Democracy is at the heart of everything we do in UNISON, from what we campaign on, to the rules governing membership of our organisation.
All members in UNISON belong to a local branch. Over 100,000 members in 124 local branches form UNISON South East. Our members are our strength and our democracy is how members can make their voices heard!
If you are a member of one of our committees and would like to find a diary of meetings please click here.
Our Regional Council meets three times a year and is the main democratic forum in the region. Each year, all branches are invited to send delegates to the Annual General Meeting of the council where key strategic decisions about our work for the coming year are taken, and elections are held for a number of regional positions and sub-committees.
Made up of the Regional Convenor and two Deputy Convenors, the Convenors Group are the most senior elected positions in the region and they chair meetings of the Regional Committee and Council.
A smaller body than the council, the Regional Committee is tasked with undertaking the agreed priorities of the lay membership in the region.
There are 3 Strategic Committees: Education, Training & Development; Finance, and Publicity & Campaigning. They are responsible for activist development, monitoring the region’s budgets, and coordinating our campaigns respectively.
A number of Standing Committees are elected at the regional AGM: Editorial & Communications; Health & Safety; International Relations; and Welfare.
Editorial & Communications: responsible for producing the region’s newsletter the ‘South East Campaigner’.
Health & Safety: advocate improved health & safety in the workplace
International Relations: promote international solidarity with sister unions across the world
Welfare: provide welfare services for members in need
There is one more standing committee in the region not elected at the AGM for retired members in the region. South East Retired Members Committee representatives are directly elected by the members they represent. The committee works to campaign for the interests of retired people both inside and outside of UNISON.
There are a number of other facets to our democracy, which are not directly accountable to the Regional Council: Service Group Committees, Self Organised Groups, and Labour Link. They are elected by the members they represent and you can find out more about their work in the South East by clicking the links below:
National Executive Committee
The National Executive Committee, or NEC, is the highest elected body in our union. Every two years, members in the South East vote to elect our region’s four representatives to the NEC. They represent our interests at a national level and are invited to all Regional Council, Committee and Strategic Committee meetings to report back on their work.