Confederation of Health Service Employees

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Confederation of Health Service Employees
COHSE logo.jpg
Founded 1946
Date dissolved 1993
Merged into Unison
Affiliation Trades Union Congress
Country United Kingdom

The Confederation of Health Service Employees (COHSE) was a United Kingdom trade union representing workers primarily in the National Health Service. It was founded in 1946 with the merger of the Mental Hospital and Institutional Workers Union and the Hospital and Welfare Services Union, with the aim of having one union to represent workers in the National Health Service on its formation.

Major COHSE campaigns[edit]

  • 1948 Nursing Students Pay
  • 1959 Unofficial Overtime ban
  • 1962 Nurses Pay (Lets twist again)
  • 1972-73 Ancillary Pay strikes (Low pay)
  • 1974 Nurses Pay (Halsbury)
  • 1974 ? Private Patients Dispute
  • 1979 Public Sector Pay (Winter of Discontent)
  • 1982 NHS Staff Pay campaign (12%claim)
  • 1988 Nurses Pay (Clinical Grading)
  • 1989-1990 Ambulance Dispute


In 1993, COHSE merged with two other trade unions - NUPE (the National Union of Public Employees) and NALGO (the National Association of Local Government Officers) - to form UNISON, the largest public sector trade union in the UK.

General Secretaries[edit]


  • 1946: Claude Bartlett
  • 1962: Ron Farmer
  • 1965: Bob Vickerstaff
  • 1976: Eric Wilson
  • 1982: Sid Ambler
  • 1987: Colin Robinson

External links[edit]