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TUC Equality Audit 2018

Report type
Research and reports
Issue date
Notes - Union changes since the 2014 audit
There have been a number of mergers of TUC-affiliated unions since the last equivalent audit.

The NEU has been formed from the coming together of the NUT and ATL. However, it has been counted as two unions in this audit because the NUT and ATL sections submitted separate independent returns.

Prospect has merged with BECTU since the last audit and submitted a single return covering the merged union, so together
they have been included as one union in this analysis.

Other mergers of TUC unions since 2014 have no bearing on this analysis due to non- responses.

The 2018 respondents include three unions, the AUE, the NAHT and the RCM, who were not TUC affiliates when the 2014 audit was conducted.

Data analysis

The percentages of unions quoted in this report are generally of the total number of unions responding to the audit. In some cases, analysis has also been carried out according  to union size. The aim of this approach is to acknowledge that certain rules and structures may be more likely to be adopted by unions  of different sizes. For example, it may be more likely for a large union to keep disaggregated statistics on members and activists than a small union.
For such analysis, the unions responding have been grouped into three size categories corresponding to the TUC rules on the composition of the General Council.10   In this report they are described as either ‘large’ (section A unions), ‘medium’ (section B unions) or ‘small’ (section C unions).

The large unions that responded to the audit are:


The medium unions that responded to the audit are:

Community, CSP, CWU, Equity, FBU, PCS, Prospect, NEU (ATL section), NUJ, RCM, RMT, UCU

The small unions that responded to the audit are:


Where there is a statistic relating to the proportion of union members covered by a rule or structure, this is a percentage of the aggregate number of members of unions responding to the survey.

To monitor change in the areas covered by this report, some data is compared with the situation in 2014. However, comparisons are limited to instances where percentages are changed substantially. This is because the small size of the population covered by the survey (38 respondent unions in 2018 and 36 in 2014) means a difference of just one or two unions will show up as a noticeable change in percentage figures. A second problem is the subjective nature of some questions, which means unions’ responses might not be fully consistent from one audit to the next and cannot always be meaningfully compared.

Two questionnaires

While all TUC unions are sent the main audit questionnaire, those with fewer than 12,000 members are given the option of completing an abbreviated version of the
questionnaire. Only three chose to do this in 2018 (see Appendix), compared with eight in 2014, meaning that more unions with fewer than 12,000 members completed the main questionnaire this time.

Where questions were covered in only one of the questionnaires, this is indicated in the report text.

  • 10 . “Section A shall consist of members from those organisations with a full numerical membership of 200,000 or more members. Each such organisation shall be entitled to nominate one or more of its members to be a member or members of the General Council and the number of members to which the organisations comprising Section A shall be entitled shall be determined by their full numerical membership on the basis of one per 200,000 members or part thereof provided that where the total number of women members of any organisation in Section A is 100,000 or more that organisation shall nominate at least one woman.
    Section B shall consist of members from those organisations with a full numerical membership of 30,000 up to 199,999 members. Each such organisation shall be entitled to nominate one of its members to be a member of Section B of the General Council.
    Section C shall consist of seven members of unions with fewer than 30,000 members.”