Many FDA activists decide to become a representative (a rep).
The role of an FDA rep is wide and varied, from passing on application forms to new starters, to being part of local branch committee feeding back on issues to the union.
In some departments, reps will take part in meetings and negotiations on issues including pay and terms and conditions, while many reps also assist members individually with problems at work.
Training and support
We want our reps to feel confident in their role as an FDA representative and if you do become a rep you are not left to figure everything out by yourself. The FDA offers training to new reps, who will get support from FDA National Officers and FDA Organiser Alan Bailey as well as guidance from their fellow reps.
FDA branch structure
Branches are responsible for the recruitment of members in their workplace and for representing their views to management and the union's Annual Delegate Conference. Each branch usually has a:
The branch convenor takes the chair at branch meetings and, with the secretary, is responsible for the conduct of branch business.
The convenor will advise on when to hold meetings of all members and to ensure that regular contact is maintained between branch committee members. There is also a role in ensuring that no one branch officer is carrying too heavy a load.
The branch secretary is the first point of contact for members and FDA head office. Branch secretaries are responsible for organising the branch Annual General Meeting (AGM) and keeping minutes of meetings.
The role of membership secretary is crucial to the organisation of the branch. Two-way communication between the officer and head office is encouraged, to ensure all membership records are up to date.
Many branches have a small committee which meets every few months and acts as a sounding board for the Convenor and Secretary as well as providing practical support for members in the branch. This is often the first role a local rep will take up while they learn more about the FDA and the work of representatives.