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Useful organisations

Use this page to browse a list of organisations and bodies relevant to the work of CSP stewards.

Entries below are given in three groups:


  • ACAS (website:
    ACAS, the Advisory, Conciliation, and Arbitration Service, is a statutory body that provides Codes of Practice on various employment related matters. The service’s primary task is to give independent information and advice to employers and employees and offers conciliation and arbitration services for collective industrial disputes and employment tribunal cases. ACAS Helpline: 08457 474747.
  • Equality and Human Rights Commission (website:
    The Equality and Human Rights Commission champions equality and human rights for all, working to eliminate discrimination, reduce inequality, protect human rights and to build good relations, ensuring that everyone has a fair chance to participate in society. The Commission was formed on 1 October 2007 when the three, previously separate, equality commissions – the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE), Disability Rights Commission (DRC), and Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) - merged into the new Equality and Human Rights Commission.
  • Institute of Employment Rights (website:
    The Institute of Employment Rights, a registered charity, is an independent organisation acting as a focal point for the spread of new ideas in the field of labour law. It is a think tank for the labour movement.
  • Labour Research Department (LRD) (website:
    LRD is an independent research organisation publishing news and information for trade unionists. Two particularly useful publications are ‘Labour Research’ and ‘Workplace Report’.
  • Thompsons Solicitors (website:
    Thompsons is one of the largest national employment and specialist personal injury practices in the UK. Thompsons specialises in helping unions to protect the interests of their members and publishes a wide range of factsheets and other publications of interest to trade union officials and members. Thompsons supplies the CSP’s legal services to members.
  • Trades Union Congress (TUC) (website:
    The TUC is Britain’s voice at work. It is the umbrella organisation for 66 affiliated unions representing nearly 7 million working people, and brings unions together to draw up common policies on economic and social issues like employment law, ways of tackling unemployment and poverty, developing skills and lifelong learning, the environment and other workplace issues. The TUC also represents working people on public bodies and represents British workers on international bodies, in the European Union and the United Nations employment body, the International Labour Organisation (ILO). See more on the TUC immediately below.

Trades Union Congress

The TUC General Council manages TUC policy between annual congresses where TUC policy is decided, through motions submitted by unions for discussion by the delegates. The General Secretary of the TUC is the lead spokesperson for the organisation and is responsible for its day-to-day operation.

There are nine TUC regional offices. Every region has a Regional Council and a Regional Committee, made up of union officers representing local trade union members. One seat is reserved for a women’s representative on all of these committees. In Northern Ireland the TUC works closely with the Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) and there is a close association with the Scottish TUC (STUC).

The CSP has been affiliated to the TUC since 1993 and CSP officers work closely with TUC colleagues on a range of issues such as campaigns in support of public services, health and safety, equalities and diversity and international relations. The CSP’s director of Employment Relations & Union Services (ERUS), Lesley Mercer, currently sits on the TUC’s General Council.

See also

  • Trade Union Disability Alliance (website:
    TUDA is a campaigning organisation of Disabled Trade Union Members. TUDA aims to co-ordinate the perspective of Disabled people in the Trade Union movement; bridge the gap between the Trade Union and Disability movements; work within, and lobby, Trade Unions to ensure they make their own services accessible and relevant to Disabled Members; promote understanding of disability as an equalities issues, giving talks and training to Trade Unions; and work with Disabled people to persuade them of the benefits of Trade Union membership and activity. The CSP is a member of TUDA.
  • TUC Unionlearn (website:
    Unionlearn aims to help unions to become learning organisations, offering programmes for union reps and regional officers and strategic support for national officers. It also help unions to broker learning opportunities for their members, running phone and online advice services, securing the best courses to meet learners' needs and kitemarking union academy provision to a quality standard. Unionlearn also promotes learning agreements and identifies and shares good practice.

Trade unions in the health service

  • British Orthoptic Society (BOS): a TUC affiliated trade union and professional body representing orthoptists, with just over 1,500 members. Given the nature of the profession, there may be only one or two members in each workplace
  • British Dietetic Association (BDA): a TUC affiliated trade union and professional body representing dieticians, with a total membership of nearly 6,000
  • British Medical Association (BMA): one of the largest and most influential trade unions in the health sector, representing the interests of both hospital doctors and GPs. In some cases, BMA representatives may take part in local staff side and joint negotiating committees. Where this happens, the BMA can be a powerful ally. However, the BMA reserves the right to enter into negotiations on behalf of its members outside of the established negotiating structures. Where this happens, the BMA will take no part in joint negotiations. The BMA is not affiliated to the TUC
  • Community and District Nursing Association (CDNA): a TUC affiliated trade union and professional body representing community and district nurses, with a total membership of nearly 4,000
  • Federation of Clinical Scientists (FCS): the FCS is the trade union arm of the Association of Clinical Biochemists, representing members in the clinical scientist professions
  • GMB (originally General Municipal Boilermakers): one of the large general trade unions operating in the Health Service, the GMB has over 700,000 members throughout industry but a relatively small NHS membership of around 60,000. In the NHS, the GMB will largely represent ambulance staff, domestic, maintenance and support staff, although the white collar branch of the GMB (“Commercial Services Section”) will also represent white collar office staff. The GMB is TUC affiliated
  • Royal College of Midwives (RCM): the trade union and professional body representing midwives. The RCM has a membership of around 38,000 and is not affiliated to the TUC
  • Royal College of Nurses (RCN): although not TUC affiliated, the RCN is one of the strongest and most influential trade unions and professional bodies in the health sector. The RCN represents qualified nurses and has recently extended their membership to non-qualified grades of nurses as well. The RCN has a membership of 370,000
  • Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists (SCP): the TUC affiliated trade union and professional body for chiropodists and podiatrists, with a total membership of 8,000
  • Society of Radiographers (SOR): the Society of Radiographers is the trade union and professional body for radiographers in the NHS. It is TUC affiliated and has a total membership of just under 18,000
  • Unite - AMICUS: is the trade union that merged with the TGWU. In the NHS, Unite - AMICUS represents speech and language therapists, MLSOs, laboratory staff, hospital physicists, art, music and drama therapists as well as some maintenance staff. Unite - AMICUS is TUC affiliated. They also represent health visitors (CPHVA), although in Scotland they are represented by UNISON
  • Unite – T&G: In the NHS members of Unite - T&G include domestic and maintenance staff, although the white-collar section (ACTS) will also represent some administrative and office staff. It is TUC affiliated
  • Union of Construction Allied Trades and Technicians(UCATT): although a large, TUC affiliated trade union with a total of 112,000 members in the construction industry, UCATT only has small numbers of members in the NHS. These will be concentrated in the works or maintenance departments
  • UNISON: has nearly 1.3 million members. Although UNISON members work in many different industries, the two main sectors are health and local government. In terms of the NHS, UNISON will have members in most professions and occupations. In particular, UNISON represents occupational therapists, as they have a contract with Unison to provide industrial relations services for the BAOT, nurses (both registered and non-registered nurses) and related grade staff such as suport workers and technical instructors (those who are not in CSP membership). UNISON is TUC affiliated
  • The Alliance: a trade union grouping made up of the following organisations:
    • British Dietetic Association
    • British Orthoptic Society
    • Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
    • Community and District Nursing Association
    • Federation of Clinical Scientists
    • Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists
    • Society of Radiographers

    The purpose of the Alliance is to provide a structure in which the above organisations can work together collaboratively for the benefit of all.


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