Welcome Young Members
Welcome to the Young Members Page for Birmingham Unison, this will cover all issues affecting Young Members and any information you might need to know such as when meetings will be held.
Unison has around 63,000 young members. If you are a UNISON member and under 27 years of age you are automatically entitled to participate as a Young Member. Why not get involved and help us campaign for the issues affecting young workers.
2019 is the year of young workers, and a year where we really want to make a difference for the good of young workers and our members.
Contact your Young Members Officer if you have any ideas or would like to get involved on: Nicola.Moran@birminghamunison.co.uk
Young Members, An Update
Hi Young Members,
My name is Nicola (I prefer Nici), I'm your Young Members Officer at Birmingham branch. I thought it was time we caught up.
Over the last couple of years I have sent surveys etc out and the returns have been limited, so I thought I'd put it out to you - the members about what do you want to hear about and what will make you want to join our forum and provide you with some context as well as some information about what is coming.
I suppose what I am asking is, what does your union mean to you?
Young Members is a great opportunity to become a part of something much bigger, to start from the bottom and learn from so many who have come before you but also be their equal. Its an opportunity to grow as a person, and join a really important movement. In our current political climate the Trade Unions are at the forefront, we are here and we are trying to make a difference - we push back on the cuts to our services and we fight for every day workers like yourselves.
Trade Unions have a long, important history in this country, and with Young Members we will have a future that spans further decades too. Do you want to see a difference in this country, or your workplace? I know I did when I started to become active, and I still do. Before becoming a Trade Unionist I had never met people with such passion for services and for the rights of workers, for standing for what matters - it was truly eye opening and I stand proud now next to people who are really making a difference.
This is the month of Young Workers, and in 2019 the entire year will be The Year of Young Workers - recognising the hard work you do and showing just how important your roles in the workplace are as well as some great little perks to come.
On the National Young Members Forum we are working hard to ensure that 2019 will be a great year for Young Workers in Unison and ideas are always welcome that I can pitch back to the forum - we even have a free space currently, so if anyone is interested in seeing what we do and helping you are welcome to come and join us if you are ready to be active!
The union has changed my life, the friends I have made are for life, the understanding you gain and the connections you make are priceless. I have attended conferences, meetings and courses through Unison which have been incredible.
You don't need to jump in at the deep end, and no-one would expect you to. But there is so much on offer - and so much you can bring to the table too.
Conferences teach you so much about the things that are affecting people in all areas of the union, it goes far beyond the branch and stretches out accross so many cities, towns and all accross Britian. It's not easy, but its rewarding and a lot of fun too.
The courses on offer vary, the region offer all sorts of courses and our Branch offers some really interesting skills. Recently we had a creative writing course, but there are different things every month and if there's something that interests you - we can look at running it.
There is so much on offer, but I am always interested to know what interests young members and what you want to see. I am here as a voice for you, so please make yourselves known if there are issues you want to be raised and activities or things you would like me to look into holding for those of us members under 27.
If you have questions, would like to know more, or want to take that first step contact me on Nicola.Moran@birminghamunison.co.uk
Regional Young Members AGM
On the 1st April we had the Regional Young Members Forum AGM, during which we elected positions for National Young Members forum and our region’s chair. We also discussed our plans for the year ahead as a region and what we would like to achieve.
We are now in the beginnings of setting up a campaign and hopefully working towards a more unified region. The meeting was extremely positive and we spent time discussing things you will soon hear about once the wheels are in motion. If you would like further information or to be involved please come to our next regional Young Members meeting, you will receive invitation via email.
I would also like to remind you that Young Members Weekend is fast approaching; it is happening from the 12th-14th April in Newcastle, it is a really good opportunity to meet other Young Members, learn about what other regions and Branches are doing and enjoy the weekend. There are still spaces open in our region so if you would like to be considered please email Simon Holder (S.Holder@unison.co.uk) as soon as possible.
National Delegate Conference 2017
This year was my second time attending National Delegate Conference as the young members representative, the first year it was daunting and I was nervous but this year I went into conference with an understanding of the process and an open mind for the business of our union. I wasn’t disappointed by the debate and my respect for the speakers we got to hear is immeasurable.
There were lots of fringe meetings to attend at lunch time and on the evenings and I attended a couple, the young members meeting at lunch time which was very informative about what would be going on for young members during the week and the networking event that had been planned. I also attended the Cuban Solidarity meeting (there was very nice rum!) which was really good with 3 speakers who had flown in for conference who told us about how the unions are in their countries and the campaign. Learning about what is happening elsewhere especially with trade unionists made me feel humbled and proud of the unions across the globe.
We decided as a delegation to hear the debate on some motions and amendments before we voted so we would vote the best way possible for our branch and know exactly what we were voting for. Motion 74 (The Great Repeal bill – protecting devolution) we did agree with but denied amendment 74.2 as a conference, showing the democratic process working fully for the union. Another motion we as a branch listened to the debate on was “Exiting the EU – A Fair Deal For Workers and Public Services” – as a motion like this would affect us a public service branch greatly we wanted to give it detailed attention when it came to the motion and amendments to ensure the best deal for our branch and members, there was a lot of controversy around this debate and the amendments that conference was presented with but I did like the amendment submitted by the National Young Members Forum regarding Brexit (73.2) as it ensures that we are all informed at next year’s conference exactly where Brexit lies and what kind of deal we will be getting with the EU. I feel that conversation is very important for our members so we all have a clearer picture when conference comes around again.
As a union we carried the majority of the motions but there were some to fall, when 103 was carried, 101 and 102 fell – although there were many references back on this as not all of conference agreed for the other two to fall, the references back to the Standing Orders Committee did not lead to the motions being put back onto the order of business which did leave time for more business.
The young members submitted both a rule amendment and motions to conference this year. Following on from last year’s conference there was a motion “Stepping up the campaign against bullying and harassment” which was supported by speakers across all age ranges and passed, rule D had a rule change granted to elect a further Young Members seat onto the NEC so that there are now two seats and better proportionality for young members to be represented. This new seat will be a woman’s seat. This rule amendment being passed means a great deal for us young members, it means that Andrew Anderson is going to receive support in representing us all on the NEC and we have a greater voice among our peers. I look forward to seeing who our female representative will be. This conference we saw many positives for us as Young Members.
A highlight for me as a Young Member was Sinead (National Young Member Forum) getting to ask Jeremy Corbyn a question regarding the living wage for 16 year old’s, not only was it good to see an MP actually answering questions but also offering a positive response to a question which affects young people.
My biggest highlight for conference was certainly seeing Jeremy Corbyn speak and answer questions from our members. Its good to see an MP and party leader engaging with people, his reputation of standing “For The Many Not The Few” is certainly founded.
It was a really enjoyable conference, meeting so many other activists and making some really good friends from across the country as well as hearing some very passionate speeches. I look forward to the year ahead with our new policies.
- Nicola Moran, Young Members Officer
All Young Members from Birmingham branch invited to a Young Members meeting.
Thursday 24th November
5.30pm until 6.30pm
(with optional social afterwards)
Let us know if you will be attending by confirming on Facebook or emailing the branch's Young Members Officer: Nicola.Moran@birminghamunison.co.uk.
November is young workers month, we want to know what you feel is affecting young people in the workforce and this is your chance to meet other young members. It is also a chance to give any suggestions to the branch or just to find out more information on how you can become active in UNISON.
If you're under 27, have an interest in meeting other likeminded people and making some new contacts please come along.
National Delegate Conference
Last week I attended my first National Delegate Conference as the young member delegate and as your Young Members Officer, I chose to attend the conference to broaden my knowledge within Unison to help members and to be involved in the democracy that runs this union.
Conference was a really interesting, positive experience for me. It taught me a lot about the democracy that guides our union and it has equipped me with more knowledge to carry out my role as your Young Members Officer. Throughout the country we are fighting for the workers who need help and for the rights of all the workers; be that in the public or the private sector and I now have a renewed faith in what we are fighting for.
I met and had the opportunity to talk to so many new people from across the country and made some really helpful contacts both within and outside the West Midlands. The days were long and tiring with many motions to get to but it was incredibly worth it so have a say on the business of Unison.
A motion in particular that made me proud to be a Young Member was Motion 5 – Bullying and Young Members, the speakers were so passionate and the support for the motion came from all ages across the board. I felt so proud of this union while listening to the speakers; some of our members have overcome so much and the support they offered to those who are just starting out in the workforce was overwhelming. You could feel the emotion in the room from the passion of the speakers and the genuine want to help stamp out bullying of young members. This motion was incredibly close to home for me and I’m really glad it was supported so enthusiastically, we need to stamp out bullying in the workplace and this motion was certainly a start.
Conference really gave me a great deal of faith in our union and its members and I urge any of you, given the chance to go to conference and be part of it. If a week of union activity is too much I urge you to even attend regional meetings for Young Members which are a great deal shorter (an hour or so max in the city centre) to keep you in the loop and to make sure we are doing the right things to represent you.
About your Young Members Officer
My name is Nicola, I am Birmingham Branch’s Young Members Officer. I thought I would introduce myself and give you some idea of who I am and why I have become your Young Members Officer.
I began working for Birmingham City Council in 2015 as an apprentice in Administration for Children’s Services. In my first year I experienced my fair share of problems and my experience in the council didn’t start off too well. Things were getting more turbulent and I didn’t know what to do to help myself; luckily I had colleagues who were supportive and also Unison reps.
These reps saved my job when things were at the worst and without the union I could have very well been unemployed right now. The friendship and guidance I received inspired me to want to help other Young Members feel less alone, like they are supported and like they are actually an important part of the workforce.
We are a small group within an ageing workforce but there are more of us joining every day and we are a community – we have things in common, we matter. You don’t have to want to be an activist, it’s not for everyone, but if there are issues in your workplace or just things you want to discuss, approach your reps, approach me. I’m always here to help and to listen.
I am looking at ways which we can communicate and work together as Young Members. I am working with colleagues in our region to improve the Young Members standing within the region and organise events for us to get together. If you have any ideas for events or issues you have which you’d like to be tackled please don’t hesitate to contact me.
I will be updating Unison’s Facebook and Twitter accounts and hoping to arrange events in the near future and will report back on anything I hear from conference in June and might even meet some of you at the regional Young Members forum next month.
You can contact me on 0121 200 7112 on Thursday's or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org Monday-Friday.
(Photograph by Ozone Photography Birmingham)
Download Young Members survey
Young Members Survey
A survey was sent out to all Young Members who we have email addresses for on the 28th November 2016 to find out what your interests are, what kind of events would benefit you and a general idea of why you joined a union and what you want from your union.
I would also like to know what you feel is affecting young people in the workforce, what is important to you, and what your interests are so that the branch can know more about our Young Members & I as your Young Members Officer hope to tailor future events to interest a majority as well as bring Young Members together.
This is your chance to have a say and give suggestions to the branch so please email me back complete copies of the survey or email me ideas you have to Nicola.Moran@birminghamunison.co.uk, if you would rather post the survey back the office address is below. I look forward to hearing from you. The survey does not include a space for your name so that responses can remain anonymous once pooled together.
The link to the survey is also below to download from here: