Women working in a call centre


The majority of UNISON members work in the public sector, but after more than 20 years of privatisation and outsourcing, more and more of our members are employed by private sector organisations. Approximately 130,000 of our members now work for private companies that deliver public services.

A growing number of multinational companies operate in the public sector, including Capita, Compass, Four Seasons, ISS, Serco, Sodexo and Veolia, but UNISON represents members in more than 13,000 individual private employers. Our private contractor members include hospital cleaners, care workers, administration officers, school meals staff and call centre workers.

If you work for a private contractor that delivers public services, you are likely to be eligible to join UNISON.

UNISON’s Private Contractors Unit provides a co-ordinated approach to the union’s work in the private sector at a national level.

We negotiate national recognition agreements with private sector employers and support our private sector members in bargaining at a local level. We are currently exploring ways of providing members in the private sector with better representation within UNISON’s democratic structures.

The unit also offers general advice and support to regions and branches on matters relating to private contractors.

Contact private.contractors@unison.co.uk for more information.

Find out about the benefits of membership and how you can join UNISON and benefit from belonging to one of Europe’s biggest trade unions.