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UNISON Branch Committee

The branch committee are responsible for your local branch of UNISON. They consult, support, and represent members of the branch on a wide range of issues, from health & safety to equality, diversity & inclusion.

How can I contact the committee?

If you need support as a member (or potential member) or to consult our trade union on a Risk Assessment (RA), please contact the branch committee via

If you need to contact a specific member of the committee, their contact details are listed below.

Who is on the committee?

Branch Officers Responsibilities

Branch Secretary

Sam Parr
Dean of Students' Office & Warwick Students' Union

Contact via

S dot Parr dot 2 at warwick dot ac dot uk


The branch secretary is the main contact for the branch, and between the branch and the wider union.

They are part of the branch's leadership team alongside the treasurer and chair. They are also a senior negotiator.

The details of the role may vary depending on branch size, but typically it will cover areas such as:

  • acting as the strategic lead officer and co-ordinator within the branch;
  • encouraging partnership working within the branch committee and the development of new representatives and stewards;
  • managing any branch staff;
  • managing the delegation of work to other branch officers and branch staff as appropriate, while providing support and guidance;
  • guiding the branch’s development by preparing and implementing a branch organisation and development plan;
  • making sure the representation of members within the branch is in accordance with national guidance and in partnership with regional staff;
  • convening and attending all meetings of the branch and branch committees and making sure proper minutes are kept and circulated;
  • making sure branch records are kept in a proper manner;
  • making sure the branch processes membership applications speedily and accurately and maintains records in accordance with UNISON’s systems;
  • making sure there is regular communication with branch members, including news of campaigns, negotiations, issues, branch developments and activities;
  • communicating with the wider union, including the region and centre, on behalf of the branch;
  • making sure that branch members are aware of opportunities to take part in the activities of the wider union, including self-organisation if appropriate;
  • supporting, mentoring and encouraging stewards and reps in the branch on an individual and collective basis; co-ordinating all branch negotiations and industrial relations matters;
  • leading the branch committee in making sure that the branch observes the union’s rules, supports UNISON campaigns and works towards achieving UNISON’s objectives.

Branch Chair


The branch chair facilitates branch and committee meetings, and is also a senior negotiator. This includes:

  • chairing all meetings of the branch and branch committee, agreeing the agenda for meetings with the secretary and making sure that business is properly conducted in line with union democracy;
  • advising branch officers and the branch committee on procedure and rules;
  • making sure all functions of the branch are carried out;
  • working closely with the secretary and other officers to provide leadership to the branch.

Branch Treasurer

Karen Markey
Estates Department

Contact via

K dot Markey dot 1 at warwick dot ac dot uk

Responsible for managing branch finances, including keeping accounts.

The main responsibilities of branch treasurers include:

  • keeping accounts in accordance with the rules;
  • preparing budgets for defined areas of activities such as welfare, recruitment, campaigning, etc;
  • providing reports on the financial position of the branch to the branch committee or branch executive committee;
  • providing a detailed financial report for the annual branch meeting(s);
  • advising the branch officers and branch committee on matters relating to financial management and appropriate expenditure;
  • providing an audited annual return of branch income.

Health & Safety Officer

Carl Messenger

Contact via

C dot Messenger at warwick dot ac dot uk

Promoting health and safety at work is one of the functions of the branch.

Even though employers have clear legal duties to make sure that employment does not cause death, injury or ill-health, health and safety is a trade union issue and not something which can be left to management.

The branch health and safety officer’s role includes:

  • making sure members, safety reps and branch officers are aware of health and safety issues;
  • co-ordinating the activity of safety reps, including making sure that there are enough reps in the workplaces organised by the branch, and convening regular meetings of safety reps;
  • organising the information held by the branch on health and safety;
  • acting as a link between safety reps and other branch reps to make sure that health and safety issues are treated as an integral part of the work of the branch;
  • reporting on health and safety issues at branch meetings, committee meetings and annual meetings;
  • liaising with relevant branch officers about priorities for health and safety training, campaigns and publicity materials;
  • keeping contact with the region and regional service groups, for example via the regional health and safety committee and the national health and safety structures;
  • liaising with the equalities officer(s) to make sure that equal opportunities aspects of health and safety issues are taken into account and vice versa.

Communications Officer

Yue Zhou (also a Union Learning Rep)
Centre for Lifelong Learning

Contact via

Yue dot Zhou dot 2 at warwick dot ac dot uk

The branch communications officer’s role includes:

  • explaining UNISON’s policies and providing the information members need to play an active role in their union;
  • helping the branch’s recruitment and organising;
  • supporting UNISON’s national and regional campaigns;
  • creating a positive image for the branch and wider union among members, potential members and the public;
  • producing news-sheets, bulletins or digital communication for distribution to branch members;
  • making sure branch communications are in the accessible formats members need;
  • making sure that centrally and regionally produced publicity, communications and campaign materials are distributed, as appropriate, to stewards, members and non-members;
  • monitoring and liaising with local media.

Welfare Officer

Antonia Mayers

Contact via

A dot T dot Mayers at warwick dot ac dot uk

(024765) 28141
07785 611054

Makes sure that that members seeking welfare assistance receive a prompt, supportive and effective response. This includes:

  • making sure branch officers, stewards and workplace reps, as well as employers, have regular up-to-date information about There for You (UNISON’s Welfare charity) and its range of services;
  • liaising and co-ordinating with the UNISON centre and regions to make sure There for You support is provided effectively;
  • undertaking training and seek advice from There for You where necessary;
  • developing and co-ordinating local welfare activity;
  • developing links with local charities and sources of support such as citizen’s advice bureaus and women’s refuges.

Membership Officer

Karen Markey
Estates Department

Contact via

K dot Markey dot 1 at warwick dot ac dot uk

Keeps track of the branch’s membership and works to develop recruitment and organising.

The role includes:

  • mapping the branch’s membership to identify membership density and steward coverage – and where there are gaps;
  • making sure the branch and union has accurate membership records;
  • monitoring the branch’s recruitment and retention rate;
  • working with the branch committee and regional organising staff to develop and implement the branch’s organisation and development plan;
  • making recommendations to the branch committee on recruitment activities, targets, resources, budgets, etc.

Education Officer

Yue Zhou (also a Union Learning Rep)
Centre for Lifelong Learning

Contact via

Yue dot Zhou dot 2 at warwick dot ac dot uk

Organises, co-ordinates and promotes opportunities for learning with the branch, for the branch committee and members.

The role includes:

  • co-ordinating the union's learning reps
  • recruiting new union's learning reps
  • negotiating on learning issues
  • co-ordinating and promoting learning opportunities for the branch

Equalities Officer


Interim point of contact: Sam Parr, via

Work on equal rights issues including sex, race, disability and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues (there may be up to four per branch).

Branch equality co-ordinators have a number of important functions. But it is not expected that the office holder will be the fount of all knowledge on every equality issue, nor carry sole responsibility for the branch’s equality work.

Everyone shares responsibility for tackling prejudice and discrimination and promoting equality.

The role of branch equality co-ordinators is to co-ordinate and monitor this shared responsibility. The role includes:

  • being the identified and well-publicised point of contact in the branch for equality issues;
  • collecting and sharing information on equalities issues, including information from the regional and national self-organised groups;
  • making sure other branch officers and the branch committee consider the equalities dimension of everything they do;
  • making sure equality is raised in all collective bargaining – not just in bargaining on ‘pure’ equalities issues;
  • encouraging and supporting the development of branch self-organised groups on behalf of the branch committee, co-ordinating among them and between them and the branch committee;
  • making sure new recruits and potential members know about UNISON’s commitment to equality and the opportunity to take part in self-organisation;
  • advising the branch officers and branch committee on the development and monitoring of the action plan to achieve proportionality and fair representation;
  • co-ordinating the development and training of members from under-represented groups;
  • co-ordinating motions and support for delegates attending self-organised group conferences.


Carl Messenger, Library
C dot Messenger at warwick dot ac dot uk

Karen Markey, Estates
K dot Markey dot 1 at warwick dot ac dot uk

Craig Turner, Warwick Business School
Craig dot Turner at warwick dot ac dot uk

Antonia Mayers, Library
A dot T dot Mayers at warwick dot ac dot uk

Sam Parr, Dean of Students' Office & Warwick Students' Union
S dot Parr dot 2 at warwick dot ac dot uk

Workplace stewards are the heart of our trade union. UNISON’s stewards are the reason we win campaigns that result in better lives for our members and all working people. Stewards help to organise your colleagues into an effective, strong and welcoming membership. They:

  • Are the first point of contact for members in a workplace
  • Talk to members about the union
  • Talk to staff about their issues
  • Offer advice on issues at work
  • Represent members in cases (including at disciplinary and grievance hearings).
  • Campaign for better working conditions
  • Recruit and organise new members
  • Encourage more members to get active in UNISON
  • Raise your members’ issues with the branch.

Stewards in workplaces where UNISON is recognised by the employer have rights to time off for training and to carry out their work.

Stewards have a right to be involved in how their branch is run and are the most important link between the members and the union.

UNISON aims to have at least one steward in each workplace and department, more in larger departments and where members work shifts.

Stewards are elected each year by the group of members that they represent and the post is open to job share.

The branch is looking for members interested in the following positions:

  • Chair
  • Communications Officer
  • Equalities Officer
  • Union Learning Representatives
  • Women's Officer
  • LGBT+ Members Officer
  • Disabled Members Officer
  • Black Members Officer
  • Young Members Officer
  • Retired Members Officer
  • International Officer
  • Environmental & Sustainability Officer
  • Labour Link Officer

Are you interested in taking on one of the vacant roles above? Please contact the the branch via email at UNISON at warwick dot ac dot uk.