This work presents insights on trade union member employees’ expectations of union membership and its association with their perceptions of job dissatisfaction at a Scottish university. For over five decades, employees in trade unions have reported higher levels of dissatisfaction with their jobs than non-unionized employees in studies from different countries. The question of trade union membership and job dissatisfaction remains open to inquiry because previous studies used quantitative analyses, yet industrial relations scholars still do not possess a salient explanation for why the phenomenon exists. In contrast to those studies, this work used a qualitative approach of 23 interviews with trade union member employees. The results of the present work contribute to an area in need of data, as the expectations of trade union membership presented here were gathered from a diverse group of trade union member employees to which contemporary trade unions are focusing their recruitment efforts.