| Unions

Why join one of the campus unions?

The University has three recognised unions:

Each of them broadly represents a different group of staff.

UCU represent academic and professional services staff.
UNISON represent professional services staff.
UNITE represent experimental and technical staff.

You can click on the links above to access membership information.

The campus unions are constantly negotiating policies that impact terms and conditions of employment for University staff. We also support staff with casework (disciplinary, grievance, sickness etc.), redundancy and TUPE situations.

On average, union members get higher pay than non-members. They are also likely to get better sickness and pension benefits, more paid holiday and more control over things like shifts and working hours. This is because workers join together to negotiate pay and conditions rather than leaving them up to managers.

Unions make sure working people are treated with respect – for example, opposing managers closing pensions schemes and stopping new workers being employed on worse terms and conditions.

Unions push managers to make workplaces more inclusive for women, LGBTQI+ workers, Black and minority ethnic workers, older workers and disabled workers. When there’s a strong union, women are far less likely to face problems at work while pregnant, on maternity leave or when they return to work.

Workplaces where there are unions are safer workplaces. Every year, unions train 10,000 reps to spot unsafe working practices and cut accident rates. That’s why workplaces with union representation have significantly lower injury rates.

If you run into problems at work, your union has got your back. The union’s legal team can make sure you are treated fairly – without you having to worry about paying. Every year, unions win millions in compensation for members who suffer injuries or are treated unfairly at work.

Unions help our members get on in life. Every year, unions help more than 200,000 working people get the skills they need to get better-paid jobs. And we push employers to make sure ordinary working people get chances for training and promotion.

Unions make sure working people get a voice at work. Companies where workers are involved in decisions have better training opportunities, are fairly rewarded and can help companies survive bad times.


What have the unions done for me?

  • Equal pay
  • Equal opportunities
  • Maternity pay
  • Two-day weekends
  • Minimum wage
  • A living wage
  • Higher pay
  • More holidays
  • More flexible working
  • Greater job security
  • Increased likelihood of having a permanent job and full-time job
  • Health and Safety
  • Workplace learning and skills
  • Better sickness and pension benefits
  • The right not to be sacked if you have a baby or become ill
  • Legal help