What public service workers want from this election 

Cost of living, the economy and the health service dominate UNISON members’ concerns

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According to new data, 76% of UNISON members feel like the country is headed in the wrong direction. And the top three issues for UNISON members at this election are the cost of living, the economy and health. 

When it comes to working conditions, UNISON members predominantly want to see the government ensure that increases in the minimum wage take account of the cost of living and that the gender pay gap is closed.  

Members also want to see zero-hours contracts and fire-and-rehire scrapped. 

Table showing Top 7 workplace issues for UNISON members: Ensuring that increases in the minimum wage take account of the cost of living; Scrapping zero-hours contracts; Closing the gender pay gap; Scrapping the practice of fire and rehire; Providing day-one rights for all workers; Overhauling the sick pay system and Promoting negotiation, partnership and cooperation between trade unions, employers and government

Source: Polling conducted by Thinks Insight & Strategy, January 2024.

The results come from a survey of public service workers that UNISON commissioned Thinks Insight & Strategy to conduct, which included a subset of UNISON members. 1,157 public service workers were surveyed, of whom 235 were current UNISON members. 

UNISON members trust their union, and unions generally, to discuss politics – more than they do politicians, the BBC, newspapers and social media. 

89% of UNISON members said they believe trade unions are essential to protect workers’ interests and 86% believe they play an important role in society.

The issues that UNISON members want to see the union speak out on are the cost of living crisis and the need for higher pay, an increase to the minimum wage and improving work-life balance for workers.

UNISON campaign fund officer David Arnold said: “This research shows that UNISON members clearly want to see change at the general election in July. 

“Thousands of our activists are already out campaigning to make this a reality.  If you want to get involved and you’re not sure how to go about it, please see UNISON’s campaign guide.”