Why do people join UNISON?

Everyone has a reason for joining UNISON. Here, members share their stories on why they joined UNISON, how they became more involved in union activities and explain the benefits of joining.

Jolanta Kraujaliene

Jolanta Kraujaliene

Catering worker from London

Things are getting more expensive – especially food. Last year, prices started slowly going up, now they’re going up all the time.

“Everything is difficult in terms of survival – our salaries are frozen and it’s very difficult to get by.

“I have a son, he’s at sixth form and I’d like him to go to university, but the young people who finish school want to get jobs – it’s cheap labour – the companies want to take them straight from school.

“I believe UNISON is maybe the only organisation to help people to fight against low salaries and frozen salaries.”

Susie Taylor

Susie Taylor

Healthcare worker, Northumberland Tyne and Wear

I joined in 1979 when I was a student nurse.

“I remember my first meeting – we went into this room and there I was, surrounded by men.

“One of them said to me: ‘Welcome sister.’ And I said, ‘I’m not a sister – I’m only a nurse.’

“I got active because I like results. It gives me satisfaction.

“I give myself a good pat on the back. And it’s nice to see the members’ smiles.

“I get cards from them, as well – and flowers, to thank me when I’ve helped them.”

Sandra White

Sandra White

Healthcare worker, North Durham

I joined because everyone did!

“Coming from a working class background I just thought everybody automatically joined.

“I left school at 17 and started working in a factory – we made fluorescent lights and everyone was in the union.

“I got active as I’ve always been the kind of person that likes to know things I suppose!

“At the time I was a little bit bored, working as a receptionist, and when somebody asked me if I would volunteer as a rep for a pay and grading panel I thought it could be interesting.”