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Trade Unions

Thousands of Surrey County Council staff are members of a trade union. You can join with your colleagues to get involved in making your workplace a better place for all and get the support you need while working for SCC.

What is a trade union and what can it do for me?

A trade union is an independent association of employees that has banded together to achieve common goals, for example improved working conditions, and to make their collective voice heard. This takes many forms including:

  • Having their say on issues like pay, terms and conditions, and health and safety
  • Individual representation on issues like grievances, disciplinary procedures and capability procedures as well as welfare issues
  • And other services exclusive to union members, such as free legal and financial advice, and other benefits.

Trade unions are independent of management and, through their elected leaders, will discuss on behalf of its members, with the employer.

At Surrey County Council unions meet very regularly with SCC management to discuss a wide variety of issues and to feed back staff concerns and issues. Through strong membership, negotiation and workplace activity, trade unions are the easiest and most effective way of getting your voice heard.

How do I join a trade union?

Joining a union is easy. You can join online or contact the union for a membership form (see contact details below). You'll need to give details about who you are, your job and agree to abide by the union's rules for membership. Unions charge a small subscription fee each month to cover the services they provide. How much you pay sometimes depends on how much you earn, but is generally around £15 a month. Many members find that by using the benefits of membership to the full, they can easily make this back many times over, so make the most of your union membership and make it work for you.

You can have your union subscription fees directly deducted from your salary each month for total peace of mind or pay by Direct Debit.

At SCC names of new joiners to the organisation are given to the relevant trade unions (on request). You may receive trade union information shortly after you join

You can also find leaflets about trade unions on noticeboard's around your location. Or you can see below for web site details for the trade union most relevant to you. If there is no union noticeboard in your workplace you can ask your union or your manager if one could be supplied.

Which union can I join?

Surrey County Council recognises twelve trade unions. Together, these unions form the Surrey County Council Trades Union (SCCTU) Group. Some unions are 'general' unions that any SCC employee can join. Others are for specific jobs, such as teachers or firefighters. You can join the union that is right for you.

Unions for SCC staff

Union Categories of staffWebsite
AEP Educational psychologists
ASCL Head Teachers
ATL Teachers
CYWU/Unite Community and youth workers
FBU Firefighters
GMB All staff on Surrey Pay
NASUWT Teachers
NAHT Head Teachers
NUT Teachers
UCU Post-16 education workers
UNISON All staff on Surrey Pay
Voice Teacher

Local contacts

UnionContact Contact details/email
AEP Laura Grahamslaw
AEP Chantelle Makin
ASCL Sue Childs
ATL Tamsin Honeybourne
CYWU/Unite Gareth Palmer
FBU Asif Aziz
GMB David King ;
GMB Tina Hood
NAHT Gail Larkin, joint secretary
NASUWT Folashade Afolabi
NUT Tamsin Honeybourne

NUT Ted Truscoe
UCU Michael Dawson
UNISON Paul Couchman
UNISON Jane Armitage
Voice Andy Garwood

Negotiating on pay and terms and conditions

Surrey County Council recognises UNISON and the GMB for the purposes of negotiating on the pay, terms and conditions of all general staff. Separate, national and local negotiating machinery exists for teachers and firefighters. SCC will invite other recognised trade unions into negotiations on issues which affect their members.

How can I get active in the union?

Different unions have a wide variety of ways in which you can get involved. Unions will have meetings for all members on a regular basis. You could become a representative in your office, supporting the union in the workplace, getting feedback from union members and supporting them through issues. All activists will get free training through the union - speak to your union to find out more.

Surrey County Council Trade Unions Group

All recognised trade unions and associations in Surrey are members of the Surrey County Council Trade Unions (SCCTU). The main aim of SCCTU is to speak as one body in response to SCC initiatives and to represent the interests of its constituent bodies and their members. For further details about the role of the group and contact details, see Trade Unions Group.

Files available to download

  • Procedures for recognition and provision of facilities for trade union representatives (73.2 KB)
    Procedure for Recognition and Provision of Facilities for Trade Union Representatives of County Council Employees. This procedure sets out the basis on which the various constituent Trade Union representatives and officials employed by Surrey County Council carry out their duties, and the extent to which SCC will support these activities through the provision of facilities.