There are a variety of trade unions in the UK, specialising in different sectors. The largest ones are Unite and Unison, and it is these websites that you need to consult in order to find work. There are a variety of posts available within a union, from administration to finance and marketing.
Information about trade unions
Unite Unite is now the largest trade union in Britain and covers employees who work in the main trades and industries, manufacturing, the National Health Service and voluntary sector. Unite and the Transport and General Workers Union merged in 2007 and now also covers transport, construction, passenger services, public services, textiles and vehicle construction. Unison Unison is the trade union for public sector staff including employees of local authorities, police support staff and education. GMB is a general union and is open to all sectors of employment, but its three main sectors include commercial services, manufacturing and public services. Union of Shop Distributors and Allied workers Union of Shop Distributors and Allied workers covers employees who work in food processing, the manufacturing industry, shop workers, catering, pharmaceutical, shop workers and call centres. Public and Commercial Services Union is the fifth largest union and serves government departments and agencies, and Information Technology companies in the private sector.
Types of jobs within a trade union
As Unions are just like any other business, they require posts such as: - Fund organisers - Coordinating and undertaking fundraising campaigns on behalf of the union - Administrators and business support staff - Finance staff including finance managers - Clerks HR managers Marketing managers - Staff Sales managers - Support staff
Trade union jobs as a research officer is primarily responsible for the collection, collation and analysis of information with regards to political, social and economic issues. They will identify issues to research, gather information, write up concise and structured results and deliver reports to trade union managers.
A trade union research officer
In order to work as a trade union research officer, a degree in economics, politics, sociology, law or history may be extremely beneficial. Prior experience with a union is often an essential requirement, undertaking student employment in a union or as an MP’s research assistant for example. Moreover, it would be beneficial to the knowledge of local government, charity or a non-governmental organisation.
Skills required for a Trade Union research officer:
-To be fully committed to meeting the objectives of the trade union
-Comprehensive knowledge about social, economic and political issues which may affect union members
-Ability to research and present material in a methodical manner
-Excellent communication skills with the ability to network
-Good organisational and time management skills
-Knowledge of computers, in particular competency with databases, and online web based software.