Heart Unions Week – blog

17 January 2020

We know that unions can make a real difference and Heart Unions Week from 10 – 16 February is an opportunity for everyone in the Bectu sector of Prospect to share that story.

We are encouraging as many branches as possible to get involved with Heart Unions Week this year and we will be producing new materials to support stalls and recruitment activities.

A growing union

The good news is that the union is growing.

In 2019 we had another net growth in the number of our working members and today we are over 145,000 members strong and 43,000 members in the Bectu sector.

We also have important achievements that show the benefits of joining to prospective members.

For example, in the last year, Bectu has:

  • Retrieved more than £24,000 in contractual payments for Bectu members
  • Settled cases in sexual harassment, race discrimination, disability discrimination and unfair dismissal
  • Signed up over 130 UK theatres to the Theatre Diversity Action Plan
  • Joined forces with Age UK, politicians and the Daily Mirror over the funding of the over-75s free TV licence

Our network of advice and support is helping more members get on at work – whether they are working full-time, part-time or as freelancers.

What do non-members want to know?

Heart Unions Week is about reaching out to even more people.

We know that the more members we have at work, the stronger our message and the better placed we are to have our voice heard.

Our research shows that the four biggest reasons people give for not joining a union yet are:

  • they want to know more about us
  • they want to know why unions are for them
  • they want to know how they will do better as part of the union
  • they want to know the full range of benefits.

How you can support Heart Unions Week?

Bectu is working with the TUC to ensure a high-profile for Heart Unions Week online, in the media and at work.

Here are five things you can do:

  1. Organise a stall in your canteen, reception or somewhere visible so that you can speak to non-members about what being in a union is like, and encourage them to join.
  2. Encourage colleagues to join – anyone joining during Heart Unions Weeks on the Bectu website will pay £7.50 a month for the first year
  3. If you are a rep or freelance activist, introduce yourself to members and colleagues when you see them or arrange a meeting
  4. Organise a local activity based on Heart Union Week’s message around tackling sexual harassment. Feeding into our wider flagship #DignityAtWork campaign, you can view our workplace guide to sexual harassment here
  5. Take a photo or share your story online using the hashtags #HeartUnions and #WeAreBectu. You can also share the messages we will be posting during the week on Twitter and Facebook

Heart Unions Week is a great way to build our movement and get more people involved in their union. Click here to download resources and keep looking out for new materials to use during the week as we add them.

If you have any questions, or would like to get in touch for help, please get in touch with the relevant member of our organising team.