MS Society Pay Claim 2019

Last year, through collective bargaining, Unison members and their colleagues at the MS Society won:

  • A 1.7% pay rise.
  • Maternity pay increased by a third, from 8 weeks to 12 weeks full pay.
  • 3 extra days of annual leave over the Christmas period.
  • Car allowance to be reviewed to make sure no one is out of pocket.
  • Commitment to become a living wage employer as soon as possible.

This is how we did it:

  1. Reps surveyed ¼ of the organisation (5 questions) asking: ‘What pay and benefits policies do you feel need changing at the MS Society.’


We asked colleagues different questions so we could create stats:


‘42% of staff say the maternity policy needs improving’


And quotes:


“I will leave if the maternity policy isn’t updated, but don’t want to go. It’s embarrassingly low in comparison to other organisations.”


From this survey we knew what we wanted to ask for and had the ammunition.


  1. We used the bargaining guides on the Unison website to get templates and stats to support our asks. We also emailed for help when we couldn’t find stats we needed.


  1. We submitted our ask to management through our JNCC and let all staff know what we were asking for.


  1. Before the executive decision-making panel met to discuss our asks, reps with a relationship to each member talked to them about our document. We talked about how much these policies matter to people.


  1. When we got the outcome, we shared it with everyone and used it to recruit more members.


Surveying staff and then using personal relationships with decision makers were the most impactful things we did.