Resources for new activists

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted many workers to join a union, and many union members to step forward to take a more active role in their branch. If you’re one of those people – thank you!

The more UNISON members who are confident being visible and active in the workplace, the more power we have to change working conditions and culture for the better.

This is a strange time to be beginning your journey as a UNISON rep, and we’re having to find new ways to deliver the training and support that you need in your role.

We’ve collated some resources for you to read, which will help you understand more about UNISON, your role as a rep and where to get advice and support.

Check out the ‘Resources’ section at the bottom of this page.

Are you a new rep?

  • Make sure you sign up for stewards’ training – visit our education pages to find out more.
  • Make sure your branch knows you’ve been elected as a rep.
  • Make sure the membership system has an email address for you. This will allow you to receive regular email bulletins from the region and the wider union.

Try some e-learning

Our e-learning site has plenty of online learning activities to get you started. To access this:

1. Make yourself an account on My.UNISON

2. Visit our e-learning site and log in with your My.UNISON account 

Join the Organising Space

The Organising Space is a dedicated microsite for UNISON activists to share and discuss the issues and strategies affecting their duties in the workplace.

More about the Organising Space

Look out for Activist communications

UNISON sends out a weekly email bulletin, called activist, which is sent to all reps and activists who have registered an email address with the union.

In the South East, we send out a fortnightly email bulletin, SE Activist, with news from around the region. Make sure your email details are correct, so you don’t miss out on these important updates. You can check and update your details using your My.UNISON account.

Branches also send representatives regular information on local matters and representatives can always contact the regional office, UNISONdirect or check the news section on this website.


Your UNISON steward is: (A5 card for noticeboard)

What is a trade union? information leaflet

UNISON workplace representatives and activists (a guide to the main roles)

Application form (pay through payroll)

Application form (pay by direct debit)

Stewards and workplace representatives handbook

Case management form

Member representation: a UNISON guide

Legal help: a members’ guide to UNISON legal services

Member guide: Dealing with collective issues

Member guide: Dealing with grievances

Member guide: Dealing with disciplinary action

Member guide: Dealing with sickness absence

Member guide: Sexual orientation, the workplace and the law

Lay-offs, short-term working and redundancy – your rights at work

Organising for equality: a UNISON guide

UNISON Living: great deals for UNISON members

There For You: UNISON welfare