Do you know a union representative who has made a big difference to the working lives of members?
The South West TUC awards will celebrate the work union reps do in their workplaces across the region, the successes and the struggles.
Union reps are volunteers who represent the interests of their colleagues at work. Reps improve their members working lives and inspire new people to become involved. While prizes aren't the motivation the regional TUC presents these awards to highlight the difference reps can make at work and draw attention to their many achievements.
Award winners will be invited to an evening celebration in May 2013 as these awards are presented in the South West for the second time.
All the 2011 award winners featured in the booklet Unions at Work
- Union Representative Award
- Health & Safety Representative Award
- Union Learning Representative Award
- Union Equalities Award
- Most Promising New Rep Award (for reps appointed or elected since January 2011)
- Union Campaigning & Organising Award (for groups or individuals)
Who can nominate - and who can be nominated?
Nominees are welcome from all TUC affiliate unions.
All elected and appointed reps are eligible - from those on full time release to those involved in union work alongside their job. We particularly welcome nominations of reps from under-represented groups, such as women, BME, disabled and LGBT reps.
Union reps, officers, branch officials and members can all nominate their union colleagues. If you would like to be put forward all you need to do is find someone to nominate you. Please note paid employees of unions are not eligible to be nominated for the awards.
Nominees must work in the TUC's South West region. This covers the counties of Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and the Bristol & Bath area (formerly Avon).
We will tell nominees who has nominated them. You are welcome to then also help them complete their award form.
Reps can be nominated in more than one category, for example young or new reps nominated in category five could also be nominated in other categories too. Please bear in mind that they will then be invited to complete a different form for each particular category.
The Union Campaigning and Organising Award is open for nominations for work in a variety of areas, for example:
recruiting workers from under-represented groups
campaigning around learning at work
improving workplace environmental impact
raising environmental awareness among union members
building workplace union organisation
How do I nominate my union representative?
To nominate a rep for an award please complete the online nomination form
The form asks you to briefly explain why you're making your nomination. Tell us about what your rep has achieved, what obstacles they've overcome or how they've helped their members. The panel will be able to take this supporting statement into account to make the awards.
Your nominee will then be invited to fill in an online form. This asks them to talk about their union work.
We will need an email address for your nominated rep(s) - or, if you are nominating a group, an email address for one rep from the group who we can contact. If your nominated rep doesn't have an email address, you'll be asked to give a daytime telephone number. We'll get in touch and arrange for them to receive the awards form in a way that suits them.
Nominations can also be made on paper, or using other alternatives, if needed. Please email email@example.com to request.
How many nominations can I make?
There is no limit to the number of reps, or groups of reps, from any one trade union that can go forward for an award.
There is no limit to the number of reps, or groups of reps, that one person can nominate. You will need to make a supporting statement for each though.
You can make up to three nominations at a time via the online nomination form
When's the closing date?
Nominations must be received by noon on Thursday 17th January.
No nominations will be accepted beyond this date.
What happens once I've made my nominations?
Nominated union reps and groups will be invited to answer questions about their union work to go forward for an award.
All nominees will be contacted and sent an online form link in the week commencing Monday 21st January. Alternatives to completing the form online will be available to nominees on request.
Nominees will then have until Monday 4th March 2013 to complete and return their form.
Union Regional Secretaries (or equivalent) will be given a list of all the nominees from their union who complete a form.
The Rep Awards Panel will then meet to decide the winners in each category.
Why are reps asked to complete a nominee form?
The panel would like to hear in reps own words about their experience.
Reps choose if they would like to go for forward for an award. We hope all nominated reps will participate even where there may be reluctance to celebrate what they have achieved.
Union Reps do a rewarding but difficult job. We know reps make a difference in workplaces every day and these awards seek to recognise the outstanding achievements, while celebrating the work of all reps.
The panel isn't looking for the best worded or punctuated answers. Please encourage your nominated reps to fill in their forms and if you like, help them to do so. Other union reps, friends, family, union officers and course tutors are welcome to help too.
Nominees are asked three main questions - about their key achievements, the difference they've made for members and their involvement in other trade union issues. Each completed survey will be considered in relation to the category it is in.
Who decides the awards
An Awards Panel will look at all the completed forms.
The panel members are:
Helen Cole, unionlearn South West Regional Manager
Richard Capps, Chair of South West TUC Regional Council, PCS rep (and Highly Commended in the 2011 Health & Safety Award category)
Karen Cole, South West TUC Executive member & Unite Women's and Equalities Organiser
Nick Ireland, South West TUC Executive member & USDAW Divisional Officer
Marie Hughes, South West TUC Regional Education Officer
The panel will use an agreed scoring process in their selections and will make the final decision on the award winners.
The Awards Ceremony
Notifications to award winners will be sent out in March 2013.
All winners will then be invited, with a guest, to an evening award presentation and dinner in May 2013. The event, with special guests and speakers, will celebrate the achievements of union reps in the South West.
Nominees will all participate in TUC and trade union publicity to promote the work trade union reps do for their members and workplaces.
Any other questions?
We've tried to answer some of the most asked questions here but if you need any more information please contact Marie Hughes, Regional Education Officer.
Tel: 0117 947 0521
Photos: Clint Randall www.pixelphotography.co.uk
Issued: 3 January, 2013