UNISON is the biggest union in the east of England, with more than 90,000 members, working in public services.
They work in the NHS, local government, colleges and schools, universities the electricity, gas and water industries, police services, transport and the voluntary sector.
UNISON members have joined together collectively maintain and improve their conditions at work. From campaigning for higher pay, to enhancing workplace policies or fighting against redundancies and outsourcing, public service workers are better off in UNISON.
Our structures are designed to be democratic and simple so that all members’ voices can be heard.
You can find out more about UNISON structures on the national website.
Every member is part of a branch — the basic unit of the union. Branches are made up of groups of members working for the same employer or several employers in the same area, and within each branch there are established democratically elected positions.
There are 66 branches in the Eastern region — Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.
Each member is also part of a different service group — Health, Local government, Higher education, Police and justice, Community, Water, environment and transport and Energy — depending on where they work.
Members elect a service group executive to set priorities and activities between service group conferences. Eastern branches also send delegates to our regional service group committees to make set priorities, share best practice and plan campaigns within the region.
Equality is at the heart of everything we do as a union. It the responsibility of every member, activist, elected official and UNISON employee to challenge inequality. But UNISON also encourages those most affected by discrimination to organise themselves and make sure their experiences are clearly highlighted.
UNISON’s four self-organised groups — for Black, women, disabled and LGBT+ members — as well as groups for young and retired members, all have regional committees as well as national organisation. Many also organise at a branch or geographical level.
Branches, regional committees and regional equalities groups elect delegates to our regional council, which oversees the work of the region.
The annual general meeting of the regional council elects a regional convenor. The regional convenor is the senior lay member. The convenor, along with any deputies and other regional officers – such as a financial convenor – is an ordinary member of the union, not an employee.
In the Eastern region the regional council meets four times a year. The regional convenor is Becky Tye and the deputy regional convenor is Neil Bland.
UNISON also employs staff in the region to support branches and members, including organising staff and admin. Many branches also employ their own caseworkers, administrators and organisers.
Centrally employed staff in UNISON Eastern are headed by full-time regional secretary Tim Roberts.