Negotiation and representation at work
A UNISON case study

Page 1: Introduction

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Trade unions play a key role in protecting the interests of their members. This includes making sure good quality training opportunities are provided for their members. Training enables workers to gain qualifications and progress within their careers. UNISON is Britain's and Europe”s largest public sector trade union. It has more than 1.3 million members with over 75,000 members under the...
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Page 2: Representation at work

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Trade unions represent their members at work. They can help to increase wages, agree working hours and improve working conditions. They do this by negotiating with employers on behalf of their members. This is called collective bargaining and it gives trade unions greater power than one individual worker would have during negotiations. Sometimes trade unions encourage workers to take industrial...
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Page 3: External factors supporting apprenticeships

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Demographic change The demographic profile of the UK workforce is changing. Large numbers of people now fit into what is described as the Baby Boom generation. This consists of people born in the years that followed the Second World War. These people are now in their fifties and sixties and retiring from the national workforce in large numbers. The British economy needs more young skilled...
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Page 4: Negotiation

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A key role of trade unions is to negotiate with employers on a wide range of work issues. These range from higher pay, better canteen facilities or more onsite childcare provision to time off work for family occasions. UNISON representatives seek to ensure the maximum number apprenticeship places within individual workplaces. UNISON”s bargaining agenda also includes key training issues of...
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Page 5: Benefits to members

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An apprenticeship provides a young person with the skills and support for them to take the first steps in building a career. It is particularly important that young apprentices are provided with the right sort of support and protection. Unions like UNISON are important because they make sure that the schemes are relevant to the needs of the trainee as well as the employer. UNISON is able...
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Page 6: Conclusion

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Public Sector employers like North Yorkshire County Council are facing a skills gap resulting from the retirement of older workers. To fill this gap, UNISON is supporting the development of apprenticeship schemes for young people. These provide a working base for them to acquire new skills and qualifications. UNISON aims to ensure apprentices are protected from being used as cheap labour. It...
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