About UNISON NI
UNISON is Northern Ireland's leading and liveliest trade union, representing over 40,000 workers delivering essential public services in areas such as health; social services; education; local government; private companies providing public services; and the community and voluntary sector. Click here to find out more about our structures and work programme for this year.
Why join us?
UNISON provides unrivalled protection and representation at work - help with pay and conditions of service, legal or health and safety advice or representation in case things go wrong.That's what we're here for. UNISON negotiates on pay and working conditions at every level - local, regional and national. But we also do a lot more! Being a UNISON member gives you a wide range of benefits and unbeatable deals, including:-
- Excellent legal services at work and in the home
- Pensions advice and confidential welfare services for you and your dependents in difficult times
- A special hotline, UNISONdirect, for help and advice on workplace issues
- Online employment and workplace advice
- Education and training advice and courses, leading to vocational and professional qualifications
- Cash benefits for accidents and injuries at work
- A colour magazine sent to your home four times a year; a fortnightly newspaper for our stewards and activists and a full range of publicity
- Special deals on everything from computers, tax returns, holidays, mortgages, car breakdown services, insurance and credit cards (membership services)
UNISON NI structures
UNISON members in Northern Ireland work in employers as diverse as:
- Health Boards, NHS Trusts, & NHS Agencies
- Education and Library Boards, schools, universities and Colleges of Further Education
- the community and voluntary sector
- District Councils & Government agencies
- Multi-national private contractors and private nursing homes
- Employment agencies and factories with occupational nurses
- Call centres and the water service
Members vote directly by postal ballot for the general secretary and national executive. In the rare event that industrial action is called for, that also requires a postal ballot. Members elect stewards and branch officers locally at meetings or by ballot.
Every member is allocated to a branch. There are currently 31 branches in Northern Ireland - 22 branches in health and social services (based primarily on Trusts as lead employers but including multi-nationals and private sector carrying out public services) and 8 branches in education or higher education (based on Education & Library Boards as lead employer but including private sector, district councils and government agencies). There is one community and voluntary sector branch covering over one hundred community and voluntary sector employersThrough the branch structures, members elect stewards and branch officers. They also elect delegates to the NI regional council. Branches are usually based on employers or groups of employers. Members are advised of the name of their branch secretary on joining UNISON.
The Northern Ireland regional council comprises delegates from branches, service groups and self organised groups. It meets each year to set out a programme of work on behalf of our members.
The regional committee is a smaller group of members elected from branches at regional council and from the services groups and self organised groups.It has the responsibility for progressing UNISON policy in the region between meetings of the regional council. Proportionality and fair representation are built into the regional constitution to ensure that the regional committee and the regional council:
- fairly reflects the number of women and low paid workers who are the majority of our membership
- fairly represents the different groups and grades of workers throughout health, education and higher education, local government, and the community and voluntary sectors
- promotes positive action for groups who suffer discrimination in our society particularly on grounds of gender, age, sexual orientation, race and disability
UNISON NI Regional Work Programme
UNISON's national priorities
1. Recruiting, organising, representing and retaining members
2. Negotiating and bargaining on behalf of members and promoting equality
3. Campaigning and promoting UNISON on behalf of members
4. Developing an efficient and effective union
UNISON NI key themes
UNISON NI Regional Work Programme
Each year the UNISON national executive council sets key aims and objectives aimed at putting UNISON's policies into practice and improving the lives for our members.At the start of the year the NI regional committee sets out a work programme to implement these national priorities and the decisions taken at the NI regional council. The committee then establishes a set of UNISON Northern Ireland priorities, linked to national priorities, which underpin all aspects of its work programme for the year. The regional committee organised this year's regional work programme by focusing on lay/staff partnership and using our existing resources and services to best effect to promote each of the regional priorities.The programme involves a range of co-ordinated resources aimed at members to deliver increased participation both in the union, at work and in the wider community.