UNISON and unions' wider role
A UNISON case study

Page 0: Introduction

In the interests of both parties, the relationship between employer and employee needs to be a fair one. If either employers or employees act unfairly, it can lead to disaster for a business. An employer unwilling to pay a fair rate, or to treat workers properly, will create a workforce with low morale that produces poor output. So it is vital that employers and employees work together to agree...
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Page 1: UNISON's aims and achievements

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UNISON works with both employers and employees to ensure that public service workers receive a fair deal. A big advantage for any worker represented by UNISON is that, like many other unions, it takes part in 'collective bargaining'. This means that when negotiating with a management group the union represents the whole workforce. This gives workers far greater negotiating strength. Single...
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Page 2: The wider role

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Trades Unions represent workers' views not only to employers but also to government. This is especially important for UNISON as the government is the ultimate employer in the public sector. UNISON advises the government, both as a union in its own right and also as a member of the Trades Union Congress (TUC). It also lobbies for what it sees as necessary changes in the law. In UNISON's view, it...
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Page 3: Trade Union action

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UNISON does not confine itself to promoting changes in the law. It will campaign for workers and members in many instances. It helps to provide legal advice and support for legal actions. It also advises members on individual and collective grievances. One example of the union's success is when, in June 2004, it won a total of £225,000 in compensation for 29 cleaning and catering workers...
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Page 4: Industrial Action

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Unions are reluctant to resort to industrial action in order to solve a problem. They see it as a last resort after negotiations have failed. In any dispute in which UNISON becomes involved, it always tries to negotiate a solution by agreeing a compromise. No sensible union will take any serious industrial action without its members' permission and explicit support. Indeed, unions are now...
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Page 5: Conclusion

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UNISON exemplifies the role and work of a modern trade union. It protects its own members who deliver public services, and looks to ensure that all are treated fairly. It also runs campaigns to raise awareness and influence government. It campaigns both nationally and locally. Locally, it works for individuals or groups, gaining for them better working conditions or compensation for unfair...
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