We need to let members know about the successes that we achieve – and we need to let non members know as well. This helps to show the value of the union and encourage non-members to join.
Although most settlement agreements come with a ‘confidentiality’ clause, and these have to be respected, you should think about anonymous ways to publicise such cases – perhaps by using statistical data over a period of time: for example “In the last 6 months, we have resolved 15 personal cases for members, covering such issues as race discrimination, sick absence problems and pregnancy rights. We have lodged 3 employment tribunal complaints and secured total compensation for members in excess of £10,000.” This contains all the necessary information but does not reveal individual cases.
This information can be used in local Branch circulars, or reported at Branch meetings, or could be put into your Group or Regional journal. Reports like this can be used by organisers when they are trying to recruit new members.
We also need to look beyond the individual cases, to see if there are wider issues that need to be raised with the employer through the bargaining agenda – if, for example, there are a lot of stress-related sickness absence cases, it may be appropriate to ask the employer to review their workload allocation process, or the support that they offer to employees under pressure.