Trade Unions

What is a Trade Union ?

A Trade Union is a group of working people who have joined together to achieve better pay and working conditions and a safer working environment.

One of a trade union's main aims is to protect and advance the interests of its members in the workplace.

Trade Unions:

  • negotiate agreements with employers on pay and conditions

  • discuss major changes to the workplace such as large scale redundancy

  • discuss members' concerns with employers

  • accompany members in disciplinary and grievance meetings

  • provide members with legal and financial advice

  • provide education facilities and certain consumer benefits such as discounted insurance

Why join a Trade Union?

Besides the benefits above, Members benefit from the strength and security that comes from people working together to tackle problems.

Trade union successes in recent years, unions have campaigned for and won:

  • a national minimum wage

  • improved parental leave provisions

  • equality legislation

  • laws on reasonable working hours

  • minimum holiday and sickness entitlements

  • health and safety in the workplace

  • pension provision well as many thousands of local agreements on issues affecting particular workplaces.

Union members have the right to be accompanied to a discipline or grievance hearing by a Trade Union representative (although trade unions are not compelled to provide this). All employees, regardless of whether they are union members or not, are entitled to be accompanied by a work colleague.

Recognised Unions also have rights to consultation where redundancies or a transfer of business are proposed.


How to join a Union

  • If you want to join a recognised union in your workplace, you could approach a representative for information like the shop steward, or you can look on the Apprenticeship Support Website to find a union that suits your needs and the details of how to contact them.

How can Unions help me?

  • Unions will help ensure your Apprenticeship is high quality and that you are properly supported while you are doing it. Unions will negotiate with employers, making sure you get time off to study or train, and ensure that you receive impartial information, advice and guidance, and are supported by a mentor. Your employer must give you the chance to join an appropriate union should you choose to.


Will I have to pay to join a Union?

  • There is a regular subscription cost for union membership and different rates may apply to Apprentices, trainees and part-timers. Unions will not normally help with problems which pre-date membership.

We want to make sure Apprentices on the Isle of Wight are treated fairly and have the support and guidance that they deserve