About Us

Welcome to UNISON University of Birmingham branch

Not a member yet? Here are 10 Reasons to Join UNISON at the University of Birmingham.

To find out more about joining the branch – click here

The UNISON University of Birmingham branch represents support staff and academic-related staff either directly employed by the University of Birmingham, the Guild of Students, the Edgbaston Park Hotel or by private contractors. We negotiate for better pay and conditions collectively for all support staff, whether they are UNISON members or not. We also help individual members with advice and representation, and we campaign for a fairer and better society. We put jobs and education before profit. To become a member, please complete the application form, which can be found on our joining page.

When you make the decision to join UNISON you become part of an active community of professionals supporting each other. Every member who becomes active in our union makes it stronger, whether it’s getting involved in our campaigns, attending your branch meetings, volunteering to help your local branch committee, training to become a representative or standing for election. We are a vibrant, active democratic community committed to improving the lives of our members at work. Get involved and help make us even more effective!

We represent staff in the following areas of the University:

Administration, Catering, Cleaning, Estates, Finance, Registry, Student Services, Library Services, Welfare and Wellbeing services, Postal Services, Guild of Students, The Sports Centre, The Nursery, Hotel and Conference Park, Fresh Thinking, IT, Winterbourne Garden, The Barber Institute, Student Accommodation, Worklink (student casual staff), Security, and more. You can also join the union if you are employed by a Temp Agency such as Pertemps. 

How is UNISON organised?

On the UoB campus:

On the UoB campus, our branch covers two employers: The University of Birmingham and the Guild of Students, and overall we have more than 650 members from across the two employers. All the officers, stewards and workplace contacts of the branch are employees or casual workers who are based at either of these two workplaces.

We hold Annual General Meetings where officers are elected. Throughout the year, we organise members’ meetings and prepare an agenda for discussion, and for debating and passing motions. We also hold committee meetings, where active members and officers come together to discuss matters that arise on campus, and to collectively decide on how to approach matters.

Within Higher Education

Within the Higher Education sector, UNISON represents more than 50,000 workers; within the Education sector more generally, UNISON has more than 350,000 members. Almost every campus in the UK has a UNISON branch. Every year, we attend national UNISON ‘Seminars’ where we discuss strategies for organising, and ways of supporting members. We also hold an annual Higher Education Conference where we pass motions relevant to our members in HE. And finally, we attend and submit motions to the National Delegate Conference where more than 2,000 delegates from across the country and all the five service groups debate and make decisions on various matters; this is the ‘Parliament’ of UNISON. To read the motions passed at this year’s conference, please visit the following page: https://www.unison.org.uk/events/2018-national-delegate-conference/


Nationally, UNISON one of the largest trade unions, with more than 1.3 million members; it is also the largest public sector union in Europe! The union is organised into five service groups/sectors:

  • health,
  • local government (it includes FE colleges),
  • higher education,
  • police and justice,
  • community,
  • water, environment and transport.


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?


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.