There are over 200 RCM branches across all four countries which receive funding to host branch learning events, support members to attend RCM conference and reimburse workplace representatives expenses incurred in the course of supporting members.
Many branches meet regularly to give and receive support, discuss professional and workplace issues and of course hold an Annual General Meeting to elect workplace representatives and branch officers. RCM branches also organise fundraising events, hold study days, branch conferences, invite guest speaker to their meetings, hold Union Learning events and throw parties for their members.
Role of RCM branches
The branch is the basic unit of RCM organisation:
- It aims to encourage, facilitate and support the building of strong workplace organisation
- It provides a means for members to participate in the wider union
- All RCM members can belong to a branch.
One of the objectives of the RCM (Organising and Engagement Strategy) is to move towards employer-based branches. This means that the branch should be co-terminus with the trust/board. This is important as it allows branches to organise around trust-wide issues, and if necessary is easier to ballot branch members for strike action.
An employer-based branch:
- Has localised links with issues
- Can ballot local members to take action.
Branch job roles
In addition to a chairperson, secretary and a treasurer, it is recommended that a branch has at least one of each of the following: a steward, health and safety representative and a learning representative (please see below for job descriptions).
The branch chair presides over meetings and is the key person in controlling the meetings, maintaining good order, ensuring that all members have an opportunity to express their views and deciding when a subject needs to be put to a vote. It is the chair’s responsibility along with the secretary to draw up an agenda.
The branch secretary is responsible for the smooth running of the branch, arranging meetings and keeping members informed of branch/headquarter activities. Besides this and compiling minutes of the meetings, the secretary is the official correspondent of the branch with the RCM, trusts/boards and other organisations. In this respect, headquarters will send information of RCM matters and policy to the secretary and will receive details of branch activities etc. from their members.
The treasurer’s duties include collecting subscriptions, paying bills, scrutinising expenditure, informing the branch of the financial position, advising on the necessity to raise funds, preparing statement of receipts. The treasurer is responsible for the proper recording of all financial transactions. It is not the responsibility of the treasurer to raise money; the treasurer is acting for the branch and RCM headquarters.
Joining a branch
If you want to get involved with your RCM branch, speak to your branch secretary, if you are not sure who to speak to or require support with your branch, please contact Ralph Mirams: email@example.com.
Setting up a branch
If you do not have an active branch or would like to set up an employer-based branch, please also contact Ralph for information and help in getting more involved.
We are currently in the process of developing a range of materials to support branches going forward, from updating branch officer job descriptions to guidelines on opening and closing branches and ideas for branch events.
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