The RCM is affiliated with the TUC

Why we're affiliated with the TUC and what it means for our members

Affiliation to the TUC (Trades Union Congress) was both a historic step — the RCM became the first Royal College to affiliate to the TUC — and a natural progression. The TUC brings together 48 trade unions, representing 5.6 million workers. Our affiliation increases our influence and allows us to help shape the TUC’s strategies and campaigns.

The TUC aims to be an authoritative voice in political debate and regularly meets ministers at all levels of government, including Secretaries of State, the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The RCM has a seat on the TUC’s General Council. TUC-affiliated unions also sit on the Public Services Forum, a tripartite body of unions, government and public service employers. The RCM puts forward two motions for debate at the TUC Congress (the annual conference) and these can be about trade union issues but also professional issues such as maternal mental health, continuity of care, or the future of midwifery education. Motions that are passed at the conference shape TUC policy for the following year.

Who are the TUC?

The TUC are the Trades Union Congress, the organisation that represents the wider trade union movement and the voice of Britain at work. There are currently 48 trade unions affiliated to the TUC, representing 5.6 million people from a wide range of occupations such as healthcare, local government, education, manufacturing, banking, acting, transport, sports, science and communication.

The TUC builds links with political parties, business, local communities in Britain and abroad and they campaign for a fair deal at work and for social justice.

What do RCM members get from our affiliation to the TUC?

A louder and more powerful voice as RCM issues and campaigns are heard by other affiliated trade unions, professional bodies and community organisations. Importantly for the RCM, the TUC conducts a wide range of policy, campaign and lobbying activity on equality and employment rights.

The TUC hold an annual Women’s Conference in March, BME Worker's Conference in April, Disabled Workers Conference in May and LGBT conference in July.

What do RCM Workplace Representatives get from our affiliation to the TUC?

RCM Workplace Representatives benefit from TUC affiliation primarily through the TUC Education programme and the Organising Academy. TUC Education delivers courses for workplace representatives of affiliated unions. The courses are recognised for quality and innovation and have been awarded an ‘outstanding’ rating.

RCM workplace representatives benefit as they have access to a broader and wider portfolio of development opportunities and are able to network with workplace representatives from other trade unions, widening their experience and perspective.

The Organising Academy is an innovative programme that focuses on increasing organisational skills so that unions can be strong and effective in their campaigns, and also inclusive, so that members and prospective members have the opportunity to be involved.

Does this mean the RCM is affiliated to the Labour Party?

The TUC is not affiliated to the Labour Party and seeks to build a constructive relationship with the government and the opposition, just as the RCM does. The TUC has dialogue with all of the major parties and has a presence at the three main party conferences. 15 of the trade unions affiliated to the TUC have affiliations with the Labour Party but most of the trade unions affiliated with the TUC are independent of any political party. The RCM will remain politically independent.

Latest TUC and RCM news

TUC Women’s Conference

The RCM attends the TUC Women’s Conference which is held every year in March.

Click the links below to browse RCM's briefings on the conference:

TUC Black Workers’ Conference

The RCM attends the TUC Black Workers’ Conference which is held every year in April.

Click the links below to browse RCM's briefings on the conference:

If you have any questions about attendance at either the TUC Women’s Conference or the TUC Black Workers Conference, please contact Alice Sorby, Employment Relations Advisor on [email protected]