People's History of the NHS


Unionising NHS staff

The National Union of Public Employees (now part of UNISON) was a trade union that looked to represent all employees in the NHS and local government. Their journals in the 1950s used some beautiful drawings to recruit new members, celebrate their achievements and poke fun at their adversaries. These covers, as well as being very attractive, are also interesting as representations of the various kinds of staff found working in the NHS - like nurses, cleaners, clerks, technicians, gardeners and cooks, as well some, like ambulance drivers and home helps, who were employed in related roles by local government.

3 thoughts on “NUPE Journal, 1963

  1. Disappointed to see no mention of COHSE which was a union specific for health workers in any area of the heath sector whereas NUPE was for anyone working in the public sector

    1. Hi and thanks for your comment — we will be coming back to COHSE (in fact, you’ll probably find material from and about them elsewhere on the website already). We completely agree that it was one of the key actors in the health sector — and as it happens, COHSE and its members also produced and/or starred in some amazing campaigning images. Do tell us more about COHSE: were you a member? An activist? Did any of their campaigns affect you directly or indirectly?

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