Why Join Unite?

Unite is dedicated to serving the best interests of our members and will seek to improve their standard of living and the quality of their lives though effective relationships with employers and government.

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Members of Unite are entitled to a range of legal and member services with representation services covering a range of issues, both inside and outside the workplace.

We can help with:

Unite bullet pointpersonal injury claims

Unite bullet pointemployment matters such as pensions, disciplinaries and grievances

Unite bullet pointwills

Unite bullet pointconveyancing

Unite bullet pointmany other legal issues.

We also work to build a mutually beneficial relationship with the University to improve terms for all staff.

You never know when you might need advice with a problem at work. So it’s good to know Unite is here to help.


What can the Union do for me?

We negotiate with the University on pay and conditions, we represent members at grievance and disciplinary hearings and provide free legal cover and assistance. We ensure fair and equitable treatment of our members in the workplace and to make sure you work in a healthy and safe environment.

What could you do if you faced a disciplinary hearing where you thought you might be sacked?

Can't I just represent myself, or ask a colleague.

Yes you can but cases are more successful with Union representation. Members can call upon the services of a Workplace Representative who is trained in all aspects of Employment Law to represent you and who have access to a wide range of information, advice and support from the Union that you or a colleague as an individual would not have.

It is far better to have someone alongside you who knows what they are talking about!

I can get a “No win, no fee” solicitor to represent me.

No win, no fee simply means that the winner pays. We’ve all seen the TV adverts, but what about the small print?

It is estimated that on average, anything up to 60% of winnings in successful claims are paid back to solicitors to cover their costs. In some cases, solicitors take ALL the winnings, leaving the individual with nothing. There are also hidden costs, such as the insurance premium you are expected to pay should your case fail.

Last year, Unite won over £125 million in compensation for members who had been injured or become ill as a result of work, or who had been discriminated against, or unfairly dismissed.

So how could you help me if I had a case?

We are here to advise and support you through any work issues such as bullying, harassment, inequality or if you are facing a disciplinary.

You are likely to feel nervous dealing with such an issue so we are there to level the playing field. Our trained, experienced reps fully understand the processes and your rights and can challenge decisions made.

We can be in your corner when things get difficult.

But I already get everything a member gets!

It's true that our work benefits all University employees but there are some things that only Unite members can get, for example, access to free legal advice that covers the whole family; preferential rates and discounts for home and car insurance; a free will writing service; free employment advice, information and representation, and a wide range of other financial benefits!

So I get the same pay rise and terms & conditions as members…

Yes but how much better do you think it could it be if we represented a 100% of the workforce? Which is stronger – negotiating for 20% of the workforce, or 100%?

As a non-member you have no influence over how the Union conducts negotiations. Wouldn’t you rather have your voice heard?

I’m too young to worry about joining a union

Young workers are more likely than anyone to have problems at work. If, for example, you have a disciplinary problem and you don’t get it sorted out it could haunt you well into your working life.
Young workers do much better if they are a member of a union, with 80% receiving a company pension, compared to just 45% of non-members, and 91% of union members receiving sick pay, compared to 71% of non-members.

Why bother joining at my age? I’m too old!

Older workers are one group who definitely need the Union. Age discrimination is a big problem and if you are on the receiving end we can help. If you are due to retire it’s vital to get it right as far as pensions, holiday pay, etc. are concerned.

What if I don’t want to go on strike?

That's completely understandable and your choice. When a strike takes place it is not entered into lightly; every option is explored thoroughly before this course of action is taken.

You have to give your consent in an independently administered ballot to take strike action - you cannot be forced into it.

I can’t afford the membership fees

Can you really afford not to be a member? What would happen in the event of an accident or if you had a problem at work? What are you comparing the cost against? £2.53 a week (for full-time employees) is a small price to pay as a premium and the benefits available to members far outweighs that cost.

You insure your house, your car, and your life. Why not insure yourself at work?

If you had a machine at home that printed money, you would most likely insure that, too. You are that machine!

If you want to know more about membership, benefits or anything mentioned above you can either;
Contact a local rep
Go online to the main Unite National website
Download an application form

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