At work

UNISON is the public service union, where workers from a wide variety of sectors and roles come together to get a better deal.

UNISON members working in the same sector, such as local government or healthcare, are represented through service groups.

UNISON members work in many different sectors across our public services and for private companies, and members in similar workplaces can best support each other by bringing specialist help and experience to their co-workers and UNISON members.

Service group executives are elected by members to deal with strategy and issues.

Find out about South West service group executives

UNISON members work in public services and utilities across seven different areas:

Local government

A large number of our members work in local government, including local councils, social care, libraries and many others. Our local government members provide a wide range of essential services, which UNISON passionately believes support our local communities, and provide the ‘glue’ that keeps our diverse society united.

Visit the local government pages on the national site


UNISON is the UK’s largest healthcare union with over 400,000 members who work in the NHS and for private firms and charities providing NHS services.

Our health members are nurses, student nurses, midwives, health visitors, healthcare assistants, paramedics, cleaners, porters, catering staff, medical secretaries, clerical and admin staff and scientific and technical staff.

UNISON cares passionately about the future of the NHS as a publicly funded services that is free at the point of delivery. Campaigning to defend the NHS is a key priority for the union both in the South West region and nationally.

Find out about joining UNISON and offers for healthcare students in our region

Click here for National news & campaigns for Healthcare students

Find out about the work of UNISON members working in health across the UK.


UNISON represents over 350,000 education staff nationally.Our members include librarians, registrars, people working in personnel, information technology and finance, policy advisors, administrators, secretaries, cleaners, caretakers, craft workers, porters, technicians, teaching assistants, early years staff and school meals workers.

Find out about the work of UNISON members working in education.

Water, environment and transport

UNISON members in the water industry include engineers, scientists, technicians, industrial workers and staff working in offices and call centres. The work can be hazardous, so our first concern is good health and safety for everyone. We believe that all our members should be able to develop professionally and work in an environment that is free of discrimination, bullying or harassment.

In transport our members work for a wide range of transport organisations, such as passenger transport executives, bus companies, the Canal and River Trust and regional airports. Their jobs range from managerial, administrative, clerical and manual to engineering roles.

Our members in the Environment Agency work in clerical, administrative, technical, professional and scientific jobs and UNISON is the largest trade union recognised by the agency. Consequently UNISON takes the lead role on all employment related issues.

Find out about the work of UNISON members working in water, environment or transport across the UK.


Our members in energy work mainly in the electricity and gas industries. They include everyone from clerical and administrative staff to senior managers. Many members need professional qualifications to carry out their jobs and we support a number of qualified engineers.

We have a large membership in call centres, including customer service representatives, team leaders and call centre managers. Other members work in billing and data processing, finance, payroll, human resources, facilities, procurement and logistics, meter reading, debt collection, information technology and administration.

Find out about the work of UNISON members working in energy across the UK on UNISON’s national site.


UNISON is the largest union representing members who work in voluntary and non-profit organisations, including housing associations, which range from large national charities to small grant-aided projects. Our members work in every type of job across all grades. They provide a range of services to local communities and campaign on many different issues. UNISON provides a strong focus and a prominent voice for all of our members in the community and voluntary sector.

Find out about the work of UNISON members in the community sector on UNISON’s national site.

Police and justice

Our members work for the police service, the probation service and the child and family courts advisory and support service (CAFCASS).
UNISON represents the interests of a wide range of probation workers including case administrators, managers, cleaners, cooks, probation service officers, hostel staff, and victim liaison officers.

Find out about the work of UNISON members in the police and justice sector across the UK on UNISON’s national site.

Private contractors

Our fastest growing service group, UNISON supports over 67,000 members employed by private companies working across public services – hospital cleaners, environmental health officers, school meals workers and call centre workers. These members face particular challenges which UNISON is dedicated to meeting.

The more active our members are in the work of the union, the more we can achieve together.

Find out about the work of UNISON members in working for private contractors across the UK on UNISON’s national site.