ACAS - the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service that mediates between bosses and workers.
AGM - Annual General Meeting, a meeting of all members of a branch or union held once a year.
ASLEF - Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen.
BAFWU - Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union.
Ballot - a way of arranging a democratic vote. For strikes and some union officials in the UK, this has to be organised by post.
BMA - British Medical Association.
Branch - a group of members within a union, that may be based around a particular workplace, sector, or area.
Central Arbitration Committee - the CAC is a government body that tried to resolve disputes in the workplace and rules on recognition agreements
Certification Officer - maintains a list of trade unions in the UK and collects annual returns for each union.
Collective bargaining - negotiating a deal between a group of workers and the boss.
Custom and practice - when something has been done the same way regularly it become an implied or unwritten contract term.
CWU - Communication Workers Union
Deduction of wages - money taken out of the workers wage by the boss.
Elected official - a member of a union who has been elected to represent other members.
Employment contract - an agreement between a boss and a worker that sets out rights, responsibilities, and duties of the work.
Employment Tribunal - a court that makes decision on employment law issues. Workers can take a "claim" to an employment tribunal.
FBU - Fire Brigades Union.
General Secretary - an elected official that is the leader of a trade union.
GLAA - The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, an agency also sits alongside HM Revenue and Customs' National Minimum Wage unit and the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate within the scope of the Director of Labour Market Enforcement (DLME) to address labour market offenses.
GMB - a general workers union that used to stand for General, Municipal, Boilermakers.
Grievance - a complaint raised by a worker.
HM Revenue and Customs' National Minimum Wage unit - an agency that investigates companies that pay Below the minimum wage.
Independent union - Unions are required to get as certificate on independence proving they are not working with the employers. In practice some are more independent than others.
IWGB - Independent Workers' Union of Great Britain.
IWW - Industrial Workers of the World.
Joint Negotiating Committee - a JNC is a body that meets in some workplaces that brings together multiple unions to negotiate with the boss.
Key worker - a worker who is considered to provide an essential service.
Layoff - another term for ending employment or sacking workers.
Motion - a proposal that ispresented to a meeting that proposesa change or addition to the policies of a union. It could propose an action or new idea.
NASWUT - National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers.
NEU - National Education Union.
NUJ - National Union of Journalists.
NUM - National Union of Mineworkers.
Organising - getting together with other works to collectively do things.
Payslip - either paper or electronic format, provides information on your pay before and after any deductions, and hours work if that effects pay.
PCS - Public and Commercial Services Union
Postal Ballot - a way of organising votes that is required by the UK government. Unions must appoint an independent organisation to arrange for voting papers (or ballots) to be sent to members address. Votes are then returned by post. It is a legal requirement for strike votes and some union positions.
Quorum - Some union meetings require a minimum number of numbers in attendance to make democratic decisions - they must reach quorum.
Rank and file - the ordinary members of a union who are not in elected or leadership positions.
RCN - Royal College of Nursing.
RMT - National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers.
Strike - a temporary stoppage of work by a group of employees in order to express a grievance or to enforce a demand (see Richard Hyman's Strikes).
Subs - or subscriptions, the fee paid to be a member of a union that is usually paid monthly.
Trade union - a collective organisation of workers that campaigns to improve pay and conditions.
Trades Union Congress - the TUC is a federation of unions in England and Wales.
TSSA - Transport Salaried Staffs' Association.
UCU - University and College Union.
UNISON - a large public sector trade union.
Unite the Union - a large union that covers many sectors.
Union Rep - a union representative is a member of a union who provides support and advice. You should never go to a disciplinary meeting without your union rep.
USDAW - Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers.
UVW - United Voices of the World.
Voting - a method of decision making based on the principle of every member having a vote and majorities needed to make decisions or take action.
Wildcat strike - a strike carried out by workers without consent of their union.
Yellow union - a union that is not independent and works in the interests of the employer.
Zero hour contract - an employment contract that does not guarantee any hours each week.