‘Tell us What Matters’ : Recruitment stall suggested activity


With NRW3 approaching, now is the ideal time for your branch to consider introducing a new, engaging way of interacting with members and non-members on a recruitment stall : The ‘Tell Us What Matters’ campaign.  #TellUCUWhatMatters

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The idea is: four cylinders are placed on the recruitment stall.  These cylinders are labelled and there is a supply of 100 balls.  Staff passing the recruitment stall are asked to place a ball into the cylinder which best represents their view on a subject.

For example, the question staff are asked could be: “What is your main employment concern?” The cylinders might be labelled:

  • Workload
  • Job Security
  • Pay
  • Other

If a member of staff indicated ‘Other’ the branch would give them a square of paper and ask them to write their concern down, then the folded piece of paper would be put into the ‘Other’ cylinder.



You will see how visual the cylinders would be on your stall, meaning staff will wonder what is happening and approach the stall allowing you to engage with them.  Once you get a member’s attention you could then also ask them to take part in the “I’m in the union because…” online photograph recruitment awareness campaign.

After engaging with staff over their vote, you should then ask if they are a member of UCU.  If they aren’t, now is the time to recruit them.  Our Northern region business cards could be used.

Photographs of the recruitment stall will be taken.  These will be put on the regional website and tweeted with the hashtags #TellUCUWhatMatters and #JoinUCU

In addition to engaging with staff, the campaign would allow the branch to identify issues for future campaigns.  For example, if workload was identified as a major concern for staff, a campaign focused on workload could be organised.  This in turn would allow members and non-members (a.k.a potential new members!) to see that UCU takes people’s concerns seriously and acts on them.


Regional “Tell us what matters” campaign kit

In April 2016 our Regional Executive approved the £41 funds needed to make a ‘campaign kit’ for use by our branches at recruitment stalls.  The campaign kit was finalised on 5th May. Regional office staff will take the kit out to branches and assist in the running of the campaign. To express an interest in use of the region’s kit please contact Emma Alexander.


The campaign kit is taking shape – 29th April 2016


What’s in the bag? It’s the region’s campaign kit, and it’s got wheels! – 3rd May 2016


The campaign kit includes a double sided sign to ask the question “What is your main employment concern?” and a choice of cylinder voting labels.  These labels are designed to easily attach / detach to the cylinder.  The labels are:

Casual contract

College merger


Health and Safety

Job security


Other  (please write down)



Performance management




Double sided stall sign and a choice of 11 voting labels allows a flexible set up

The question asked to staff is flexible.  For example, if your branch is running a stress campaign, the question asked to staff might be “What stresses you most at work?” with the cylinders potentially labeled ‘Workload’, ‘Job Security’, ‘Excessive inspection’, ‘Other’. Please contact Emma Alexander for advice and guidance on how the campaign can be adapted to suit your needs.


Branch campaign kits

Branches are encouraged to work with Emma Alexander to use branch funds to create their own campaign kit. This will allow the branch to run the campaign without relying on availability of the regional kit.

The cost to the branch would be around £41 for the voting cylinders and balls, or around £69 if a wheeled holdall was also required (Emma Alexander donated a bag for the region’s campaign kit).  This is a low cost per use for the branch.

Once the cylinders and balls are purchased by the branch Emma Alexander will create the kit’s pop-up sign and four cylinder labels: Workload, Pay, Job Security, Other.  Further cylinder labels can be requested by the branch.

The items the branch should order are:  (Prices and stock availability correct as of 27th April 2016)



x4 plastic cylinders (60cm tall x 15cm wide).

Plastic has been chosen for practical and health and safety reasons.

The cylinders cost £8.99 each.  Order four cylinders. Total cost £35.96


Supplied by Clas Ohlson (branch in Newcastle).  Free click and collect service is available, or for purchases under £40 there is a delivery option which costs £4.95


X100 colourful plastic balls (5.5cm diameter)

This size of ball was chosen so voting results quickly become very visual.


Ebay seller



Wheeled holdall





If you have any questions or require further guidance please do not hesitate to contact Emma Alexander.





During NRW2 in November 2015, Regional Administrator Emma Alexander saw photographs on twitter #JoinUCU by @leedsucu (Yorkshire & Humberside Region) of members casting votes with balls in cylinders. Emma was so impressed she asked Alan Smith, Branch Administrator at UCU University of Leeds where the branch bought the plastic cylinders.  From there, Emma used the inspiration to design a full recruitment kit for the Northern Region.  A wonderful example of social media raising awareness and spreading the message nationwide.



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