. Branches do huge amounts of case and other behind the scenes work. Tell members and non-members about all the important work the branch and more widely the union has done.
- Recruit a rep or contact. It is a fact that where we have reps and local contacts we have lots of members and where there is no rep we have fewer. If you recruit a new member in a department with few or no reps or contacts, ask them to become a contact for their area. The basic duties of a new contact can be to represent the union in their area and distribute union material to staff. If you have no new members in the department, ask an existing member.
You can order materials (leaflets, posters, pens etc.) using the simple online form here. For guidance, ideas from other branches, downloadable resources, and promotional videos see our Build the Union blogsite here