The following is a very short summary written in February 2018 of our current structure and the proposals about how we work together that are contained in the draft ‘How we work together’ document that is currently being prepared by the steering group and the structure and process working group of the London Renters Union.
We will hold at least one all member assembly each year, which is the highest decision making body of the union, and is an opportunity for us to learn from each other’s experiences and celebrate and build our community. We will also hold regular member forums where we come together to discuss, make plans and socialise.
We have a clear structure based on branches, working groups and a coordinating group:
Branches are the key unit of the union. They carry out union organising and campaigning in a particular London borough or area. We are currently building our first branch in Newham and hope to have branches across the city by the end of 2018.
Our current working groups are:
- Outreach – reaching as many Londoners and organisations as we can, developing branches.
- Communications – printed materials, branding, website, social media, other propaganda.
- Finance – managing our moneyz and budgets, processing payments.
- Fundraising – getting more moneyz. Writing funding applications, running fundraisers.
- Process and structure – establishing the union as a legal entity, suggesting ways we can work together.
- Member support – creating trainings, processes and resources that can help branches and members to take action to stand up to landlords and estate agents.
- Training (currently dormant)
- Organising (to be confirmed)
The coordinating group will be established by the end of March 2018. It will be made up of two representatives of each of our branches and working groups and three members directly elected by the whole membership. Only one representative of a branch or working group can be someone who identifies as white and a man. Until the end of Q1 2019, there will also by about 8 spaces on the coordinating group for representatives of organisations that co-founded the LRU, and representatives of a few of our partner organisations.
The role of the coordinating group is to coordinate the role of the union, support development of new branches, manage staff, uphold the values of the union, implement the decisions of all member assemblies and make decisions in between those assemblies. The coordinating group is accountable to the membership and its decisions can be overturned by the membership.
We aim to create roles in within the union in addition to being a member of a branch or working group that make it easy for people to contribute their skills, passions and time to the life of the union. We are currently establishing the following roles:
- Local organisers – who work to develop relationships with and between members, recruit people to join help develop branches.
- Member support buddies – who help fellow members who have housing problems to access the support that the union and its partner organisations can provide.