Referring cases to the regional office
The casework policy, as agreed by the Regional Committee, is that branches should deal with cases in the first instance and that enquiries from members received by the Regional Office will be directed back to their local branch. If the branch feel that they need to refer a case to the Regional Office then the rep should make contact with their regional official (RO/RSO) to discuss whether a referral is necessary. If it is agreed that the Regional Office will handle the case then the local representative will ensure that the Regional Office is provided with the appropriate information and documentation prior to the member being advised to contact the office. Any members that contact office directly without such a referral will be referred back to their branch.
It is important that members should not be referred to the Regional Office without first discussing this with the relevant regional official and members should not be informed that their case will be dealt with by the Regional Office before this has been agreed. This also applies to referrals to the Regional Caseworker.
Support with cases
With regards to seeking support with cases, these again should be directed to the appropriate regional official and not directly to the Regional Caseworker. The only people who can contact the Regional Caseworker without first discussing it with their regional official are branch casework coordinators who can contact the Regional Caseworker directly for advice and support. If your branch does not currently have a casework coordinator then please speak to your regional official who can advise you on how to set up this post. Reps who contact the Regional Caseworker without having first spoken to the Regional Official will be referred back to their appropriate official in the first instance.
Approaching non-members can be a challenge but it’s also a very successful way to promote UCU membership and to get them to join. It can also be way to get a handle on the issues which people face at work and obviously boost the profile of the union in the workplace.
Where is best to target with a door-knocking session or staff room tour and when is the best time? Will staff be around to speak to? Set yourself a target of contacts in the time you have available and have a backup plan if people aren’t about.
- Work as a team – working pairs or small groups will enable you work faster and cover more ground. It also makes it less challenging and more fun. Why not run a recruitment session after a branch exec meeting?
- If you can target non-members using a membership list, so much the better. It can be an opportunity to speak to members too, but don’t forget that your focus is on recruiting non-members.
- If you are approaching non-members where they work, it may be obvious whether they are eligible to join.
- Think about the reason for calling – could you run a simple survey on a local issue (“what concerns most at work”) or could you just say that you are speaking to staff in the department about a particular issue? The most direct approach is that you are asking people to join UCU.
- As with any recruitment conversation, have your opening line ready and follow this up with some of the key benefits of joining – the Why you Should be a Member leaflet is a good start.
- If you’ve got a local issue running, can you run a petition or have a briefing ready to give out?
- Be bold and smile – the worst that can happen is that people are busy and don’t want to talk. Most people will be glad to see you, happy to talk and hopefully, happy to join.
- If you can get them to join online or over the phone there and then, it will take about 5 minutes. If they can’t sign up straight away, or they haven’t got time to talk, ask if you can call again.
- Leave a calling card – whether you speak to a non-member or not, always leave something behind which shows that you have called.
Don’t forget to keep in touch with us about your plans for National Recruitment Week. To order recruitment materials, use the online form here.
If you need help with your event on the day, please let your link official know or email the regional office on firstname.lastname@example.org