10 Good Reasons To Join And Be Involved



Not Hearsay

You can have more of a say on what Unison does in your workplace – bring up issues that you really know are of importance to you and your colleagues. Maybe you’re unhappy with rest room facilities for staff, or perhaps you think your work would benefit from more flexible working hours. Whatever the issue, the only way you can change is to bring it up in the first place. You can do this with UNISON.


Just A Number

Get to make a difference. You can get to make a difference in your workplace, at home, in your life and in the world at large.


Provide A Link

There are groups for members, to allow them equal access to an equal voice in the union – for women, black members, lesbian and gay members, retired and young members.


Always In The Dark?

Know What’s Going On. You’ll get to know more about what’s going on at work and why.


Stuck In A Rut?

Go further. It will help you develop, providing new opportunities for education, training and personal development.


Do Your Bit

Become a representative.  You’ll be contributing something no matter how little you do. You could be a workplace contact, making sure members receive information, acting as a link between them and the union. You could even become a steward, helping members when they have a problem. Unison provides all the necessary training and support. All we need are people like you.


No democracy?

You can participate in the democratic structures of the union. There are lots of opportunities for all kinds of people. Not only can you help run your local branch, but you would get elected to regional or national levels of the union. They’re only as good as those who get elected. We need people with vision and enthusiasm who want to give a voice to others just like you. Interested?


Out On A Limb?

Work As A Team.  You can get together with work friends and colleagues and meet new people. If you decide to take on an elected position in your UNISON branch, you could consider doing it as a job share with someone else.


Seen And Not Heard?

Speak In Unison. You’ll be part of the biggest union in the country – contributing towards our influential voice on a huge range of issues. Ensure that you and your colleagues are heard!


It Can’t Work For You

Make It Happen.  You’ll help ensure that Unison is the kind of union you want it to be. It’s only as good as you make it.

And If That’s Not Enough –  If you become a Unison steward, we’ll send you on a training course, give you advice and support, as well as your very own badge and card! You will also have certain legal rights – for time off work and training to enable you to carry out your work.



No Security?

You’re less likely to be sacked. Trade union members are only half as likely to be sacked as non-members.


Paid Like A Monkey

You earn more in a unionised workplace. Average earnings are around 8% higher in unionised workplaces. UNISON most likely negotiates your pay for you and if you’re a member, you’ll get a say in those negotiations.


Worked Like A Dog?

You get more annual leave in a unoinised workplace. The average trade union member in the UK gets 29 days annual leave a year, compared with 23 days for non-unionised workers.


Endangered Lives

You’re less likely to be injured at work.  All employers have a legal duty to provide a safe workplace and safe equipment and working methods, but unionised workplaces have health and safety officers to make sure the employer sticks to their legal obligations.


No Prospects?

You get more maternity leave or parental leave. Unionised workplaces are 12% more likely to have parental policies in place which are more generous than the statutory minimum.  Why not ask us what we have done on this issue?



You’re more likely to get Equal Pay for work of Equal Value. Workplaces with union recognition are 20% more likely to have an equal opportunities policy in place. Despite equal pay legislation, women currently earn only 83p for every £1 earned by a man.A newly qualified nurse and Unison member, working in a West Cumberland Hospital is one of a group of women at the hospital, including nurses, catering assistants, clerical officers and telephonists, who had their pay compared with that of craftsmen, joiners, labourers and maintenance assistants.Unison started this action in 1997 and in 2002 a group of independent experts confirmed our view that these women workers have been discriminated against for years.Our members starting salary is £17,000 but because of UNISON’s action this should increase to £26,000. A final tribunal ruling is expected during the summer of 2003.The member says “It’s great to have the union back you up. It makes you feel you are worth something”


Health At Risk?

If you get injured at work, you’ll get better compensation. Unions won over £321 million in legal compensation for people who were injured or became ill at work in 2000.  Unison successfully fought for increased compensation for the nursery nurse, Lisa Potts, who was seriously injured while protecting children in her care from a horrific machete attack. “I’d only just become a member. Funnily enough, one of the other nursery nurses said I should join in case anything ever happens”, recalls Lisa, who was only 21 when the attack happened. A few months later that happened to me and I’m so glad I filled in those forms. Without UNISON it would have been very difficult for me, especially legally. Now I’m always telling people they should join a union”.We’ve also helped people who’ve faced more commonplace accidents such as those that result from using faulty equipment at work. Only last year a member who is  an ambulance worker, received £140,000 as compensation. He lost his job as a result of a serious back injury.


Homophobic Sneers?

You’re less likely to be discriminated against in terms of age, diability, race or sex. Black and Asian trade unionists earn 32% more than their non-unionised colleagues. Trade unions have campaigned for tougher anti-discrimination laws, which are coming into effect in 2003, making it illegal to discriminate on the grounds of religion or belief, marital or family status, sexual orientation or gender reassignment.


Squandered Opportunities?

You will be part of an International Network to share good practice with trade unionists across the world, and to provide mutual support where workers are facing exploitation or intimidation for union activity. In December 2000 Alexander Lopez, president of the municipal workers union in Cali, Columbia, fled his country under threat of death from right wring Paramilitaries. Columbia is the most dangerous country in the world for trade unionists. UNISON, along with Amnesty International, helped Lopez when he arrived in London.  Asked what it meant that UNISON had supported him, he said “It makes it more difficult for them to kill me”. He has now returned to Columbia and in March 2002 was elected to the House of Representatives.


No respect?

You get more maternity leave or parental leave.  Unionised workplaces as 12% more likely to have parental policies in place which are more generous than the statutory minimum.  Your local UNISON branch can negotiate for more generous provision – why not ask them what they’ve done on this issue.

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