Sample Members’ Survey

It is very important to get input from workers/trade union members about whether they think there is equal pay in the organisation. If their experience is very different from how the employer describes it, then this is probably an issue to ask questions about or campaign around. For example, if the employer maintains that everyone knows how to access the organisation’s pay policy, but members say in response to a survey that they have no idea how to do this, then this is an issue that needs to be addressed.

The ‘Questions for the Employer’ can be mirrored in a survey of employees or trade union members. There is no need to reproduce them all but you can select key issues to focus on and tailor your questions to suit your audience. You could concentrate on a particular policy for example or a particular department or grade.

Surveys provide evidence when negotiating with your employer about the issues that members or employees want to address and that they think is important. You can use numbers (“90% of members surveyed responded that...”) or anonymous quotations (“one respondent said that their manager had told them that they ‘got her cheap’”) to support your arguments.

Ideally, surveys can be sent out jointly so that both the employer and the employees/members of the Trade Union/s are committed to analysing the data together and coming to a shared decision about what to do about it.

Spoiler alert: this may not work in the real world! If not, it is important that the Trade Union or employees survey all workers, whether they are union members or not, so you can use the resulting evidence in your negotiations.

Create a survey for your colleagues/members in our member hub

Beware: asking questions is not a neutral act - and neither are surveys!

Union Stories: UCU

After 18 months of negotiation UCU and the management at the University of Bristol reached an agreement aimed at tackling their gender pay gap of 13.6%.

The agreed measures included:

  • Increased opportunities for progression for women;
  • Greater opportunities to work flexibly or to job share;
  • Funding for pilot schemes to allow research staff to continue working at the university between grants; and
  • Training for all staff involved in recruitment and promotion processes.

The union said that increasing opportunities for advancement was crucial in tackling the gender pay gap, as more women at the university were employed in research-only and teaching-focussed roles, which often have less opportunity for career progression.

UCU said it also welcomed the move to invite all candidates to discuss flexible working and job share options when applying for jobs at the university. The university will gather data from all departments in areas such as part time work and flexible working requests to ensure that future plans to address the issue are based on the best possible evidence.

Read more on the UCU website