The purpose of General Staff Day is to celebrate the contribution general staff members make to the union and to their workplace. The day is also an opportunity to introduce TEU to potential new members, and to highlight issues that may affect general staff.
The general staff sector group would like to make sure that branches are able to shape this year’s activities according to what is relevant for them locally. We have therefore come up with a broad theme of ‘fairness’ using the tagline “TEU (hearts) general staff” as the simple message to encompass the day. We think that the day could have two strands – a celebratory approach and a campaigning approach. These two strands could also have their own taglines to share a particular message. Branches may of course decide to do a combination of the two strands.
A celebratory approach
This would focus on celebrating the contributions of general staff to the union and the institution, through a range of activities. These activities could highlight how general staff members contribute to the TEU, what the union is doing to progress general staff issues (locally and/or nationally), etc. To emphasise the role that TEU has in supporting general staff and the idea that the union is working to ensure a fair deal for all members, branches can use an additional tagline “TEU…it’s about fairness for general staff”.
A campaigning approach
Branches may want to emphasise a particular issue on the day and incorporate this into their event. Some suggestions the general staff sector group has developed for picking up specific issues include: ‘Same sick leave entitlements for all staff….it’s only fair”, “Access to professional development…it’s only fair”….” Gender neutral job evaluation…it’s only fair” ….”Public tertiary education…it’s only fair”. Again the tagline “TEU…it’s about fairness for general staff” can be used for this approach.
Resourcing the General Staff Day
The TEU national office will provide printed material for the day, including a poster and other resources. Templates for branch planning, invitations, and notices advertising local activities will also be provided, so that a consistent image can be presented across branches. If you would like assistance with the design of additional resources, please contact Stephen Day in the national office email@example.com
Local branches will be responsible for meeting costs associated with whatever activities or events the branch committee decides they will run on the day. This is a good use of branch capitation funds, particularly as we hope that all events will have a strong recruitment focus.
Planning for the day
A checklist for planning activities for General Staff Day 2011 is attached. We are envisaging that each branch forms a small organising committee to plan for the day and to ensure that follow-up on potential new members happens soon after the event. Also attached is a list of ideas for activities, some of which were used very successfully for the 2010 event.
A letter requesting an extended lunch-break for all general staff on Wednesday 6th July will be sent by the national office to all CEOs and VCs of participating branches. In 2010 this request was granted by almost all vice chancellors and chief executives of participating branches, and is an excellent way of publicising the TEU’s presence at your institution, as well as encouraging participation by senior management.
We are looking forward to working with branches to organise another successful day celebrating general staff in our sector and in our union. If you have questions about planning for the day, please contact Jo Scott (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the first instance.
With best wishes
Ideas for activities
Wherever you can, try to think of ways that the event can be used to encourage non-members to participate – and have plenty of TEU membership forms on hand to sign new members up on the day. “Bring a non-union friend” is a great way to involve prospective members in the day’s activities.
Pass the parcel: prizes are circulated through the internal mail to general staff (both members and non-members). If they reveal a prize, the staff member needs to come to the lunch-time activity on 6th July to collect. Each layer to be unwrapped could also include a TEU membership form or a slip of paper that asks if the person is a TEU member, with contact details etc.
A short fun quiz: advertise prizes for the winners of the quiz and invite members to bring along a team (including non members).
Prizes and giveaways: longest serving general staff member etc
Live entertainment: bands, choirs etc
Food: barbeques have proven to be popular. In previous years a very successful barbeque was held at Massey Wellington, where the branch used pita pockets with fillings instead of the traditional sausage. Victoria University at Wellington also delivered cakes to departments for general staff to enjoy at morning tea. The University of Otago branch held a lunch with finger food, bubbles and other delicious treats. (Remember to have RSVPs for attendance at activities where catering will be required).
Slogan competition: run a comptetition in the week before the event where different different occupation groups or individual staff come up with their own humourous slogan. Award prizes on the day for the best – perhaps using a ‘celebrity’ judge.
Debate: the University of Canterbury ran a very successful debate in 2008, followed by a barbeque.
Special delivery morning tea or lunch: for those general staff who may find it difficult to get away at lunch-time (for example, catering staff, registry staff).
Story board: featuring local general staff members and celebrating something they have done to contribute to the union or their workplace.