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Communications & Campaigns Policy and Strategy

Policy and Strategy

At its inauguration the Scottish Communications and Campaigns Committee set out a remit which was adopted by UNISON Scotland.

From time to time it sets other policy objectives which will be reported here.

Communications & Campaigns Committee remit

Policy Document 2011 (to follow)
Policy and Strategy updates
Devolution discussion document
Freedom of Information responses
Culture issues responses | briefings
Sponsorship and Advertising strategy
Scottish Parliament Strategy 1999



Communications & Campaigns Committee Remit


To assist UNISON Branches with all their communication and campaigning needs and in particular to encourage the establishment of branch newsletters.

To work with Service and Self-Organised groups in planning and assisting with recruitment and campaigns.

To liaise with the Affiliated Political Fund committee on campaigning work it might be planning around local or national elections.

To establish and distribute a Scottish Newsletter aimed at all UNISON members in Scotland..

To promote UNISON Scotland publicly, through press relations, sponsorship and advertising.

To develop, with the Education and Training Committee, training for UNISON members to enable them to take part in the communications tasks above at all levels of the union.

To report to and assist the Scottish Committee and Scottish Council in the distribution of Scottish communications and in the planning and running of major cross-service campaigns whether initiated at a UK or Scottish level.

To have sufficient decision-making power to carry out the above remits, delegated from the Scottish Committee within UNISON's Scottish policy.


In order to undertake this remit, the Committee should have an annually agreed budget from the Scottish Council's budget. This should be bid for by the Communications & Campaigns Committee, agreed annually by the Scottish Committee and reported to the Scottish Council.


The Communications and Campaigns Committee will consist of;

  • 10 members elected from the Scottish Council, of whom 4 should be women,
  • 2 members appointed by the Scottish Committee, of whom 1 should be a woman,
  • 1 representative of each self-organised group,
  • 1 member of each service group unless that service group is otherwise represented,
  • any Scottish NEC member who serves on the National Communications Panel.


The Committee should meet at least six times per year, and should operate by establishing smaller groups to deal with specific projects and remits (eg a Scottish Editorial Board)


The Committee should be serviced administratively and secretarially from within the full-time resources of UNISON In Scotland. It should elect a Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson from their number, one of whom should be a woman.




Communications & Campaigns Committee



Main principles

The main principles that UNISON should be following with regard to its liaison witi a future Scottish Parliament are:

(i) that we should be the main spokesperson for Scottish Public Services;

(ii) that we should be at the bean of 'building the coalition' to defend and advance this anid our other policies, and that

(iii) we are and will remain pan of a UK organisation and need to take part in/influence UK decisions/policies

1. Impact of Scottish Parliament

It is likely that there will be an early assent to the Scotland Act. It may be that, afler election, the Parliament will start to meet earlier than planned. The main effects of this, and how UNISON Scotland should gear up for this, are listed below:

a) increased amount of legislation/discussion re Scotland (that will affect UNISON members and their jobs) and therefore:

b) increased requirement for UNISON consultation/policies/views and increased need to promote them;

c) increased attention from media - internal Scottish media and UK media;

d) increased use of lobbying/PR firms by LAs/Trusts/Quangos and private firms.

2 UNISON Scotland will need to:

(a) communicate direct with the Parliament on these topics;
(b) communicate with our members to tell them what is happening
(c) to communicate with the public - campaigns etc to help build the consensus.

3 Scottish Parliament will be a different animal

(a) PR means no one party likely to doninate - means increasing work with all parties in a four-party situation.

(b) More 'consensus' planned on decisions - need to lobby and campaign with other outside bodies who we can get as. allies. (eg SCVO/single issue campaign groups/community bodies)

(c) Increased use of 'telematics' to consult the electorate - need to become much more technologically aware - particularly as far as the web e-rnail and other communications rnedlia are concerned.

4 Much relevant will still be decided nationally - welfare/employment legislation or indeed in Europe, therefore:

We need to keep our Links with London eg economies of scale/union wide developments/campaigns etc.

All these areas have resource implications. These will not simply be a matter for Scotland. We have to look at our existing structures and resources and how we use these and also idenuify necessary other resources - both technical (telematics etc) and staffing.

6 Recommendations

These are initial suggestions and are suggested for approval. They will all require discussion elsewhere and this will probably mean modification. It is suggested therefore that we submit them for a policy decistion to the Scottish Committee.

(1) Separate Scottish insert tin UNISON magazine will be required. Immediately begin discussions with communications to progress this issue.

(2) Media strategy to deal with the increased media focus - need to develop use of lay spokesperson in conjunction with a more co-ordinated role for full-time officials. This needs to be done urgently and alongside it needs to be an assessment of the need for greater full-time support of media work.

(3) The need for a Scottish strategy to lobbying is obvious - how this is tobe done and to what extent we need outside help is not. We need:

(i) to develop our informal links with political parties and other interest groups
(ii) to investigate methods of lobbying and make further recommendations

(4) Technology investigate what is to be used by the Scottish Parliament and how best we could link in to it. Establish website and set up working group to look at technical merits for Communications including digital media, ISDN lines etc.

(5) To establish a briefing on existing UNISON Scotland policy that could be regularly updated and circulated.

(6) To urgently establish a swift way of consulting on policy/legislation that does not involve more meetings.

(7) To identity training needs arising out of the above and establish courses to deal with them.



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