Working organisational model for the Union

Posted by Nick Totton:

This dates from January 2016, and still seems a good model to aspire to.


Proposed organisational model

This model aims to be as decentralised as possible, but still coordinated and answerable to the membership. It envisages most actions and initiatives as coming from the membership, with the committee’s role being to identify and coordinate. It may seem a bit complex for an organisation of a couple of hundred people, but it is designed to scale up as our membership grows.

Action groups

Starting on February 6th, we need volunteers to convene and join working parties, which will become action groups, on every aspect of our intended activity. Some of these will probably be convened by executive committee members; other will hopefully find conveners outside the committee (and committee members may join these groups).

Priority groups include:

· Recruitment and publicity

· Diversity issues

· Trainees

· Campaigning

· Supporting members in complaints and disciplinary procedures

· Bullying


Action groups will let the committee know of their existence, and have a committee member with whom to liaise (and who may be part of the group), and who would report back to the committee. We would encourage the groups to operate through the Ning site, by starting a Group there.

Pools of volunteers

We need to establish pools of volunteers willing and able to take on supporting members with problems – employment issues, complaints, contract advice, etc. These panels would be recruited by and linked with the relevant action group, and probably a lot of people would belong to both.

Paid workers

There are two distinct jobs that need part-time paid workers; ideally they could be done by the same person.


Manage membership applications, bank account, google group and Ning admin etc; communicate with members; field emails. This person would not need to be a practitioner.

Case worker

First point of contact with members who need our help: individual employment issues, organisational issues, complaints support, etc. Involve committee members and action groups as appropriate. This person would need to be a practitioner.

We currently have an admin worker, Kate O’Halloran, who is willing to go on with both jobs. We are paying Kate £10 an hour as a self-employed person.

Executive committee

The committee’s role is:

· to respond to and support the initiatives of the members

· to coordinate all the union’s activities

· to hold an overview of how the union is functioning, and communicate this to members

· to offer suggestions and proposals for improving and developing our functioning,

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