Unison numbers show first signs of union membership surge

Rises in trade union membership have been especially stark among education and social care workers.

22 Jun 2020| News

New membership numbers from public sector union Unison may be the first sign of a surge for trade unions after the Coronavirus pandemic.

The union has reported a 23% increase in recruitment in the first five months of 2020, compared with the same period in 2019, a quarter of which can be accounted for by a surge in membership in May.

Two sectors hit hard by the Coronavirus – education and social care – have seen marked rises in unionisation, with a 308% year-on-year increase in recruitment among school support staff in May and a 135% rise among care workers.

Assistant General Secretary of Unison, Liz Snape, said: “During the pandemic, thousands of ​people working in the NHS, social care, schools, police forces and local government have been joining Unison. They realise it makes sense in troubled times to have somewhere to turn that has their best interests at heart.”

This news comes after official figures showed trade union membership rising for the third year running.