Personal Assistants

The Personal Assistants Project

Survey for Personal Assistants launched
Tell us more about your role as a PA by competing our Personal Assistants survey either online using this ink below Or contact me for a paper copy using the details below.


What is it?
This is a FREE joint training workshop for PA’s and their employers to help them develop good working relationships. It will look at the causes and effects of conflict; the reasons behind reactions to conflict and help you develop skills to reduce and prevent conflict.

Who is this aimed at?
This course is aimed at Personal Assistants and their employers. It runs well with a mixed group of PA’s and PA employers.

When will it take place and where?
Dates confirmed for Workshops so far are:
Tuesday 16th September 10am-12.30pm Mercure Hotel Ayr
Tuesday 16th September 2.00pm-4.30pm Menzies Hotel Irvine
Wed 17th September 10am-12.30pm WEA Office Kilmarnock
Thursday 25th September 10am-12.30pn or 2.00pm-4.30pm Glasgow Thistle hotel. More dates will be added when venues are confirmed.

Places are limited so please book as soon as possible. It would help if you could state any access needs when you book.

WEA ScotlandTo book:
Phone Lynne Rankin 0141 221 0003
or email
Look out for our new PA website coming soon

Updated August 2014

Personal Assistants Update May 2014

Are you a Personal Assistant or a support worker?
Trainin to develop your career
Sharing experiences and advice
Building a community of PAs

Union project offers personal assistants and support workers training and employment rights advice – Project update…

ARE you a Personal Assistant
or Support Worker
employed directly or working for a charity or company to support someone in the community?

  • Feel isolated?
  • Want to meet others doing the same job as you?
  • Want to know what your employment rights are?

The Personal Assistants project is now into the next phase working jointly with the Workers Educational Association (WEA) looking to continue engaging with Personal Assistants across Scotland.

Initially through a series of local events with taster sessions, information stalls and workshops, we want to find out what support you – as a PA

• need at work
• what your learning and development needs are
• look to provide a forum where you can meet others doing the same job as you.

This might include further training such as refreshing your Communication Skills, Introduction to IT or something else.

We want to make sure you know what your rights at work are, and help you to have the confidence and skills to be a good PA. You’ll also get the chance to meet other PA’s doing similar jobs.

Interested in finding out more or to find out what’s happening in your area? Contact me at:

• WEA Scotland 0141 221 0003
• email me at
• Join UNISON at
Twitter @ PAunisonscot or
Facebook PA Unison Scotland

Updated 16 May 2014


October meetings in Glasgow – click for PDF
UNISON PA Meetings in Glasgow October 2013


The Adelphi Tria Cafe, Adelphi Centre Commercial Rd Gorbals 10am-12pm Monday 7, 14, 21or 28 October

Parkhead Library between 4.-6pm Monday 7, 14, 21 or 28 October

The Albany Centre cafe Ashley Street (Woodlands area) between 4-6pm Wednesday 9 or 16 October or 9.30-11.30am on either Friday 25 October or Friday 1st November.

The Bridges Centre Cafe Easterhouse between 1.00-300pm on Thursday 17 24 or 31st October.

The Clean Plates Cafe, Maryhill Burgh Halls Gairbraid Avenue Maryhill between 1-3pm on Wednesday 16th, 23, or 30th October


22 May 2013: News release – New union project offers personal assistants training and employment rights advice

The public services union UNISON has launched a new project offering networking, advice and support to personal assistants (PAs) who work for disabled and elderly clients.

See full press release here:



About the Personal Assistants Project

Lynne Rankin reports on her role in The Personal Assistants (PA) Project which aims to organise and recruit to UNISON this relatively new but growing group of workers.

22 May 2013

Personal Assistants or PAs, are employed by people receiving a direct payment and work in a variety of support/care roles doing different hours of work depending on their employers needs. Some may have already been UNISON members through previous employment with a local authority or voluntary sector employer but some will be new and might not be aware they have the same rights as any other employee including the right to join trade union and be represented at work. Indeed, before recruiting PA’s to join UNISON I need to find them first!

Nationally, there is also a similar UNISON project running in conjunction in Yorkshire & Humberside and we speak regularly to share good practise and discuss what works well. UNISON Learning and Organising Services are also looking at a “learning offer” for PA’s and this could provide training and development opportunities for this group of workers dependent on need or discounts to Open University courses.

If successful and we get PA’s to join up – this will mean a very different role for UNISON in terms of representation of members that could be establishing a mediation route in the event of any problems at work.

Progress so far

The response from employers’ organisations such as Scottish Personal Assistants Network (SPAEN) and Self Directed Support Scotland (SDSS) has been really positive, as has interactions with various local authorities as they recognise that whilst there is support for employers there is none for the PA’s and welcome working with UNISON to provide this.

Previous joint work saw the production of a pamphlet for PA’s entitled “Your rights at work” and this has been updated for 2013. The geographical spread of the project was initially to be 8 branches around Greater Glasgow but I was delighted to play a part on the SDSS Roadshows taking place in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth & Aberdeen and to take the lead in a workshop on PA rights at work.

I have also been out to a few branches to explain what the project is about and to get ideas where to meet PA’s in their areas and have met with employers support organisations in those areas. I managed to get four contacts from the Glasgow who are interested in taking part in a PA network for support.

What’s next?

The next step is to try and set up small local meetings for PA’s to meet and speak with other PA’s, and encourage them to join UNISON. Articles will be going in to the local papers promoting meetings in the area and I will be writing to managers responsible for Self Directed Support in local authorities’ asking them to promote and advertise these to their staff and clients.

Once a network is established, will look at what communication method is most appropriate to keep in touch whether this is using social networking, or maybe a dedicated section on the website. At the moment, it is envisaged PA’s will join branches according to the area they work in – but this may be a discussion for another day!

If you have any ideas about how we can reach Personal Assistants in your area or want more information on the project – please contact me at or phone 07903 853022.


Page updated 24 october 2013