Wednesday 25 July 2012
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.
In 2012, the union as a whole has made recruitment across our branches a priority. In response to this, the general staff sector group has sought support from council and branches for an additional focus on recruitment of general staff in the institutes of technology/polytechnic (ITPs) sector.
General Staff Day is an excellent opportunity to showcase the TEU to potential new members. The general staff sector group and the branch president’s forum have therefore agreed that the focus for this year’s activities should be recruitment, including a specific focus on some ITP branches (mainly where we already have some general staff members and/or a general staff collective agreement). One of the very important elements to ensuring the success of the day is involvement from both general and academic members. This is particularly so for our ITP branches, where general staff numbers are smaller.
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.
As with previous years, there are probably two ways of shaping the activities and focus for the day (or a combination of the two) – a celebratory approach and a campaigning approach.
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.
For those ITP branches where we have a few general staff members (1-5), we have decided that the national office will send a small gift to each of these members, to acknowledge their support of the union. It is unlikely that many of these branches will be able to organise specific events on the day, however the union will continue to support them in planning and implementing their recruitment strategy for general staff.
A campaigning approach
Branches may want to emphasise a particular local or national issue on the day and incorporate this into their recruitment activities and events.
In order to keep reinforcing TEU branding, we propose to again use the TEU hearts general staff logo, and our tagline and graphics “There’s a place for you”.
We would like to keep a very consistent image for the day, so if you have specific resources or templates that you would like to use, contact Stephen Day firstname.lastname@example.org for advice on preparing these using the TEU branding.
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.
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 the General Staff Day 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 events in previous years.
A letter requesting an extended lunch-break for all general staff on Wednesday 25th July will be sent by the national office to all CEOs and VCs of participating branches. In 2011 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 (email@example.com) in the first instance.
With best wishes
TEU general staff sector group