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  • FIRST POST
    • elsien
    • By elsien 18th Oct 16, 9:08 AM
    • 13,683Posts
    • 33,224Thanks
    elsien
    How to choose a union??
    • #1
    • 18th Oct 16, 9:08 AM
    How to choose a union?? 18th Oct 16 at 9:08 AM
    I work in the voluntary sector. I was previously a union member, but tbh found that they were so focused on the public sector we were very much the poor relations. So much so that in a TUPE situation I was given incorrect information due to not being a public sector worker.
    (Yes I know the law is the same but the implementation worked differently).
    I've been intending to join a union again for a while, but it's difficult to work out which one is going to be any use to me, given the previous difference between the shiny blurb on the website and the reality of not being in a unionised workplace, not public sector, and never having had contact with any reps to work out who is helpful and who isn't.
    I've now had a career change, still in the voluntary sector, and am (oh joy) facing a TUPE yet again. One that has the potential to be very difficult for me. How do I start to work out which unions cover my sector, let alone which one to join?
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
Page 1
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 18th Oct 16, 9:32 AM
    • 15,671 Posts
    • 11,377 Thanks
    agrinnall
    • #2
    • 18th Oct 16, 9:32 AM
    • #2
    • 18th Oct 16, 9:32 AM
    Have you tried using this?

    https://worksmart.org.uk/tools/union-finder
    • elsien
    • By elsien 18th Oct 16, 9:51 AM
    • 13,683 Posts
    • 33,224 Thanks
    elsien
    • #3
    • 18th Oct 16, 9:51 AM
    • #3
    • 18th Oct 16, 9:51 AM
    Thanks. My job isn't on the data base, so will have to see who they come back with.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 18th Oct 16, 12:45 PM
    • 2,735 Posts
    • 4,278 Thanks
    sangie595
    • #4
    • 18th Oct 16, 12:45 PM
    • #4
    • 18th Oct 16, 12:45 PM
    For the third sector, your most clear choices are UNISON or UNITE. They contain the largest number of third sector members and the widest range of resources. I'm prejudiced, but I'd say the latter is better. But remember that any union is only as good as its members. I don't know about UNISON but UNITE have a separate organising section for the third sector.
    • Andy L
    • By Andy L 18th Oct 16, 1:35 PM
    • 7,873 Posts
    • 6,019 Thanks
    Andy L
    • #5
    • 18th Oct 16, 1:35 PM
    • #5
    • 18th Oct 16, 1:35 PM
    Does your employer recognise any particular union for collective bargaining? If so it's generally best to join that one
    • elsien
    • By elsien 18th Oct 16, 4:05 PM
    • 13,683 Posts
    • 33,224 Thanks
    elsien
    • #6
    • 18th Oct 16, 4:05 PM
    • #6
    • 18th Oct 16, 4:05 PM
    No they don't.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 18th Oct 16, 7:25 PM
    • 2,654 Posts
    • 2,565 Thanks
    TELLIT01
    • #7
    • 18th Oct 16, 7:25 PM
    • #7
    • 18th Oct 16, 7:25 PM
    It will also be worth checking that the union of choice will actually be willing to advise / get involved with an 'active situation' in your workplace. I know unions won't get involved with employment disputes if somebody joins the union after the dispute has started (At least they wouldn't at my former workplace).
    • elsien
    • By elsien 18th Oct 16, 7:47 PM
    • 13,683 Posts
    • 33,224 Thanks
    elsien
    • #8
    • 18th Oct 16, 7:47 PM
    • #8
    • 18th Oct 16, 7:47 PM
    Well I've had an email to tell me the relevant union is Community.
    Never heard of them.
    Might need to do some phone calls to suss them out.
    Still in the tendering out process at the moment, not got to TUPE yet so its not yet an active issue. Which is why I'm thinking about it now.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 18th Oct 16, 8:32 PM
    • 15,671 Posts
    • 11,377 Thanks
    agrinnall
    • #9
    • 18th Oct 16, 8:32 PM
    • #9
    • 18th Oct 16, 8:32 PM
    I'm not entirely convinced that Community is the best option for you, looking at their history and the unions that came together to form it there doesn't seem to be any great involvement with the third sector. I'd suspect that Sangie's suggestions might be worth considering.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 18th Oct 16, 9:42 PM
    • 2,735 Posts
    • 4,278 Thanks
    sangie595
    I'm not entirely convinced that Community is the best option for you, looking at their history and the unions that came together to form it there doesn't seem to be any great involvement with the third sector. I'd suspect that Sangie's suggestions might be worth considering.
    Originally posted by agrinnall
    The title of their union does not represent their role as a union. I won't knock a union. But I also wouldn't necessarily recommend one either.

    As I said, I am prejudiced on this matter, but the founding unions of UNITE were the first to recognise third sector as a separate and unique organising unit. A long time before public sector unions saw the sector as anything other than competition. I know, because I was one of those founding members of the sector organisation. Back in the dim and distant past. The 80's! Third Sector organisation is important to UNITE. It is only a small sector compared to some , but the fact that 60,000 people are signed up represents a huge investment by the union. We have specialist representatives who know the sector and understand the differences.

    I'm going to reiterate what I say about any union. None of us have magic wands. We cannot change the laws that favour employers. We cannot win what members are not willing to fight for. UNITE is no different from any union in that respect. You need to go in with your eyes open. No union can win the unwinnable. So every time we don't we get slated by the members. That's every union. But consider the news you have listened to over the past few year, and see whether you can think of any union that is always up there fighting alongside their members. There won't be a long list. And one of them on that list will be UNITE. Then decide what it is you want.
    • aife
    • By aife 19th Oct 16, 4:12 AM
    • 41 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    aife
    Sadly , the union movement in Britain these days is generally weak.
    Partly because of anti-union laws and propaganda , the casualisation of the workforce and the pressure a lot of working people are under , which makes people frightened to stick their necks out or speak up
    I think there is also the fact that the big unions have become too corporate themselves and provide a relatively cosy career option . A lot of people in my union prefer campaigning on uncontroversial stuff , mainly related to identity politics , to trying to take on increasingly vicious management
    The sad fact is that to a lot of people now , both members and reps, the union is seen as a kind of insurance policy in case you find yourself on a disciplinary etc,and not much else
    That said , I think you should talk to your colleagues , find out if any of them are members of a union , if so think about joining that one , if not talk to them about joining up with you.
    The clue's in the name after all
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