Voluntary sector union membership risesA growing number of voluntary sector workers are opting to join trade unions amid fears that government spending cuts could jeopardise their jobs over the next few years, it has been claimed.

According to a new report from the Third Sector Research Centre, just over one-fifth of employees in roles such as addiction and family support are now union members – an increase of seven per cent in the last year alone.

"They are people who are not our traditional members. They are coming from children's charities and from advice centres," said Unite's Rachael Maskell told the Guardian. "They are worried about their jobs."

Stephen Brown, a Unison branch secretary at Scottish social care organisation Quarriers, added that union membership at the group has risen by around 200 over the last five years to make up almost half of its workforce.

Last week, Scotland's finance secretary John Swinney urged local authorities north of the border to sign up to the Holyrood government's policy of not implementing compulsory redundancies.

Posted by Ross George