There are a number of chapel roles defined in the rulebook. The lead rep in a chapel is known as the mother or father of the chapel.
Chapels should elect people to chapel roles annually – the main roles are:
- Mother/father of the chapel (M/FOC) – the leading figure in the chapel, who chairs chapel meetings and usually leads negotiations with management. Some chapels decide to have more than one M/FOC to share the workload.
- Secretary – responsible for the administration of the chapel including taking minutes and booking rooms
- Equality officer – responsible for ensuring the chapel is open and accessible to all members and the main point of contact for members who face issues of discrimination.
- Welfare officer – responsible for seeking to ensure the welfare of all members and supporting members in need. Welfare officers should be aware of the guidelines for NUJ extra and in contact with the branch welfare officer who can support members in making an application for NUJ extra support
Additional roles that may be required in larger chapels include:
- Deputy M/FOC – to support the M/FOC
- Treasurer – to manage any funds the chapel has at its disposal
Chapels can create a broader committee to support the chapel's work. Committee members may have no specific roles, share the existing role with other members or bespoke roles can be created based on the needs of the chapel, examples include:
- Environmental rep to promote best environmental practice amongst members and in the workplace
- Health and safety rep who, if trained, can work with the employer to ensure the workplace is a safe place to work. Health and safety reps have legal powers even where the union is not recognised
- Communications rep to improve communication within the chapel and manage noticeboards, where they exist
- Recruitment rep to take the lead on recruiting new joiners and other non-members to the union
- Membership rep to maintain the list of members – informing the NUJ of departures and liaising with the branch on new applicants
- Branch liaison to ensure there is regular communication between the chapel and the branch
Particularly where chapels are organising for recruitment or preparing for industrial action, recruitment and membership reps can be particularly important to maximise membership and ensuring the union has a correct list of members.