As the only union set up by union workers, for union workers, we understand the complexities of working for a union organisation. We support our members individually and collectively with any issue at work.
Whoever, wherever you work, if you are employed or volunteering for a UK union organisation – we want you! There’s a membership type for everyone.
£20 for one year. Join us for the introductory rate of just £20 for the first year. Stay a member of your existing union while we grow. The introductory rate is payable in one annual payment except in cases of hardship.
The UWU primarily organises the paid staff of UK based trade unions and professional associations. Many of our members work internationally however if you are paid in sterling and subject to UK employment law, you are eligible for full membership of the Union Workers’ Union. Each employer we organise in is designated its own branch and UWU members are encouraged to meet regularly to discuss workplace issues, ideas and how to support our current campaigns.
Aside from unions and professional associations, there are a number of other employers the UWU organise within. Full membership of the UWU is open to all paid staff of any employer whose primary activities connect to the UK labour and trade union movement. We have members in various cooperative employers in addition to those employed trade union education providers and staff of MPs/MSPs/AMs of certain political parties.
The UWU’s organising efforts are focused towards union employer’s without an independent recognised union and towards members that aren’t already a member of an independent union. However, UWU membership is open to all and many of our members chose to be a member of more than one union.
UWU associate membership is open to trade union activists across the UK. The UWU recognises many union activists are seeking employment with a trade union employer and making the transition from activist to officer can be difficult. Associate membership is designed to offer access to our training and networking opportunities to assist with this transition. However, many of our associate members simply want to show solidarity with their full-time officers and to get access to information about the state of internal industrial relations in their union. Associate membership is offered at a considerable lower rate of subscription. However, associate membership for trade union activists is not designed to replace your existing trade union membership. This should always be retained.
Associate membership is also open any worker working within our network of approved associate employers. There are many reasons why we may approve an employer however, usually it will be because a group of workers are in a traditionally hard to organise or non-organised sector. The UWU has offered support to various groups of workers seeking to organise their workplaces. We will either; point you towards an existing union for support, provide you with support to create your own bespoke union or, create a bespoke UWU branch to provide a forum for union organising, backed by one of our expert UWU activists.
The UWU supports the right of all workers to retire at a reasonable age with dignity in retirement. We also recognise that retirement doesn’t necessarily mean stopping work altogether. The UWU has a growing network of retired trade union officials who support our working members with workplace campaigns, represent UWU members at work or simply stay in touch with developments in the union movement. The retired subscription rate is lower but still provides access to our training and networking opportunities.
The UWU campaigns for all union employers to be model employers. This isn’t always the case and sometimes are members decide to change employers. Until our members secure alternative employment, unemployed membership is available at a significantly reduced subscription rate. Access to our training and networking opportunities is available to all unemployed members and there are no time limits on this type of membership.
The UWU fundamentally believes in life long learning and actively encourages members to consider returning to study at various, even multiple points in your career. If you take time out of work on an unpaid sabbatical, our reduced rate ‘in education’ enables UWU members to maintain their membership of the union at a significantly lower cost.
Legal advice and support
We have existing relationships with two leading law firms; Blacks Solicitors and Landau Law. We also have a network of dedicated caseworkers, including retired Regional Officers.
As a listed union our members have the statutory right for an accredited UWU representative to accompany them at any formal workplace meeting. In addition to representation throughout the internal stages of your issue, subject to a merits assessment our panel of solicitors will review your case and seek the best resolution possible.
Trade union training
We have a partnership with the RED Learning Coop – providers of some of the best trade union training in the movement. We are currently working with RED to develop a bespoke learning offer for our members. Stay tuned.
Equal opportunities and safe spaces are at the heart of everything we do as a union. We have a growing network of women members and a new network of black officers. Join up and join in!
Trade union reps can join us too
Associate members can access our advice and training as well as exciting opportunities for networking. Associate members can support our campaigns as we build a strong union for workers in the United Kingdom.
For information on benefits please email us.