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Unison logoUNISON is the second largest trade union in the UK with almost 1.3 million members. UNISON was formed in 1993 by the merger of three public sector trade unions: the National Association of Local Government Officers (NALGO), National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) and the Confederation of Health Service Employees (COHSE).

What areas do UNISON members work in?
Local government, education, the NHS (e.g. NHS managers, clinical support workers, health care assistants), probation services, police services, utilities such as gas, electricity and water, and transport.

Unison poster

A Unison poster in the Library collection

Some current UNISON campaigns:
•    The living wage i.e. a person should be paid enough to live decently and to adequately provide for their family.
•    Save our buses, which seeks to highlight the impact of government cuts and promote the value of bus services.
•    Water ownership. There are 21 private water companies in England, many owned by banks, private equity firms or foreign investment funds. Unison is arguing for a new model of ownership.
•    Energy. UNISON campaigns on fuel poverty, sustainable energy, and environmental safeguards.


The Library holds published and archival material for UNISON and for all its three antecedent unions.
Unusual items include:
•    National Union of Public Employees. Nurses’ strike makes history: what the row is about. 1988 (Shelfmark H42)
•    Ambulance dispute: debate with Edwina Currie – Central Weekend. 1989 DVD (Shelfmark Z37)
•    Hospital Occupation, Hayes, Northwood and Pinner, 1984. Campaign newsletters, press cuttings, letters of support etc (Uncatalogued).
•    NAWU magazine: the official journal of the National Asylum-Workers' Union. Vol. 1 Nos.2-7 Feb-July 1912 (Shelfmark Periodicals A-Z).

To search for more material in our catalogue click here