The Barnsley Branch of UNISON represents around 5,000 staff employed by Barnsley Council, Berneslai Homes, Barnsley College and in private care and community organisations across the Borough.

OUR AIM: To assist our members in their employment with their terms and conditions for a better, healthier workplace, to negotiate and defend our members, to fight for equality and justice, to defend our members and fight for pay.

2019: The year of young workers


Millennials: Avocados, flat whites and Instagram – right? Not quite. The hipster characterisation masks a much starker reality for the houseless generation. Most young workers are contending with low wages, insecure jobs and no voice at work. They need trade unions more than ever. This is why UNISON has voted to make 2019 the year of young workers.

A new suite of resources are available to help you communicate with young workers.

Recruit a friend

recruit a friend

Do you have friends who deliver public services in Barnsley? Do you know of any colleagues at your workplace who might not be members of a trade union?

If so, you can earn yourself £15 to spend at the shops for each new member you recruit. Find out more...

News headlines

We've moved - new branch office address (06/08/19)

We've moved to a new branch office!

UNISON Branch Office,
Town Hall,
Church Street,
S70 2TA

Same contact details...

Tel: 01226 772988


Latest Newsletter published (21/05/19)

You can find the latest newsletter here...


UNISON urges Barnsley Council not to scrap school meals service (11/04/19)

Council plans to stop serving school meals in Barnsley have been blasted as a ‘dereliction of duty’ by trade union UNISON. Senior officers at Barnsley Council are considering a council report which recommends its schools meals service is scrapped because it does not expect to make a profit.

If approved councillors in the Labour-run authority could vote on whether to go ahead with the proposal at a cabinet meeting in May, which would give 44 primary schools just six months to find other ways to feed around 8,000 children.

UNISON has warned the council that its plan could cause job losses and pay cuts for 220 cooks and catering staff, while thousands of parents will worry about their children not getting decent hot meals at school.

The 48 schools the council currently caters for makes it the largest provider in Barnsley, but the authority is concerned it will not make a profit because five schools are planning on buying meals from the private sector, the union says.

Instead of cutting the service, UNISON has recommended the council follows the advice of its own market analysis and invest in the service.  The analysis recommended that around £80,000 was invested in staffing to increase capacity of the service and boost the management structure to make it competitive with professional catering companies.

UNISON Regional Organiser Robin Symonds said: “Cooking school meals should not be about making a profit, it should be about giving children in Barnsley the best start in life, and the plan has all the ingredients to be a disaster. This is a public service, not a business.
“Sadly Barnsley council seems to have lost sight of that and if councillors scrap the schools meals service it will be a dereliction of duty.  They will be turning their backs on thousands of children with over 40 schools scrambling around to find a replacement service with very little notice.

“We know from experience that if schools are forced to turn to the private sector then it will be school meals served on the cheap as every last penny of profit is squeezed out of the service by buying the cheapest ingredients and cooking the cheapest dinners.

“It will be our members who suffer too as wages and pension contributions could be cut and jobs may be lost. We believe that over £200,000 could be sucked out of the local economy through pay cuts and local providers not being used to buy ingredients.”

For any enquiries contact Robin Symonds on 07944 119 676 or by r.symonds@unison.co.uk
Alternatively, contact Jordan Stapleton on 07976 701 838 or by emailing J.Stapleton@unison.co.uk


Dinner Ladies jobs saved in strike victory - PRESS RELEASE (28/11/18)

Ladywood school

Date: 28.11.2018


Strike action has ended at Ladywood Primary School in Grimethorpe after the headteacher withdrew plans to make dinner ladies at the school redundant.

An agreement was reached between trade union UNISON and school management which plugs the deficit without any redundancies due to expected natural staff turnover, the union has said.

The striking dinner ladies, teaching assistants and higher level teaching assistants will now return to work on Thursday 29 November after taking 36 days of strike action which began back in September.

The strike started after the school’s headteacher Claire Grainger proposed in June to save money by make all nine of the school’s dinner ladies redundant and replace them with the existing teaching assistants.

Redundancies were unacceptable to UNISON after the union claimed the school was intended to spend around £60,000 on new teachers and teaching assistants while still making the dinner ladies redundant.

UNISON area organiser Jordan Stapleton said: “It was completely unacceptable to attempt to make the dinner ladies redundant when job losses were unnecessary.

“School budgets are being squeezed but in this case the school was spending the money it was saving on additional teaching staff and other support staff without even advertising the jobs.

“Our dinnerladies between them have got over 100 years experience at the school and they provide a caring and important role that is valued by the children. Importantly, the teaching assistants at the school were not prepared to put their family, friends and colleagues out of work.

“Where schools do need to make savings they need to know that low-paid women are not easy targets and the contributions they make to our communities cannot be underestimated.”


For more information contact UNISON area organiser Jordan Stapleton on 07976 701838 or email J.Stapleton@unison.co.uk


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