About Us

 

Annual leave – support staff currently get 25 days per year plus 15 bank holidays and closed days, and we want to keep it that way! Local pay bargaining – we negotiate your pay rise each year, so what we do matters to your pocket. Living Wage – we gained the equivalent of the Living Wage for 2 years, giving a 5.4% or 40p per hour rise to the lowest paid staff. We are campaigning to make the University of Birmingham a Living Wage Accredited Employer, to stop poverty wages on campus. Local Representation – we have locally based reps, who do your jobs and know your problems.
Tackling casualisation and precarity on campus – many of our members are on precarious contracts that leave them with little money at the end of the month. Part-time, term-time, and fixed-term staff; those who who do shift work; agency workers (through Pertemps), and student workers (through Worklink) face common challenges relating to adequate training, fair pay, fair redeployment, career progression, and development. We support them individually (through casework) and collectively (through campaigning, negotiations and collective action) to stamp out unfair practices. Opposing outsourcing – we fundamentally oppose the outsourcing of services on campus. All staff should be in-house, working to collectively agreed contracts. Flexible working requests – we provide advice and support for parents and carers in the workplace. PDR scheme – we review the scheme to make sure it is implemented properly and fairly across the university.
Locally agreed policies – have your say in the policies that affect you in your workplace. Bullying and harassment support – we provide representation and support with any issues you may have at work. UNISON know that many areas can be tough to work in and we work hard to ensure everyone is treated with dignity and respect. We have supported members with issues in their workplace and worked with managers to put training in place to prevent bullying and discrimination. Help and advice – we can advise not only on problems in the workplace, but UNISON members can access free legal advice on non-work issues, including housing. Job security – we support and represent staff at threat of redundancy and during restructures.
Campaigning and lobbying – for issues that matter to members, within and outside the workplace. Training – UNISON offers a range of courses to members who would like to improve their skills and confidence in areas such as rights at work, English, maths, and computer skills, employment law for reps, and many more! Many courses are free and you may be entitled to time off work to attend them! Skills development – if you would like to be actively involved in your branch, the current reps and officers will be supporting you all along. You may be entitled to regular time off work to undertake your union duties, and you will learn from and alongside other fellow members on supporting others, communication skills, organising events, and so on. Working patterns – we have successfully protected hundreds of cleaners from being forced to work weekends for no extra pay on ‘any 5 day in 7’ contracts and are working hard to protect staff from being forced to work bank holidays and closed days.
National campaigns – UNISON have led campaigns to keep public services for people who use them, not for profit. We believe the NHS should be kept as a public service not run for private sector profit. UNISON passionately believe education should be a right, not a privilege, and support free education and keeping our libraries open. Disability and reasonable adjustments – we support disabled members, as well as members who acquire an injury or impairment in or out of work. This includes members with impairments, mental health conditions and/or long-term illness. We can advice you on your rights and help you get reasonable adjustments in your workplace, to ensure you are treated fairly and to support you stay in work. Cash – if you work with cash then you never know when you might need representation. UNISON provide representation in work and legal support for any issue raised in relation to your job. Health and Safety – our branch has a dedicated Health and Safety Officer. We routinely inspect areas to keep you safe. We have intervened to stop dangerous work environments and ensure members have been provided with correct personal clothing and equipment.
Social events – we organise social events – for instance, in August 2018 we will be holding a film screening of Made in Dagenham! Strength in numbers – we are the biggest support staff union on campus with over 600 members. Members benefits – offers and discounts for UNISON members. Members are entitled to a range of exclusive deals and discounts, including offers on home, car or travel insurance, dental and healthcare, school uniform grants, holidays and an energy price comparison service. Protecting and improving contractual terms and conditions across the institution

FAQs:

I work at The University of Birmingham, but not for the University of Birmingham. Can I join?

Yes. We have members who work for agencies outside of University of Birmingham. You are very welcome to join us.

I am a student working through Worklink. Can I join?

Yes!

Why would I join if I don’t have a problem?

UNISON helps out members when they are in need, but that is only a part of what we do. The more of us there are, the louder our voice is, and the better deal we get for everyone. Your membership fees go to supporting colleagues and ensuring that everyone is treated equally.