Postal Industrial Constituency Organising and Recruitment
Following the recent Virtual Special General Conference held between the 7th and 9th November 2021, Branches will be aware of the policy to increase our focus on recruitment and organising across the whole of the Union. Our redesign structure has the two industrial pillars of the Union being responsible for maximising our potential in our core businesses and the central pillar focusing in particular on how we grow our membership and achieve recognition rights beyond our core businesses. In respect of Postal and in full support of the overall Union objectives and in consultation with Ray Ellis, Recruitment & Organising National Officer, we have reviewed our previous efforts and designed a plan consistent with the whole of the Union policy of raising the profile and focus on this subject matter.
Against that backdrop, the Postal Executive have agreed the key criteria for taking our general policy forward in our core postal businesses. This LTB summarises the plan developed in respect of Organising and Recruitment activity within the Postal Constituency going forward, which we believe will support the overall objective of increasing membership numbers across the Union. Raising the profile of Organising and Recruitment in all of our structures and meetings be it Branch or IR etc. will be key to the successes of this initiative and now that the whole of the Union is united on this policy, we do expect everyone to respond positively to the approach detailed below. We fully appreciate how busy all of our representatives on the Postal side are at the moment and assure you that this push is not in any way a criticism but rather the start of a mindset that ensures Organising & Recruitment has equal status and importance with everything else that we do.
The approach below is designed to help Branches ensure that the desired mindset becomes second nature, that everyone takes responsibility for it and it is not just left to a few. Our structures on the Postal side afford us a huge advantage to other Unions, the right to have a Representative on every shift and in all workplaces is a great foundation to build from. We have constantly refined the data we get from the business so that we know in advance when a new entrant is coming in, obviously the best time to recruit them, and Lynn Browne, Senior Postal Organiser in the DGS(P) Department stands ready to help in any way possible including attending Branch or IR Representatives meetings if invited.
The list below is not exhaustive and will always be subject to revisions as we welcome input from the Postal Branches and prioritise this issue on the Postal Executive agenda.
Key Principles and Approach:
With immediate effect the following steps must be adopted by Postal Branches/Divisional and Parcels Regional Committee Meetings and Engineering and Fleet Territorial Meetings:
- Postal Branches carry the overall responsibility for Organising and Recruitment in their area. Branches should therefore have a structured approach to recruitment which should not be left for one or two individuals to carry out alone. In effect, every Branch Representative is a Recruitment Officer and should be expected to participate in any capacity they can;
- Recruitment should be a standard agenda item at Branch Committee meetings and given the highest priority. We will provide a standard Recruitment and Organising agenda, advice and information which committees can use to structure their recruitment activity;
- We will encourage Branches to provide regular reports to their Royal Mail Divisional Representatives and PFW Regional Organisers, Engineering and Fleet Territorial Representatives. The Department will engage our Senior Field Officials to ensure Recruitment and Organising is a regular agenda item at RM Divisional and PFW Regional Representatives, Engineering and Territorial Representatives Meetings.
- Postal Executive members, when attending RM Divisional and PFW Regional, Engineering and Fleet Territorial Meetings will be in a position to note and report back to the Senior Organiser on the progress being made, barriers being encountered and identify new ideas and initiatives that can be formulated into a best practice strategy document, which can then be circulated and added to the DGS(P) Department Portal, currently under development;
- Using these reports, we will subsequently be able to identify where there is a problem and where a Branch might require additional support from the Senior Organiser, RM Divisional or PFW Regional Representatives or Engineering and Fleet Territorial Representatives and/or a Postal Executive member;
- The Postal Executive will be supplied with a monthly update detailing the number of new joiners, new members, non-joiners and overall membership numbers;
- The Department will undertake a review to ensure that all recruitment literature is still fit for purpose. In addition, the Senior Organiser will look at producing videos and literature to target different groups of workers explaining the value of membership. For example, women, young workers and diverse cultures and ethnicity;
- While focusing on recruitment, we also need to ensure that members’ information is correct and that members are on the appropriate membership rate. We will develop a format to encourage this detailed information in due course;
- If a Branch is identified as still encountering difficulties, the Department will contact them and offer direct support from the Senior Organiser/Postal Organiser. In addition, assistance from the RM Divisional/PFW Regional Representatives and/or the appropriate Postal Executive will also be provided.
- Branches will recall that, prior to the pandemic, the Department had made arrangements to hold an Organising and Recruitment Session with our Senior Field Officials in Liverpool, which was planned as a follow up to the successful event held in Birmingham on 24th November 2016. The event was due to be an interactive one and would have been workshop based. It is still the intention of the Department to hold a workshop sometime in early 2022. However, in the intervening period, another workshop has been developed and can be delivered by Lynn Browne and Steve Brown, our Senior and Postal Organisers, to Branches on an individual or collective basis.
The Department are proactively encouraging Branches to engage with us and take part in this workshop which is available now. Branches who wish to participate in the workshop should contact Lynn Browne on email@example.com
The subjects covered in the workshop are listed below:
- One to One Recruitment;
- How to Map the Workplace;
- How to Set up a Workplace Committee;
- Handling Objections;
- Identifying Future Leaders
We are now in a growth and job creation scenario in the Postal pillar of our Union and the opportunity to grow membership and revenue for the Union must not be missed.
Using the ‘build it and they will come’ mindset, we also need to focus on the other factors that are important from an organising perspective such as succession planning, further development and function of workplace committees, supporting the next generation of industrial representatives and increasing the number of industrial representatives from underrepresented groups.
‘Every Representative and member is a Recruitment Officer and no day or moment should be wasted in increasing our membership’ are part of the Department’s intensified strategy going forward.
In closing I wish to restate that we genuinely appreciate and thank you for all of the work you are doing at this moment in time but it is essential to our future that this subject sits within our priority lists of activity.
Any enquiries in relation to the content of this LTB should be addressed to Lynn Browne, Senior Organiser Postal firstname.lastname@example.org
Deputy General Secretary (Postal)