What and Who are the ISU?

The ISU were formed in 1981, as a breakaway from a Civil Service Union affiliated to the TUC with the radical left-wing politics of those times. Our people working in Borders found themselves in a Trade Union which passed Conference motions deploring the very existence of Border Controls. Our people paid subscriptions but received nothing in return. We needed representation that respected the jobs we did and the people who did them. And so the ISU was born.

Through the sterling efforts of our founders – and in particular the exceptional contributions of Peter Taylor as our inaugural General Secretary and Rolf Toolin as our first National Chairman – the ISU was established as an independent Trade Union. This was accomplished in the teeth of determined TUC hostility and opposition. We earned our reputation for unshakeable resolve early!

We were then and now remain a specialist Union for our specialist workforce – we are the leading subject experts on Borders. We have always been staunchly independent. We have no political affiliation. The ISU have never and will never run a political fund to bankroll a political party or agenda. But we do speak our minds to reflect the reality our members experience, so often distorted in coverage elsewhere. As we have always been, we are here only to serve the interests of our people.

Over 40 years since we formed, the ISU have continued to grow and today are stronger than ever. We are one of the real success stories in Trade Unionism and long may that continue!

The ISU is governed by the ISU General Secretary, Chairman and Vice Chairman. There are currently 13 members on our National Elective Committee. We have a finance officer, a dedicated pay query team and staff who work at HQ (pictured left). We also currently have 5 trustees and a life president. 

If you would like to find out more about who makes up the ISU, take a look at some of the profiles below.