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Our UNISON stewards are available to support our members in every aspect of their everyday working life.


Being a UNISON member gives you a huge range of benefits, including:-


Why UNISON is right for you

In UNISON, we don't just provide services for our members, but we organise, educate and support them so that they can stand for themselves and help each other. Providing services, like representation and the other things listed on the left, is fine but with a very limited effect. There are only so many places where the paid employees of a union can be at the same time and all the others they couldn't get to would remain vulnerable and unprotected from bad employer practices.

What we do instead is teach our local activists (which could be you if you volunteer) how to protect your rights, negotiate, consult, etc. In this way we can be present at thousands of workplaces and at the same time support, educate and empower our members.

UNISON represents and acts for members working in a range of public services and utilities, whether they’re employed by private companies, public authorities or in the community and voluntary sector. We represent members, negotiate and bargain on their behalf, campaign for better working conditions and pay and for public services.

UNISON is a national union with around 1.3 million members and in order to be effective it is organised in branches and regions. Barnardo's UNISON is the branch for Barnardo's employees and if you decide to join it will be your branch.

UNISON Barnardo's branch is made up of employees of Barnardo's who volunteer their time to help their colleagues with a wide range of issues at work. We are independent of the employer but have a working relationship with them. Because the branch is made of local people we have local knowledge and a working relationship with many of the local employers, i.e., we are consulted on contractual changes and not only represent our members but also negotiate with the employer and put our members' views accross in the consultations.


What trade unions do

Unions train and organise workplace representatives who help union members with the problems they face at work.

Reps provide support and advice and campaign for better conditions and pay.

Unions have brought significant changes to society, including:

  • a national minimum wage;
  • the abolition of child labour;
  • improved worker safety;
  • improving living standards by reducing the number of hours in the working week and encouraging a healthy work/life balance;
  • improved parental leave;
  • equality legislation;
  • better protection of migrant workers and a reduction in exploitation;
  • minimum holiday and sickness entitlements.

Unions have also made thousands of local agreements on issues affecting individual workplaces following consultation, negotiation and bargaining.




    Advice, support and help when you need it at work
    Unison have a network of trained local advisors and negotiators who will provide you with help at work when you need it most, as well as professional legal advisors and experts when appropriate.
    Legal services for your family at home
    Unison offer free initial legal advice on any matter not related to work, plus a range of other legal help for you and your family.
    Unison Welfare
    Unison offers a confidential service (and registered charity) ‘There for You’, listen and support with sorting out finances and advise on benefits. Through Unison Welfare Unison can offer grants to help with household bills, ease debts or help with the cost of a much needed break.
    Helpline open until midnight
    Unison Direct helpline is open from 6am to midnight Monday to Friday, and 9am to 4pm on Saturdays.
    Compensation for accidents and injuries at work
    Specialist lawyers are there to help if you have an accident or are injured at work and will do their best to get compensation for you.
    Member discounts – including up to 50% off holidays
    Join today and you’ll have access to a wide range of exclusive member discounts such as holidays, car and home insurance and offers which could save you up to £250 plus Thompsons Solicitors offer a free will righting service for all Unison Members.
    Education, training and support
    UNISON offers a range of courses and short workshops which can help you develop your confidence, skills and knowledge.