A decade on, we’re still looking out for you

Since 2010, local government hasn’t always been the easiest place to work. UNISON have played an important role in standing with those caught up in the realities of austerity. It’s against this backdrop that at East Hampshire District Council (EHDC), the local UNISON branch held a drop-in event for staff so that they could get a better understanding what it means to be part of the UK’s largest trade union.

East Hampshire UNISON branch secretary Rich Wells notes:

“It has been a long time since we’ve run a recruitment event like this – and honestly, I didn’t know how much interest there would be. We worked together as a team on this and it helped to show the wide range of things the union has to offer. A lot of enthusiastic and positive members and non-members came along and it was great to meet with them face-to-face.” 

Most members know about the support available with workplace issues including our helpline UNISONDirect. But they don’t always know about the assistance that may be available from our welfare charity There For You and the benefits that many of our partners provide. This was why Lighthouse Financial Advisors were on hand to run a free 30 minute consultation for UNISON members.

These are just some of the important ways branches like East Hampshire UNION work with their colleagues to get the best outcomes in often complex and difficult conditions – and the drop-in at EHDC was a great opportunity to tell members the full range of what they were entitled to.

But because UNISON is run by and for its members, East Hampshire UNISON branch also made sure that the conversation at the drop-in wasn’t one way. As well as reps and organisers being on hand to answer questions and sign up new members, the branch did an impromptu survey of why member’s join – and stay – with our union. Here are some of the answers – which we’re sure many UNISON members will relate to across local government.

‘Losing faith in job security’

‘In case everything hits the fan’ 

‘If I didn’t get paid again, I’d go straight to the union next time!’

‘Also worked in non-unionised industry for 10 years and work conditions here are so much better.’

Rich continues:

“Raising the profile of the branch and encouraging members to get more involved was definitely worthwhile.”

1.3 million people are in UNISON. Are you one of them? Join here.