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Membership Week - January

Date: 21 - 27 January 2019 Location: Nationwide
Membership Week is an important part of the Union’s calendar, and vital to the success of this initiative is our dedicated team of reps and activists who will play a pivotal role during the Week.

This year’s membership week is themed on our Time for Better Pay Campaign. As a rep, you can support the campaign in a number of ways:
 
  • Ensuring that all reps in your store spend one hour talking to non-members about the campaign and the reasons to join Usdaw
  • Setting up a stall in your canteen to discuss the goals of the campaign with your colleagues
  • Encouraging your members to sign and share the online petition
If you haven’t done already, please get in touch with your Area Organiser to let them know your plans for the week.

What the Campaign is calling for
The Time for Better Pay Campaign aims to ensure that all workers are able to earn enough money to afford a decent lifestyle. To deliver this, the campaign is calling for four key actions. These actions are:
 
  • A minimum wage rate of £10 per hour
  • A minimum contract of 16 hours per week for everyone who wants it
  • A contract based on an individual’s normal hours of work
  • An end to zero hours contracts

Last summer, Usdaw conducted a survey of over 10,500 members, the largest survey of low paid workers in recent times. The findings from this survey show that implementing these proposals are key factors in addressing in-work poverty, tackle the mental health crisis and eradicating the gender pay gap.

Campaign Aims
We need real and urgent improvements to workers’ rights to deliver an economy which works in favour of all working people. For this reason, the Time for Better Pay campaign, and the forthcoming membership week, is focused on political change.

Through a petition to Government, we are hoping to use membership week as an opportunity to force the Government to respond directly to our calls. If we can get 100,000 signatures on the petition, the Government will not only have to respond to our calls but will also be forced to consider a debate in Parliament on the issue.

The evidence from our survey, and the strength of our campaign, will make it very difficult for the Government to simply ignore our calls. For this reason, this year’s membership week can really make a step forward in delivering not just stronger membership, but real improvements for all workers.

Pay Negotiations
The goals of the campaign are a key part of the union’s collective bargaining strategy and we are already raising all of these issues with employers where we have agreements. The campaign will be part of our negotiations during the coming year and beyond, and we are calling for all Usdaw employers to start working towards our negotiating aims.

Of course, the more members the union has in a company, the more the employer has to take us seriously during pay negotiations. To ensure that Usdaw is seen as a relevant voice, negotiating on behalf of the entire workforce, a key part of this campaign week is to recruit non-members into Usdaw.

At the same time, we are aware that Usdaw employers will find it difficult to implement improvements if they are being undercut by bad employers who refuse to recognise a union. This is a key reason for us demanding political change as soon as possible.

Making the week a success
The purpose of the campaign week is to promote the Government petition and recruit new members. As such, a key part of preparing for the week will be mapping the non-members in your workplace and having a discussion with your manager about your plans for the forthcoming campaign.

Having a new campaign such as Time for Better pay provides a fantastic opportunity to have a fresh conversation with those people who’ve previously decided not to join the union – and the start of the year is a great time to make a fresh start too.

The campaign highlights how the goals of the union can truly benefit people in your workplace, so we want to make sure that all non-members are approached by a rep during membership week.

If you need any help mapping the non-members at your workplace, please feel free to contact your Area Organiser for advice.

To ensure that we can deliver political change, it is also important that we get as many members and non-members as possible to sign the Government petition.

It would be great if you could encourage people to sign the petition on their phone, or on your own device, while you’re talking to them. Hopefully, this will prove a great conversation starter with non-members as well as driving up the numbers signing the petition.

Please remind anyone signing the petition that they will then need to verify their email address, by clicking on a link that will be sent to them by email, in order for their signature to be counted.

Please also share the petition with friends and colleagues on social media, using the hashtag #t4bp.

Contact your Area Organiser or local office for more details.


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