Stewards and Health & Safety Reps

Stewards and Health & Safety Reps


Our branch has over 40 stewards and health & safety reps ensuring that our members have access to support, advice and safe working conditions. Most of our stewards double up as health & safety reps.


If you do not know how to contact your local steward or rep, please drop us a line so we can put you in contact with someone who can help.


Our branch covers a huge geographical area of all of Sussex and now parts of Hampshire, Kent and South London too. We always welcome more stewards and reps to spread the work load and provide more complete cover. If you are interested in becoming involved then drop us a line.


Stewards are the backbone of UNISON. Without stewards there would be no one there to act as the link between members and the union and to organise and support people in the workplace.


Stewards can:

  • Talk to, recruit and organise members around workplace issues
  • Talk to members about workplace problems, advise them and keep them informed of latest developments
  • Represent members in your workplace
  • Be involved in how your branch and union is run
  • Meet with managers and represent members in meetings and working groups
  • Represent members in disciplinary and grievance cases


In workplaces where UNISON is recognised by the employer, stewards have rights to time off for training and to carry out their work. This includes:

  • Meetings with members and management
  • Preparation and research
  • Keeping members informed


All new stewards are encouraged to go on an induction course and on a course for handling grievances and disciplinary matters. Training on other workplace issues is also available.


If you wish to contact us please click here


Health & safety Reps
UNISON members believe health and safety is the most important issue at work. Health and safety can be a matter of life and death.

Many of our members know what it's like to experience stress, violence or accidents and injuries at work. It is a well known fact that workplaces with high union membership and representation have better health and safety records.


Everybody who works has basic rights, which include things like sufficient space to work in, clean and well-lit workplaces and safe working practices.


Health and safety reps work to make the workplace as safe as possible. They can:

  • Make representations to the employer on behalf of members on any health, safety and welfare matters
  • Represent members in consultation with Health and Safety Executive inspectors or other enforcing authorities
  • Inspect designated workplace areas at least every three months
  • Investigate any potential hazards, complaints by members and causes of accidents, dangerous occurrences and diseases
  • Represent members in health and safety forums
  • Employers are obliged by law to carry out risk assessments which identify dangers in the workplace and look at how likely they are to cause harm. Health & safety reps can help make sure this happens.


Health & safety reps have important legal rights, including the right to:

  • Paid time off to carry out the role and undergo either TUC or union-approved training
  • Raise issues with the employer that affect the health and safety of members
  • Facilities and support from the employer to carry out inspections
  • To receive legal and technical information from the employer


UNISON provides special introductory and follow up courses for health and safety reps. In some cases the safety rep and steward are the same person, but they have two separate roles.


If you wish to contact us please click here