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  • FIRST POST
    • kmb500
    • By kmb500 10th Aug 17, 12:17 PM
    • 409Posts
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    kmb500
    is it worth joining a union?
    • #1
    • 10th Aug 17, 12:17 PM
    is it worth joining a union? 10th Aug 17 at 12:17 PM
    Hi,


    I have never cared for unions and what they do but I am worried about losing my job due to ill health and am wondering if a union can help me? like Unison (I work for local govt). The employer has to follow the sickness absence policy procedure that they have set out but some of the interpretation is at their discretion, I wonder if it's worth joining the union and they could have someone defend me? would it actually make a difference to the outcome of any decision my employer makes? I don't know.


    thanks for any advice
Page 1
    • comeandgo
    • By comeandgo 10th Aug 17, 12:20 PM
    • 1,876 Posts
    • 2,517 Thanks
    comeandgo
    • #2
    • 10th Aug 17, 12:20 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Aug 17, 12:20 PM
    I joined the union as while I don't agree with all they do I know they can be an absolute god send when you need them.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 10th Aug 17, 12:39 PM
    • 4,175 Posts
    • 6,864 Thanks
    sangie595
    • #3
    • 10th Aug 17, 12:39 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Aug 17, 12:39 PM
    Hi,


    I have never cared for unions and what they do but I am worried about losing my job due to ill health and am wondering if a union can help me? like Unison (I work for local govt). The employer has to follow the sickness absence policy procedure that they have set out but some of the interpretation is at their discretion, I wonder if it's worth joining the union and they could have someone defend me? would it actually make a difference to the outcome of any decision my employer makes? I don't know.


    thanks for any advice
    Originally posted by kmb500

    If I am reading this correctly, you are already in your authorities managing sickness absence procedure? In which case, you are too late to join a union. We will not represent people in matters that have already arisen before they join. It's too late to take out insurance after the fire has started.
    • ohreally
    • By ohreally 10th Aug 17, 1:04 PM
    • 6,356 Posts
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    ohreally
    • #4
    • 10th Aug 17, 1:04 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Aug 17, 1:04 PM
    Hi,


    I have never cared for unions and what they do
    Originally posted by kmb500

    Then don't join, simples.
    Imagination is a mental faculty that serves as a coping mechanism for those who can't or won't accept reality - unicorns and dragons and wives who don't nag, are all figments of the "imagination".

    Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank and he can rob the world.
    • kmb500
    • By kmb500 10th Aug 17, 1:18 PM
    • 409 Posts
    • 110 Thanks
    kmb500
    • #5
    • 10th Aug 17, 1:18 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Aug 17, 1:18 PM
    If I am reading this correctly, you are already in your authorities managing sickness absence procedure? In which case, you are too late to join a union. We will not represent people in matters that have already arisen before they join. It's too late to take out insurance after the fire has started.
    Originally posted by sangie595
    Yes that's right this is an ongoing issue. OK that's helpful to know. Who is "we" btw?
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 10th Aug 17, 1:22 PM
    • 4,249 Posts
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    TELLIT01
    • #6
    • 10th Aug 17, 1:22 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Aug 17, 1:22 PM
    "We" in this instance is Unions.
    • Guest101
    • By Guest101 10th Aug 17, 1:23 PM
    • 15,118 Posts
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    Guest101
    • #7
    • 10th Aug 17, 1:23 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Aug 17, 1:23 PM
    Yes that's right this is an ongoing issue. OK that's helpful to know. Who is "we" btw?
    Originally posted by kmb500
    Unions in general
    • silverwhistle
    • By silverwhistle 10th Aug 17, 1:34 PM
    • 1,675 Posts
    • 2,195 Thanks
    silverwhistle
    • #8
    • 10th Aug 17, 1:34 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Aug 17, 1:34 PM
    I have never cared for unions and what they do
    Originally posted by kmb500
    Why not? What do they do that you don't like?

    If you think that zero hours contracts, low wages, poor conditions and incompetent, vindictive management aren't an issue then don't join.

    Unions don't go on strike; their members do. I was a member for 20+ years and never had need to go on strike..
    • Stylehutz
    • By Stylehutz 10th Aug 17, 1:46 PM
    • 252 Posts
    • 204 Thanks
    Stylehutz
    • #9
    • 10th Aug 17, 1:46 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Aug 17, 1:46 PM
    Loads of people hate Unions, but as soon as something goes wrong at work like an industrial injury or serious illness, they cant wait to sign up.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 10th Aug 17, 1:59 PM
    • 4,175 Posts
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    sangie595
    Loads of people hate Unions, but as soon as something goes wrong at work like an industrial injury or serious illness, they cant wait to sign up.
    Originally posted by Stylehutz

    What people actually hate is what they think unions represent. And paying for them. Just like the millions of people who travel abroad every year without travel insurance etc., etc., they are under the impression that nothing could possibly ever happen to them because they are "too good/careful" or whatever. They won't ever get disciplined, they won't get sacked, they won't get sick, or old.... And as soon as they do, then it is the unions fault for not wanting to jump to their service.
    • Manxman in exile
    • By Manxman in exile 10th Aug 17, 2:04 PM
    • 1,031 Posts
    • 720 Thanks
    Manxman in exile
    Many years ago my FiL (who was a very senior HR manager in a very large public utility) advised his daughter and me: "First, make sure you join the pension scheme, second, join the union". Good advice - and he knew it.


    Speaking personally, I didn't always find local reps that helpful, but I once had to have an issue referred to a regional rep, and he was brilliant, and saved me a lot of heartache.


    OP - you may not approve of what unions "do", but from your other posts you work in the public sector (Cambridgeshire I think) so you are indirectly benefiting from many battles fought in the past by unions on behalf of their members. This includes pay, pensions etc. That's one of the reasons why you see so many posters on these boards moaning about "gold plated" pensions etc.


    I found it depressing when non-union colleagues complained about unions but were quite happy to enjoy union negotiated salaries etc
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 10th Aug 17, 2:07 PM
    • 4,175 Posts
    • 6,864 Thanks
    sangie595
    "We" in this instance is Unions.
    Originally posted by TELLIT01
    True, but so as to leave absolutely no doubt in this circumstance - it is those unions that represent local authority staff. Whilst all unions have rules to this effect, most also have a level of discretion that they can chose to exercise. That will not be used in places where the workplace is highly organised, always has been, and the policies being used are well known and commonly used. You don't get to say "I don't like unions, they are rubbish, but I'll expect them to defend me to the hilt the minute I want them to". Any local authority employee has had myriad opportunities to join a union, if not many years ago, certainly there has been more than a little "encouragement" in the face of compulsory redundancies and cuts. And now that the OP is facing being the casualty of one of those stringent policies, they think that they might just be a great catch for the union. Followed, no doubt, by a rapid resignation the minute they no longer need the union.


    Thanks OP, but no thanks. That is not how unions work.
    • polgara
    • By polgara 10th Aug 17, 2:49 PM
    • 325 Posts
    • 274 Thanks
    polgara
    I feel I have a general good grasp of employment law and my own organisation's policies and procedures (it is my job after all), however I am still in a union (and pay significant subs) just in case I need their input, or more importantly their employment solicitor. Its insurance that I hope I will never need...but you never know.
    • Estheroid
    • By Estheroid 10th Aug 17, 3:22 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Estheroid
    I think OP may also find that there is a cooling off period between joining and being represented, to prevent people joining only when they find themselves in a difficult situation.

    Unions engage in collective bargaining when it comes to pay or pensions negotiations as well as giving advice to members. They often also provide educational opportunities for members. And just sometimes, workplace management don't follow the correct procedures - that's what stewards and union reps are there for, to see that the employee gets fair treatment.
    • kmb500
    • By kmb500 10th Aug 17, 3:38 PM
    • 409 Posts
    • 110 Thanks
    kmb500
    What people actually hate is what they think unions represent. And paying for them. Just like the millions of people who travel abroad every year without travel insurance etc., etc., they are under the impression that nothing could possibly ever happen to them because they are "too good/careful" or whatever. They won't ever get disciplined, they won't get sacked, they won't get sick, or old.... And as soon as they do, then it is the unions fault for not wanting to jump to their service.
    Originally posted by sangie595
    I'm not expecting a union to do anything. I'm just asking if they are able to help me.



    OP - you may not approve of what unions "do", but from your other posts you work in the public sector (Cambridgeshire I think) so you are indirectly benefiting from many battles fought in the past by unions on behalf of their members. This includes pay, pensions etc. That's one of the reasons why you see so many posters on these boards moaning about "gold plated" pensions etc.


    I found it depressing when non-union colleagues complained about unions but were quite happy to enjoy union negotiated salaries etc
    Originally posted by Manxman in exile
    I wasn't aware my salary was decided by a union.


    True, but so as to leave absolutely no doubt in this circumstance - it is those unions that represent local authority staff. Whilst all unions have rules to this effect, most also have a level of discretion that they can chose to exercise. That will not be used in places where the workplace is highly organised, always has been, and the policies being used are well known and commonly used. You don't get to say "I don't like unions, they are rubbish, but I'll expect them to defend me to the hilt the minute I want them to". Any local authority employee has had myriad opportunities to join a union, if not many years ago, certainly there has been more than a little "encouragement" in the face of compulsory redundancies and cuts. And now that the OP is facing being the casualty of one of those stringent policies, they think that they might just be a great catch for the union. Followed, no doubt, by a rapid resignation the minute they no longer need the union.


    Thanks OP, but no thanks. That is not how unions work.
    Originally posted by sangie595
    I don't hate unions, I just never seen the point of them and I don't expect them to defend me. You're quite right I have had plenty of opportunities to join them, they seem to always have grumpy looking representatives with their stall in our office giving away free pens.


    I'm not being put at risk due to redundancies or anything. I just wanted to know if it was something a union can help with.
    • zaax
    • By zaax 10th Aug 17, 3:40 PM
    • 1,806 Posts
    • 716 Thanks
    zaax
    Your insure you house; you insure your car; you even insure your life so why not insure your job?

    Also the provide free legal advise which is a great help when you have a consumer problem or other legal problem
    Do you want your money back, and a bit more, search for 'money claim online' - They don't like it up 'em Captain Mainwaring
    • kmb500
    • By kmb500 10th Aug 17, 3:51 PM
    • 409 Posts
    • 110 Thanks
    kmb500
    Your insure you house; you insure your car; you even insure your life so why not insure your job?

    Also the provide free legal advise which is a great help when you have a consumer problem or other legal problem
    Originally posted by zaax
    Actually I don't insure my house or my life, and I only insure my car because it's a legal requirement, if it was optional I'd save the money and risk it.
    • Stylehutz
    • By Stylehutz 10th Aug 17, 4:11 PM
    • 252 Posts
    • 204 Thanks
    Stylehutz
    [QUOTE I wasn't aware my salary was decided by a union.
    .[/QUOTE]

    Really so now that you know, I assume you would still be happy to accept the £10 a week pay increase which management wanted to give you, whilst your union colleagues accepted the £20.00 a week pay increase negotiated by the union

    Thats the problem with non union members, they all want something for nothing.
    • kmb500
    • By kmb500 10th Aug 17, 4:22 PM
    • 409 Posts
    • 110 Thanks
    kmb500
    [QUOTE I wasn't aware my salary was decided by a union.
    .
    Originally posted by Stylehutz
    Really so now that you know, I assume you would still be happy to accept the £10 a week pay increase which management wanted to give you, whilst your union colleagues accepted the £20.00 a week pay increase negotiated by the union

    Thats the problem with non union members, they all want something for nothing.[/QUOTE]
    I just read through the email from HR for this year's pay increase, it just says that it has been decided by our councillors to give us all an increase.


    Honestly I don't expect a pay rise, so whatever I am given, I will take. I don't expect anyone to defend me, I don't expect anyone to pay me more than what I'm contracted for.
    • xapprenticex
    • By xapprenticex 10th Aug 17, 4:32 PM
    • 1,313 Posts
    • 1,225 Thanks
    xapprenticex
    Hi, the same thing that has been said many times above will be reiterated to you for as long as you entertain this thread.

    You have had your answer from Sangie, if i were you, id move on now, I doubt anyone has anything useful to add.
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