Trade unions exist to organise workers in the workplace.
Organising is about involving members in union activity.
This means that members identify workplace issues that matter to them and work to solve them together with TSSA staff to support them. In practical terms this is achieved by ensuring that:
Organising is recognition that for change to happen workers need to take responsibility for identifying and campaigning around the workplace issues that matter to them whilst at the same time taking responsibility for making the union visible and strong in their workplace.
TSSA believes that people who actually work in the industries we organise in and experience problems in the workplace are in the best position to decide our union’s policies and priorities.
This is true whether the issue is negotiating annual pay rises or lobbying on the future structure of the rail industry.
Workplace reps, branch officers and other activists are at the heart of TSSA - and organising. They are the members who take responsibility for finding out what other members in the workplace want, and representing those views to employers.
They recruit new members to the union and ensure that there are regular opportunities for discussion and debate.
The key to successful organising is communication. Workplaces where trade union members talk to each other about the issues they face each day are invariably well organised with naturally strong leaders and well informed members.
For TSSA, life goes on well beyond work. Across the country we have a network of branches, where members can discuss all sorts of issues, as well as workplace concerns, often in a social setting.
Branches are a vital cog in TSSA’s machinery - they decide who represents TSSA at events like Labour Party conference and TUC Congress, as well as submitting motions and selecting delegates to TSSA’s own annual conference.
The first thing to do is contact your TSSA workplace rep - he or she will be able to tell you more. If you’re not sure who that is, contact our Helpdesk and they will give you contact details.
If you don’t have a local rep, why not get involved yourself? Call the Helpdesk and they’ll put you in contact with the Regional Organiser for your company who will make sure you have access to all the support, resources and training TSSA offers its reps.