Mass consultation motion 3: YOUR UNION, YOUR VOICE, YOUR UVW


  1. RECOGNISING the views UVW members expressed in the mass consultation of 2020;
  1. UNDERLINING that UVW members are the union, and the union is only as strong its membership is active and united;
  1. CONSIDERING the importance to members of UVW’s grassroots democracy and participation; 
  1. RECOGNISING that to preserve UVW’s integrity, members need clarity on how, when and where decisions are taken and how they can influence them or participate in them;
  1. UNDERLINING the need to ensure that all those acting on behalf of members – whether executive committee, union staff or other representatives – are accountable to the membership. 
  1. ACKNOWLEDGING that as UVW grows, clear and transparent democratic processes are even more important, to ensure that that the union continues to be member-led;
  1. RECOGNISING that while members favour a less hierarchical or centralised structure, UVW’s processes and structure must support democracy, equality and inclusivity, and should ensure that all members have access to participate in the union, whoever they are;
  1. ACCEPTING that, whilst there is a strong sense of community within, there is a need to cultivate deeper connections across UVW’s diverse membership;
  1. UNDERLINING that for UVW to keep winning and be sustainable leadership needs to be developed at every level of the union;
  1. RECOGNISING that UVW’s successes are built on women leaders and will continue to support and champion women’s leadership at all levels of the union;
  1. CONSIDERING that UVW members favour having elected positions to ensure democratic representation of and clear accountability to UVW’s diverse membership;
  1. AGREES to have a democratically elected executive committee, including an elected general secretary, with the responsibilities and composition laid out below;



  • Provide direction, leadership and strategic oversight of the union on behalf of members
  • Protect the union’s interests, legally and reputationally 
  • Ensure the union fulfils its statutory and constitutional obligations 
  • Oversee the union’s finances – ensure income is sustainable and resources are allocated appropriately
  • Oversee the arrangements for AGMs
  • Oversee union staffing, including recruitment and wellbeing
  • Oversee staff and membership disciplinary and grievance processes


  • The composition aims to ensure that the committee is representative of the diverse membership, across all sectors and groups, including those without a formal structure.
  • In monitoring shifts in membership, the committee should use its discretion to ensure that the committee remains representative of the UVW’s membership, and will consider applications from newly formed groups.

Sector representatives

No. of seats


Cleaning sector


Each position is elected by the members in that sector.
Sectors with only 1 seat can have 2 people sharing the position on rotation.

Legal sector


architectural sector


Design and cultural workers sector


VAWG sectors


Other charity workers


Sex workers




Voces Hispanas Unidas





(Advisory roles – non-voting)

General Secretary


Dedicated trade union official, directly elected by and accountable to the membership.
Responsible for:
– ensuring that the decisions of the membership are implemented by working with the committee and staff of the union;
– reporting to the committee on the activities and performance of the union;
– provides the committee with advice and recommendations.
(Full job description to be circulated by the committee before nominations open)

Other staff


Staff to nominate 2 staff members to sit on the committee and attend meetings, to provide advice and expertise on campaigns, membership and the operations of the union. 
Other staff to report to and advise the committee as requested




Elected committee members will nominate members of the committee to hold specific roles, including but not limited to the following:

  • Treasurer – to be responsible for overseeing the finances of the union, working with the finance officer
  • Secretary to the committee – Supporting the committee, arranging meetings, ensuring agendas are circulated, arranging facilitation and translation/interpretation for meetings, and minutes are taken and circulated
  • Staff liaison – non-staff member(s) of the committee to ensure effective communication between the staff and the committee
  • Disciplinary and grievance – to be responsible for investigating disciplinary and grievance issues in relation to staff or members

Roles can be shared, where appropriate.


Elections will be conducted within 12 weeks of the AGM.

Elections will be overseen by the existing committee.

For the sector positions, each sector will carry out its own elections, in consultation with the executive committee.

Elections for the general secretary position will follow the relevant statutory procedures.

13. RESOLVES to task the committee to oversee a democracy review, to look at UVW’s structures and processes, including how to:

a. Ensure structures and processes meet the needs of UVW’s diverse membership and ensure continuity;

b. Clarify the sectoral structures and the division of responsibility between central UVW and the sectors;

c. Balance integration and sectoral self-determination; 

d. Ensure representation of members that don’t have a formal sector;

e. Empower and support diverse leadership at all levels of the union;

f. Continually monitor democracy within UVW;

14. PLEDGES to present the recommendations of the democracy review at the next AGM, for members to consider and vote on.


Stay up to date with our latest news, campaigns, trainings and events