Huge rise in membership, and a TV advert too!


More than 90,000 people have joined UNISON across the UK this year up to the end of May. Our branch has seen an amazing 648 new members this year so far.

Nationally, that’s an increase of almost a quarter (23%) on the same period in 2019. A quarter (25%) of th​is membership ​increase came in May alone, with 23,040 joining​ in May, a 51% ​rise on the same month last year​. Altogether UNISON welcomed 91,925 new members during the first five months of 2020. The net rise is estimated to be well in excess of 24,000 people when leavers and retiring members for the period are ​discounted.

Locally, we have written individually to all 648 new members to welcome them to our branch and to let them know how to contact us if they need any support and advice. Lots of these new members have been in schools across North Yorkshire as people are worried about how their jobs and workplaces will adapt to light of the Covid-19 emergency. Recruitment for May ​among those working in education across the whole country was more than four times higher (308%) than the equivalent month in 2019.

The union’s campaigning on behalf of care workers throughout the coronavirus pandemic has also ​prompted a marked increase of 135% year-on-year increase for May ​in social care membership.

Figures also show ​that three in ten of ​all new members (31%) are employed in the private sector.

To support and continue this impressive growth in membership, a new recruitment campaign, ​aimed at increasing the record number of public service workers who’ve joined UNISON since the start of the pandemic, has been launched by the union.

The 60-second animated advert is being screened on Sky, ITV, Channel 4 and YouTube with the message that no worker should feel alone in ​these uncertain times. At its heart are ​the ​messages that reassurance, peace of mind and ​security are the benefits that membership of the union brings.

Watch the advert on YouTube

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