About us

UNISON is the largest UK trade union for support staff in higher education. Our 50,000 members include registrars, librarians, personnel, technicians, administrators, clerks, secretaries, cleaners, craftworkers, catering staff, porters and people working in IT, finance and estates management.

Most people join a union because they want protection at work - help with pay and conditions of service, legal or health and safety advice or representation in case things go wrong at work. That's what we're here for. UNISON negotiates on pay and working conditions at every level - local, regional and national. But we also do a lot more. Being a UNISON member gives you a range of benefits and unbeatable deals.

Every member of UNISON belongs to a local branch which is made up of people working for the same employer.

Local stewards are there to represent you at work and help find the answers to your problems. They are volunteers and play a vital role in recruiting new members and organising your branch. If you have a problem, talk to your local steward. If they can't handle the problem on their own, they can talk to other branch officers or full - time union experts on your behalf.

Anyone can face problems at work sometimes but if you are a member of UNISON, you don't have to face them alone. We can provide advice or representation on things like pay, rotas, leave and sickness procedures. We are also there to help you make sure your workplace is healthy and safe, support you in case of disciplinary action, dismissals or redundancy.

Being a UNISON member gives you a huge range of benefits, including:

  • Unrivalled protection and representation at work
  • Help with pay and conditions of service
  • Health and safety guidance and support
  • Confidential welfare services for you and your dependents in difficult times
  • Excellent legal services including free help with work problems and legal support for members and their families
  • Pensions advice
  • A special hotline, UNISONdirect, for help and advice on workplace issues
  • Online employment and workplace advice
  • Education and training advice and courses, leading to vocational and professional qualifications
  • Cash benefits for accidents and injuries at work
  • A colour magazine sent to your home four times a year, a monthly magazine for our stewards and activists and a full range of publicity
  • Our own holiday centre for members and families at the Devon seaside