About Us

Essex County Branch of UNISON is situated at 70 Duke Street, Chelmsford, CM1 1JP – just up the road from County Hall. Our phone number is 01245 354044.

The Branch Secretary is seconded from her County  Council post to help and advise on service conditions matters, to make sure there is fair play when restructuring or other changes take place and, probably most valuable of all, to represent members if things go wrong at work.

Many members have appreciated the knowledge and expertise of a UNISON Branch Officer when facing disciplinary proceedings and many jobs have been saved as a result.

Based in the Branch office are the Branch Administrator, Jo Baldry and caseworker Sharon White, who are on hand to take your calls and offer assistance from 9 a.m. until 3.00 p.m. Outside those hours you can leave a voicemail message or email.

We currently have nearly 3,000 members so if you haven’t already, please join us! If you would like to pay us a visit to have a chat, we will be very happy to see you.

FAQ – Why join UNISON?

Q. Why should I join Essex County Branch of UNISON?

A. For most of your working life you may not need any assistance from us, but redundancy, injustice, injury or some other problem could arise when you least expect it. Every day Essex County Branch Office staff take calls from members who are seeking assistance on a range of issues – from serious problems such as suspension from their job, being the victim of bullying and harassment to queries about their workplace environment, pay, leave, inequality to name but a few.

Another good reason why you should join Essex County Branch of UNISON is that professional officers negotiate improvements to your salary and your conditions of service.

Legal issues are taken up by UNISON’S Legal department and compensation payments of over £255,000 have been made to members in Essex County Branch in respect of personal injury settlements (You must have been a member for thirteen weeks before you can use this service.)

Q. Who do I contact when I need assistance?

A. When you first join Essex County Branch, we will inform the Steward in your workplace and they should make contact with you. They then become your first point of contact if you need help. Details will be sent to you with your welcoming letter. Unfortunately we do not have Stewards in all workplaces and if this is the case, you should ring Branch Office. We also have elected Health and Safety Reps based in workplaces and if you have any health and safety issues, this is who you should talk to in the first instance. If there is no Health and Safety Rep you should contact Essex County Branch Office and we will put you in touch with our Health and Safety Officer.

Q. Apart from help with service conditions issues, what other benefits are there from UNISON membership?

A. There are many benefits available to UNISON members. For example, there is a “Free Will” service, a holiday club, competitive rates for car, house and travel insurance, and many more. You will receive details of all these services with your membership pack.

There is also a Welfare Fund (a registered charity now called ‘Thereforyou’) which in certain circumstances can offer assistance to members in times of hardship.

Q. What are the differences in the political funds mentioned on the back of the application form?

A. The first option is for those members who would like a small proportion (22p) of their subscription to go directly to the Labour Party. The second option is for members who would prefer this amount to go to UNISON’S non party political general fund, which is used for campaigning purposes.

Q. OK I’m convinced. How do I join?

A. You can join on line by clicking onto UNISON’S National web site http://www.joinunison.org (in a new window)

You can also contact us via email unison.essexcounty@virgin.net or on the County Council email address unison@essex.gov.uk . We will send you a membership pack which will give you all the information you need, together with an application form. Alternatively print off the request form found under Join The Branch.

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