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  • FIRST POST
    • kmb500
    • By kmb500 10th Aug 17, 12:17 PM
    • 376Posts
    • 97Thanks
    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 2
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 10th Aug 17, 5:35 PM
    • 3,570 Posts
    • 5,882 Thanks
    sangie595
    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.
    Originally posted by kmb500
    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.[/QUOTE]

    Your pay rates are negotiated with the unions. Always have been. Even the scales that you are on are negotiated with the unions. And the policy that you don't like now it affects you? Also negotiated with the unions. And you are expecting someone to defend you - now that policy is touching you personally and could result in problems because of your ill health, you were expecting a union might want to help you with that management discretion bit of the policy. And for members the unions often can have some influence, if it is nothing more than keeping managers honest. We tend to have good enough relationships with senior managers to bring some pressure to bear on behalf of our members. And at the very least, employers are scrupulously "fair" in law when we are watching them. We can't do a lot more than that. Because there are too many people who aren't prepared to stand up for the collective interest and fight, or join the union when they don't need anything for themselves. People like you. You have, whether you knew it or not (and how could you not? You are a thinking adult aren't you?) contributed to that policy you now don't like, by being part of the process of weakening the unions to a point where they are unable to significantly impact on new policies that are to the detriment of employees. You are now reaping what you have sown- a policy which can lead to your dismissal, with just enough fuzziness to let the employer play with it as they like.
    • discat11
    • By discat11 10th Aug 17, 6:20 PM
    • 253 Posts
    • 285 Thanks
    discat11
    Even if you disagree with their politics (if they have any affiliation-many don't) or don't like the reps, a unions protection power can never be underestimated.
    When I worked for BR I lost count of the number of people in the rail industry who were sacked or disciplined unfairly, the only difference was that those without union representation simply weren't there the next week, whereas union members had to be really stupid or very unlucky to be given the boot. Union membership is usually the most valuable insurance you'll ever buy.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 10th Aug 17, 7:39 PM
    • 3,729 Posts
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    TELLIT01
    I was never a member of a union. My view of them was very much coloured by their activities in the '80s. The company I worked for offered 15% (those were the days!) but the union refused to accept and took the works membership out on strike. I was in IT, which was in any case covered by a different union, and not dragged into it. The works were out for 3 weeks with no pay and the union finally settled for an additional 1/2%. How long would it take for the workers to get the missing money back. In those days it was easy for the union reps as the union paid them when they were on strike.
    I know things have changed - in many areas at least, but there are still 'old school' union reps out there with the same attitude.
    • Geoff1963
    • By Geoff1963 10th Aug 17, 9:18 PM
    • 1,033 Posts
    • 640 Thanks
    Geoff1963
    Why not join anyway, even if they can't help you this time around ? If they won't provide someone to defend you, they might have other resources you could draw on.
    Union membership is partly like insurance, but it is also like military deterrence.
    • Manxman in exile
    • By Manxman in exile 11th Aug 17, 2:01 AM
    • 713 Posts
    • 489 Thanks
    Manxman in exile


    I wasn't aware my salary was decided by a union.


    .
    Originally posted by kmb500

    So, to add to your ignorance about the existence of yellow box junctions and red light cameras, you are not aware that public sector unions have assisted in giving public sector workers the salaries and pensions they now enjoy?


    I don't want to appear judgmental, but I assume you've never studied social history prior to 1979?


    (EDIT: You may not insure your house but I assume (hope) your parents do.)
    Last edited by Manxman in exile; 11-08-2017 at 2:03 AM. Reason: addition
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 11th Aug 17, 8:41 AM
    • 18,191 Posts
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    agrinnall
    It would be worth taking a look at the OP's posting history, particularly on the Motoring board, before deciding whether to waste your time providing serious answers.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 11th Aug 17, 9:17 AM
    • 3,570 Posts
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    sangie595
    It would be worth taking a look at the OP's posting history, particularly on the Motoring board, before deciding whether to waste your time providing serious answers.
    Originally posted by agrinnall
    Yeah, got there in the end. But I did advise based on them being a "thinking adult" ! And it isn't wasted on people who really haven't thought about what will happen to them if they end up getting old or ill- everyone wears out eventually, and these days it's tough if you happen to do so whilst still in employment.
    • kmb500
    • By kmb500 11th Aug 17, 9:26 AM
    • 376 Posts
    • 97 Thanks
    kmb500
    So, to add to your ignorance about the existence of yellow box junctions and red light cameras, you are not aware that public sector unions have assisted in giving public sector workers the salaries and pensions they now enjoy?


    I don't want to appear judgmental, but I assume you've never studied social history prior to 1979?


    (EDIT: You may not insure your house but I assume (hope) your parents do.)
    Originally posted by Manxman in exile
    No, I have never studied any kind of "societal history".

    As for house insurance yes I guess my landlord maybe has house insurance but theres no contents insurance, he told me when I moved in that if I wanted that I had to take it out myself.
    Last edited by kmb500; 11-08-2017 at 9:29 AM.
    • Madbags
    • By Madbags 11th Aug 17, 10:26 AM
    • 175 Posts
    • 105 Thanks
    Madbags
    I've never been one to follow politics so I won't comment on that part of it but if the question is "Is it worth joining a Union?" I would have to say wholeheartedly YES.


    My partner has undergone a couple disciplinaries as of late for what I would call very minor infractions or being only human, but the employer has taken way out of context. Without the Union backing her every step of the way I would expect her to be currently unemployed.
    • john22
    • By john22 11th Aug 17, 11:26 AM
    • 138 Posts
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    john22
    A union is a good option to if you feel you need support in your dealings with employer. Personally I have never been in a union and have had good working relationships with my employers my whole working life.

    The one thing I do hate is when it becomes them and us between union members, non union members and employers. I wish in those times everyone would respect each others personal decisions.
    • ohreally
    • By ohreally 11th Aug 17, 11:35 AM
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    ohreally
    The one thing I do hate is when it becomes them and us between union members, non union members and employers. I wish in those times everyone would respect each others personal decisions.
    Originally posted by john22

    The non-member "personal decision" should be to think long and hard about working in an organised workplace where they enjoy the benefits paid for by the subscription paying colleagues.

    These terms of service they enjoy are paid for by other people, they don't magically appear.
    • john22
    • By john22 11th Aug 17, 11:45 AM
    • 138 Posts
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    john22
    The non-member "personal decision" should be to think long and hard about working in an organised workplace where they enjoy the benefits paid for by the subscription paying colleagues.

    These terms of service they enjoy are paid for by other people, they don't magically appear.
    Originally posted by ohreally
    If you're legally allowed to work for an employer and don't have to join a union then end of story. No one should be bullied or pressured into something that they have the right to say no to.
    • bugslet
    • By bugslet 11th Aug 17, 11:50 AM
    • 5,317 Posts
    • 26,509 Thanks
    bugslet
    The non-member "personal decision" should be to think long and hard about working in an organised workplace where they enjoy the benefits paid for by the subscription paying colleagues.

    These terms of service they enjoy are paid for by other people, they don't magically appear.
    Originally posted by ohreally
    I'm not trying to be confrontational here, but what do you do if you have a dislike of unions and you work in an organised workplace?

    As with john22, I've generally had good relations with my previous employers, one lot were miserable wotsits so I left, and none of the places have been unionised.

    However, if I joined a place with a heavy union membership, what would I do - hell would freeze over before I joined one. I'd be happy to negotiate my own Ts & Cs, but I doubt management would want to.

    As far as I know, only one of my 23 employees is in a union ( though that was years ago and I don't know for sure now ). Over the years various staff have suggested changes, sometimes those changes have happened if I think it's fair and sometimes not, though I always explain the reasoning behind. Perhaps that's the difference between small firms and big firms and why my staff don't seem to be interested in joining.
    • bugslet
    • By bugslet 11th Aug 17, 11:52 AM
    • 5,317 Posts
    • 26,509 Thanks
    bugslet
    If you're legally allowed to work for an employer and don't have to join a union then end of story. No one should be bullied or pressured into something that they have the right to say no to.
    Originally posted by john22
    We cross posted john, that was one of my bugbears when closed shops operated. I can understand where ohreally is coming from, but closed shops are an anthema to me.
    • ohreally
    • By ohreally 11th Aug 17, 11:53 AM
    • 6,157 Posts
    • 4,700 Thanks
    ohreally
    If you're legally allowed to work for an employer and don't have to join a union then end of story. No one should be bullied or pressured into something that they have the right to say no to.
    Originally posted by john22
    If you wish to be a parasite, your call. Your member colleagues must hold you in high esteem.
    • john22
    • By john22 11th Aug 17, 12:05 PM
    • 138 Posts
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    john22
    If you wish to be a parasite, your call. Your member colleagues must hold you in high esteem.
    Originally posted by ohreally
    Oh here we go name calling someone who has a different view point.

    Real classy!
    • Andy L
    • By Andy L 11th Aug 17, 1:00 PM
    • 8,415 Posts
    • 6,709 Thanks
    Andy L
    We cross posted john, that was one of my bugbears when closed shops operated. I can understand where ohreally is coming from, but closed shops are an anthema to me.
    Originally posted by bugslet
    Since they've been illegal for 27 years you should be ok then
    • bugslet
    • By bugslet 11th Aug 17, 1:09 PM
    • 5,317 Posts
    • 26,509 Thanks
    bugslet
    Since they've been illegal for 27 years you should be ok then
    Originally posted by Andy L
    That's why I referred to them in the past tense..... The idea of one remains a no-go even if they are illegal now.
    • ohreally
    • By ohreally 11th Aug 17, 1:11 PM
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    ohreally
    Oh here we go name calling someone who has a different view point.

    Real classy!
    Originally posted by john22

    No, not name calling,

    a person who receives support, advantage, or the like, from another or others without giving any useful or proper return, as one who lives on the hospitality of others.
    ref: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/parasite

    If the shoe fits.
    • john22
    • By john22 11th Aug 17, 1:23 PM
    • 138 Posts
    • 95 Thanks
    john22
    No, not name calling,



    ref: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/parasite

    If the shoe fits.
    Originally posted by ohreally
    My contract is with the employer and I work under their terms and conditions and get paid in return for carrying out those duties. It's my legal right and also living in a democratic country to decide if I want to join a union or not.
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