UNITE's structures

UNITE's structure can be rather bewildering.  This page links to various posts and other resources to help you navigate UNITE and get involved.

  1. You can find details of UNITE's Regional Offices, which are often a first port of call beyond your workplace, on the "Regions" section of the UNITE web site.  This page on my own branch's web site is an easier way to find which region you are in and your regional HQ.
  2. There's a helpful pamphlet Your Union is Run By You on the union web site, which attempts to describe Unite's structure.
  3. UNITE is divided up into a number of industrial sectors.  You are allocated to a sector based on the business of your employer, not your occupation.  So a maintenance worker and an IT worker employed by a finance company would both be in the Finance sector, not Construction and GPM & IT.
  4. You can find out about your UNITE branch by logging on to "My Unite" (see the box at the top of the home page of the union web site).  Once you've registered and logged on,  you can click on your name in the same box and this allows you to update your details and (often) find out the date, time and place of your branch meetings.
  5. I use Topics / Labels to organise what I post on my blog and make it easier to find things.  You can find posts relating to "Unite Elections", "Sector", "Executive Council", "Conference", "Rules", "Equality", "Area", "Branches" and "Region". 
  6. My response to the consultation on UNITE branches, September 2010. The outcome on branches decided at the December 2011 EC meeting is here.  I've posted about branch and rep elections and the branch officers' pack.
  7. Information on UNITE Policies is online.
  8. This post explains how to influence UNITE policies.
  9. The UNITE Rulebook is not the easiest of reads, but it is the definitive source of information.  You can download the rulebook, along with guidance from the Executive Council on its interpretation, from the UNITE web site's "structure" section.
  10. Explanation of UNITE's equality structures and more details.
  11. Constitutional timetable 2022-8 including dates for the various committees and conferences, to try to minimise clashes between them by arranging for different types of bodies to meet in different windows.
  12. Contact details for the union (including head offices) are here.
  13. Minutes of Executive Council (EC) meetings
Terms of office:
  • Branch officers and workplace reps must be elected at least every three years.  The last cycle ran from July 2015. This time elections must take place between 1 January and 31 March 2018, with candidates taking office from 1 April 2018.
  • Members of Regional Industrial Sector Committees (RISCs), Area Activists Committees (AACs), Regional Equality Committees, Regional Young Members' Committees and Regional Retired Members' Committees serve for three years from September 2015.
  • Members of Regional Committees, National Industrial Sector Committees (NISCs), National Equalities Committees, National Young Members' Committees and National Retired Members' Committees serve for three years from October 2015.
  • Members of Regional and National Labour Party Liaison Committees serve for three year terms. The Regional Labour Party Liaison Committees will be elected at the regional conferences held in Q4 2017.
Don't be daunted by all this.  The most important structure is at the workplace, where members can elect their representatives and hold them to account.  This is where most of the union's business is done, and the foundation for all the rest.  But it is worth getting involved in the wider union - you can exchange ideas with other reps, get advice and support, as well as influencing what the union does.  All this makes what you do at work more effective, rather than just giving you extra work to do.