UNISON is speaking up for our members through our powerful new Public Service Champions campaign

Thank your public service champions

Our public services are at the heart of a healthy, fair and thriving society.

After nearly 10 years of government cuts all UNISON members know how hard it can be to provide good quality, effective public services.

The Public Service Champions campaign aims to help win over public opinion to a change of direction on cuts and proper investment in public services.

Public Service Champions seeks to keep real people – service users and workers – at the heart of the campaign. Telling their stories, showing the impact on people’s lives, is what it is all about.

Throughout the campaign we will use the real experience of our members – experts you can trust when you don’t believe politicians or the media.

How you can help

  • Gather and share testimony from UNISON members – the trusted experts. We are asking branches and members to make short, simple films about the local services they work in or use. With little more than a smartphone, you can tell the heartfelt stories that people will stop for, listen to and share. Check out our briefing for an interview script and filming tips. Contact action@unison.co.uk for help.
  • Brand your existing branch campaigns with Champions. Stickers and ‘I pledge to support public services’ pledge postcards are in stock. Images for your materials: unison.org.uk/champspix. – Posters of the adverts; ‘I pledge to support public services’ postcards; and other printed materials will be available from the UNISON online catalogue: unison.org uk/catalogue- Merchandise such as Champions pens and badges for specific events can be ordered by emailing stockorders@unison.co.uk or phoning: 020 7121 5481.
  • Encourage people to take action and sign up to support our pledges.

Share the success!

UNISON has a responsibility to speak up for public services – because we know them better than anyone else. Winning the argument for a change of direction and increased investment is a challenge.

But we can do it! Sharing our best ideas and our successes is a great way to spread the messages and boost our campaigning confidence at branch level. Social media can achieve a wide reach; one-one conversations can create deep change.


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The Campaign

These public service champions are there when we all need them, They change our lives by making it possible for lives to be saved; children to be educated; older people to be cared for at home; our communities to be safer and young people to be given vital life-chances.

And we’re asking people to show their appreciation by thanking their public service champions at publicservicechampions.org

It’s impossible to imagine life without our public services.

But times are hard and public services are under increasing pressure. Our public service champions are being expected to do more with less and for less. But they keep doing it because they care. They care about patients, children, our neighbourhoods and our communities.

UNISON is speaking up for public services through our powerful new Public Service Champions campaign. We will tell the stories of those whose lives are changed because of the dedicated public service professionals behind the scenes. And remind people of the value of our public services, the unsung heroes who are part of the team that provides them, and the risks that they face.

So, look out for our advertisements in papers, on billboards, on the radio, at stations, on tube trains and on Facebook. And if a public service worker has helped you or your family, why not say thanks. Share the campaign, tell your family and friends about it and get them to say thanks too!

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  • How can I get involved?

    Tell your friends, family and colleagues about the campaign and like and share the ads on Facebook. We’re also asking people to show their appreciation by thanking their public service champions using the hashtag #thankyourchampions

    We’ll also be asking people to put pressure on politicians and opinion formers to defend public services from cuts and lack of investment. This part of the campaign will start with a call to action in the run up to the Government’s Autumn Statement.

  • How can I find out more?

    We’ve created a dedicated website at publicservicechampions.org

    More stories and content will be added during the campaign.

  • How long does it run for?

    Even though the first part of the campaign runs until the end of October, the Public Service Champions is just the beginning of a much longer awareness strategy that will carry on until the next general election in 2020.

  • I’m a public service worker, how can I tell my story?

    UNISON tells the stories of public service workers – our members – every day through our publications, website and press work. If you have a story to tell, email editorial@unison.co.uk

  • Are the stories in the ads real?

    The stories featured in the first phase of the campaign are based on the experiences of our members. They are factually accurate but the photographs are posed by models.

  • What does it involve?

    There will be high-profile ads on billboards, rail stations, radio and newspapers across the UK together with tube adverts in London and ads on Facebook.

    These ads will highlight the experiences of people who use our public services every day. They will show how lives are saved; children educated; older people cared for at home and young people are given vital life-chances by the dedication of a whole team of public service professionals, often behind the scenes.

    We’ll follow this up with a more urgent online and social media campaign warning of the risks to vital services posed by continuing cuts and lack of investment.

  • Who is the campaign aimed at?

    The first ads are aimed at everyone – the general public – and will remind people of the value of public services and the unsung heroes – including UNISON members – who are part of the wider team that provides them.

  • When does it take place?

    The first phase starts on 26 September and runs through to the end of the October – so will include the political party season.

  • Why are you doing it?

    The Public Service Champions campaign is designed to highlight UNISON’s work to defend and promote public services – work the union does every day.

    It follows on from research showing that UNISON members feel:

    • increasing pressure as continuing cuts squeeze our public services;
    • under-valued by politicians and the public for the vital work they do and
    • that the ethos underpinning public service is being neglected

    that general public does not recognise how much services are already being squeezed or the impact this could have on people’s lives.

  • What is the Public Service Champions campaign?

    It’s a high-profile advertising campaign from UNISON starting on 26 September standing up for the people who deliver our public services.