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We’re always on your side

Meet The Disability Union, the first union by and for disabled people and carers

Our job as a caseworker is to empower and support you.

WE LISTEN WHEN THEY WON'T.

WE UNDERSTAND WHEN NOBODY ELSE DOES.

WE SUPPORT YOU WHEN NOBODY ELSE WILL.

Karla Fido, Caseworker

What is the difference between a Trade Union and The disability union?

The Disability Union is inspired by and based on the trade union movement. However we do very different and complimentary things here are some of the ways we differ:

Trade Unions

The disability union

Organise workers

A trade union signs up as many workers from a specific employer or industry as possible

deals with employment and workplace issues

Using the collective power of these workers a trade union aims to resolve issues around the workplace, such as health and safety; and employment issues such as workers rights and pay.

Does not deal with disability issues unless it is linked to the workplace.

deals with employers and governments

A trade union primarily deals with employers and governments to protect and improve people working conditions.  For example they will bargain with an employer for better contracts or they may pressure government to improve workers rights, in law, such as weekends.

Organises disabled people

The Disability Union signs up as many disabled people as possible 

Deals with disability issues

Using the collective power of these disabled people, The Disability Union aims to resolve issues around disability issues, such as access requirements, social care issues such as getting funding and lots more

Does not deal with workplace issues unless it is linked to disability (Such as discrimination or access requirements)  

Deals with anyone who makes decisions about disabled people

As disability issues can arise everywhere we have to deal with a vast number of people and organisations. Often these will include local authorities, businesses and even governments. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is A Trade Union?

A trade union is a group of employees who join together to maintain and improve their conditions of employment.

The typical activities of trade unions include providing assistance and services to their members, collectively bargaining for better pay and conditions for all workers, working to improve the quality of public services, political campaigning and industrial action.

What Is the difference between a trade union and The Disability Union?

A trade union is a group of working people who negotiate with employers on behalf of union members to combat issues such as wages, complaint procedures, workplace safety, unfair dismissals, etc. The biggest example is Unison, who represent staff that provide public services in the public and private sector.

The Disability Union represents disabled people and its purpose is to secure stronger disability rights, give us better access to public services and fight for our full inclusion in society. Any disabled person can join and we will represent and support you in all your struggles as a disabled person. Whether it's access to employment, housing issues, PA recruitment, or something else.

We highly encourage our employed members to join a trade union in conjunction with their Disability Union membership as we currently do not have protection under employment law, meaning we cannot do the things offered by a trade union e.g. represent employees in work meetings.

Why do we need The Disability Union?

Disabled people are marginalised because, despite the fact we make up 20% of the population, we are spread out all over the place, often disadvantaged and have no collective way to get our views heard. That is until now. The Disability Union provides that collective voice for disabled people. It allows us to fight to get a seat at the table in all decision made about us so that there is nothing about us without us.

Who is The Disability Union for?

The Disability Union is for all disabled people in the United Kingdom. That’s all nations; England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. If you identify as disabled, then we are here to help.

Do I have to pay to join?

Yes, and we do our best to keep our memberships as affordable as possible. The Disability Union has to be independent so we are funded almost entirely by our members and only take funding for the set up of specific projects, or to help us expand quickly.

As we expand, we are saving money for a hardship fund that will eventually enable us to help all those who cannot afford a membership. For now, we do our best with what we have and will not leave you stranded.

Are you a charity?

No, we are not a charity. Our legal status is a Community Interest Company (CIC) Limited by guarantee. That means that all the money that goes into The Disability Union is spent on the organisation itself. We legally cannot take profits.

What is activism?

Activism is the act of campaigning for political or social change. The Disability Union exists for a political purpose to improve disability rights and make sure there is nothing about us without us. We consider everything we do from campaigning to helping individual members, to engaging with businesses and government to be a form of activism.

What is Solidarity?

As disabled people, we have an awful lot in common. With many shared struggles and life experiences and it is only by supporting each other that we can make things better. Solidarity means having and showing an awareness of our common interests, goals, conditions and needs. The Disability Union considers one of its main objectives to be the building of solidarity between disabled people.

How can you help me?

We can help you in two ways; firstly, we can address your immediate needs by helping you get access to the services you are entitled to, fight discrimination and build a better life for yourself. Secondly, through our campaigning and political activity, we can increase your rights and fight for a more inclusive society.

Why should I join?

Firstly, joining us means you’ll never be alone in your disability struggles ever again. We will help and support you every step of the way. Secondly, you’ll find a community of like-minded disabled people who can give you support and advice, and over time, become a new group of peers who truly get what it means to be disabled. Thirdly, your membership is directly contributing to the fight for equality and justice for disabled people and any volunteering support you can give us will add rocket fuel to our progress.

What can I do to help?

By simply joining The Disability Union, you are helping the fight for equality and justice, while allowing us to support you and other disabled people in their immediate needs. Very soon, we will be setting up local groups in your community and will be looking for volunteers to help us do this. If you would like to volunteer, please reach out to us at support@disabilityunion.co.uk and we’ll add you to the waiting list.

Do you cover N. Ireland, Wales and Scotland?

Yes. We cover the whole of the UK.

contact us

Call: 02382 546 695
Email: support@disabilityunion.co.uk

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