The more members TSSA recruits, the stronger our union is and the more we can offer to members.

Recruiting makes a difference

The more colleagues in your workplace who are members, the more influence you can have on the decision-making process within your company.

Remember, membership of TSSA offers the best legal and professional employment protection available.

As a TSSA rep you are in a unique position to make a real difference. Most individuals remember when they joined their union, why they joined and who recruited them.

Key points

  • Recruiting is a vital part of your role
  • The personal approach works best

Who to approach

New arrivals

Try to make sure that you are one of the first to say hello to new staff. Find out whether they are already TSSA members and, if so, whether TSSA has received their updated membership details (these should be passed to TSSA’s Membership Department). 

If they are not TSSA members, invite them to join, pointing out the benefits of union membership. Giving examples of any success stories within your company can be very persuasive.

Existing staff

It can be easy to overlook colleagues who have been in your workplace for some time but who may not have joined TSSA. 

Find out which of your existing colleagues are TSSA members and make time to talk to those who aren’t.

Part-time and fixed-term contract workers

Don’t forget staff who work part-time and those on fixed-term contracts. They are less likely to be union members than other staff but they may have even greater need for the support and protection of a union.

Making it happen

There are three steps in successful recruiting. 

1. Plan your recruitment

Your best tool in recruitment is information. Collect information from your employer about new staff. For instance, find out which staff already belong to other unions so that you don’t waste time approaching them.

Next, make a list of the people you need to approach, where they work and what they do and target them systematically. You could ask your Personnel Department for a slot in its induction programmes of new employees to talk to them about TSSA.

Also, think about what recruitment materials you need. You can get application forms and leaflets about TSSA by contacting the Helpdesk.

2. Identify needs and show how TSSA meets them

Try to find out what are the most important issues to your colleagues so that you can address them when talking about TSSA.

Asking questions and listening is key. Try to avoid closed questions that only require a yes or no answer. It is better to ask "What do you like/dislike about working here?" than "Do you like working here?".

It can be very influential if you talk about improvements TSSA has made in your company. For example: "TSSA got involved when the finance department was restructured. It persuaded the company to agree to flexible working which was what staff wanted."

When telling your colleagues about TSSA, it is useful to bear in mind the following facts:

  • Pay -  On average staff in unionised workplaces earn more than non-union members.
  • Holiday  - They also have more annual holiday. 
  • Career - People employed by companies that recognise unions have better opportunities for training and career development. 
  • Safety - Non-unionised workplaces have twice the rate of accidents as unionised ones. 
  • Legal help - Unions win millions of pounds compensation every year for people in employment tribunals and personal injury cases.

Why join contains more information about the benefits and services that come with membership of TSSA.

3. Get the form signed and returned to TSSA or direct them to the website

Make sure that you have an application form with you so that people can join on the spot if they want to.

Application forms can be ordered by calling the Membership Team on 020 7387 2101 or people can join online

If they need more time, make sure you have left your contact details so they can get back to you.

You can also visit them again in person - which can be an opportunity to answer any questions they had at your first meeting.

Why Direct Debit?

TSSA prefers that new members pay by direct debit rather than through paybill deductions (i.e. deducted from their salary).

TSSA has to pay your employer if you have your union subs taken out of your pay packet – which means we have less money to spend on our members.

And with direct debit, members don't need to worry about transferring over membership when they change jobs or move to another company. Direct debit is as flexible as you need it to be.

Also, the direct debit guarantee ensures that members won't miss a payment or get be overcharged.

So whenever you're recruiting new members, encourage them to pay by direct debit – it's better for them and it's better for TSSA.

Make sure people stay members

After someone has joined TSSA, they need to be kept informed about what the union is achieving. And they need to feel confident that TSSA is still of relevance and acting on their behalf.

Make sure they know of any successes and are kept informed about meetings, elections and training dates.

If someone does drop out of membership, try to find out why. People sometimes leave when they change jobs or are promoted – they may not realise that they can take their membership with them and that the union can still be of benefit.

If they are dissatisfied, can anything be done about it? Try to make sure you speak to them in person. 

Tips for recruiting

  • Be confident. Introduce yourself clearly. Make sure your colleague knows that you are a TSSA rep.
  • Be honest. You don't have to know the answer to every question on the spot. Tell them you will find out and get back to them. Then make sure you do.
  • Avoid jargon. Use everyday language and try to avoid terms such as 'collective bargaining'. They can be off-putting to someone new to trade unions.
  • Give real life examples. Talk about TSSA's success stories and explain what the union has achieved for your colleagues.
  • Be relaxed. Make eye contact when talking. Open, relaxed body language will help to create a good atmosphere between you and the potential member.
  • Keep your cool. Even if someone is negative about unions, remain polite and don't get into an argument.
  • Be available. Always make sure that the people you have approached know how to get in touch with you. Leave your contact details.
  • Remain approachable. Even if you get turned down initially, remain approachable. Remember – people change their minds.

Membership forms

Membership form with TSSA flags on cover



Membership form with TSSA flags on cover

Membership form with cartoon people on cover



Membership form with cartoon people image on cover

Membership form with ticket barrier cover



Membership form with ticket barriers on cover

Membership form with tube train cover



Membership form with tube train image on cover

Membership form with London buses cover



Membership forms with London buses on cover