The latest figures on pay show that the the union premium, the gap between average wages of union and non-union members, has grown to 18.1%. That's £14.18 per hour compared with £12.01. Even the 'adjusted premium' is around 8% higher. That's the biggest percentage gap since 2008, showing that even in a recession unions are more successful in halting the downward pressure on wages. Increases in pay have mostly been in the private sector due to government pay policy, but the public sector premium remains higher. There is also a union premium for other terms and conditions including holidays and pensions.
Despite 30,000 public sector job losses in Scotland, UNISON membership has remained pretty stable. Achieved because more existing staff are recognising the importance of union membership in difficult times. When times are tough it is more important than ever to to have the backup of a strong union.
It is however important that we take this message to all our workplaces. So UNISON branches and staff will be targeting specific workplaces over the next few months. In support of this effort my team have developed a range of adverts and campaign materials as a backdrop to what we call the 'Stronger in UNISON' campaign. So expect to see buses, taxis and billboards with these materials on them across Scotland. You can see some examples here.