About UNISON and the Police

UNISON is Britain and Europe's biggest public sector union with more than 1.3 million members. Our members work in every police force in the UK, except Northern Ireland and the Met. 40,000 UNISON members work in everything from admin and front desk roles to forensics and photography.

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UNISON: How it works, core aims and its history

How we are organised

In UNISON you are always a member of a branch that brings you together with other employees who do similar kinds of work or face common issues in their workplaces. Members elect workplace stewards and safety reps and vote for branch officers. Every branch is supported by its nearest UNISON regional centre, where staff work with elected lay members.

Each UNISON branch elects its own reps to attend the UNISON National Delegate conference and vote on behalf of all local branch members.

People like you are also elected through an annual individual ballot to UNISON's Police Staff National Service Group. This body helps decide policies and activities and works with UNISON staff to support members.

The Standing Orders Committee (SOC) oversees conference motions and procedures. Committe members include regional representatives and are chosen on the basis of fair representation and proportionality.


UNISON's aims and values

At the heart of UNISON are a set of aims and values which put the member at the centre of the unions activities and concerns.  These values are fundamental to UNISON and help determine the rights and responsibilities of members.

The values are:
Communication and Education
These broad values provide the backdrop to the aims and aspirations of UNISON.

From these core values, UNISON aims are to:
Build a union open to all working people who are engaged in the provision of services to the public, whether they are employed by national or local government, private companies or the voluntary sector.
Make it accessible to all members, empowering them to make decisions about issues that affect their lives, both at work and beyond.

Ensure structures and decision-making methods of the union are in the interests of the members, providing for a member-centred union able to carry out and fulfil members' decisions in a spirit of unity and accountability.

Represent its members' range of economic and social interests to government and employers in the most democratic and effective way. Members must be able to shape the collective bargaining agendas and influence the service provided to the public.

Achieve equality of opportunity for all disadvantaged groups and individuals within UNISON and in the communities in which they live and work.

Promote strength and solidarity between all groups and interests in UNISON, and extend solidarity through local, national, European and other international links with members of other unions.

Carry out UNISON's work in a spirit of tolerance, mutual respect and generosity, recognising the diversity of interest of UNISON's membership and encourage its expression through the democratic process and structures, while uniting behind and acting within agreed policies of the union.

Provide the highest standard of services to members with the sound financial management of the union. This includes encouraging members to take part in Education and training programmes, and providing opportunity for representatives to achieve the highest quality of education and training both for their duties in the union and in their own lives.


UNISON: A brief history

UNISON was formed on 1st July 1993 by merging the three public service unions; COHSE, NALGO and NUPE.  The intent was to create a stronger and more influential union to defend and improve the interests of people working in the public services and essential industries.

With 1.4 million members UNISON is the largest union in the UK, representing members in employed Local Government, Health, Higher Education, Electricity, Gas, Water, Public Transport, Police and the Voluntary Sector.

In each of these areas UNISON plays a leading role in negotiations on pay, employment and working conditions, at local, regional and national level.

UNISON is at the forefront of campaigns to defend public services and essential industries and to protect the people who work in and rely on them against the effects of further cuts and privatisation.


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