Our members

UNISON’s 1.3 million work in local authorities; the NHS; police and justice; universities, colleges and schools; the electricity and gas industries; the water industry, the Environment Agency, transport and the community and voluntary sector.

Two thirds of our members are women and our members work at every level in public services.

UNISON members – who they are and what they do

Our 1.3 million members come from a wide variety of jobs in all public service areas, employed by public authorities, private companies and community organisations.

Local government

Members in local government include people working for local councils, schools, libraries, social care and private companies.

Health care

UNISON members in health care work in the NHS and for private contractors providing NHS services.

UNISON is the UK’s largest healthcare trade union and our members are:

  • nurses and student nurses,
  • midwives,
  • health visitors,
  • healthcare assistants,
  • paramedics,
  • cleaners,
  • porters,
  • catering staff,
  • medical secretaries,
  • clerical
  • admin staff and scientific and technical staff.


UNISON is the largest union in education in the UK. Our members work in:

  • schools,
  • children’s services,
  • colleges and universities

And include:

  • librarians,
  • registrars,
  • people working in personnel, IT and finance departments,
  • teaching assistants,
  • technicians,
  • early years (nursery) staff,
  • policy advisers,
  • administrators,
  • secretaries,
  • cleaners,
  • caretakers,
  • school meals workers,
  • craft workers,
  • porters.

Business and environment

Our members work in:

  • electricity, gas and water companies,
  • the Environment Agency,
  • Passenger Transport Executives and bus companies,
  • British Waterways,
  • regional and local airports and for private contractors.

Community and voluntary

UNISON is the largest union in the community and voluntary sector, with members working in every type of job across all grades.

Our members work in non-profit organisations ranging from large national charities with hundreds of employees to small grant-aided projects employing one part-timer and including housing associations.

Police and justice

UNISON has police and justice members working in the police service, probation and Cafcass – the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service. UNISON is the biggest union for police staff in England, Scotland and Wales.

Private contractors

Across the public sector, 67,000 staff employed by private companies are UNISON members. Our members include:

  • hospital cleaners,
  • environmental health officers,
  • school meals workers,
  • call centre workers.

Do you work in any of these places? Then join 1.3 million of your fellow workers today!