UNION related chat, reflections and experiences. Reps & members alike!

Discussion in 'education & employment' started by Rutita1, Mar 9, 2016.

  1. belboid

    belboid TUC Off Your Knees

    In principle, I think one shouldn't get more than 50%, so you don't become detached from the membership. But when such release is under attack, it should be defended 100%. And if they think you're up to it and you're up for it, bloody good luck.
     
  2. Mr.Bishie

    Mr.Bishie You fooled all the people with magic

    I did actually make a pro's & con's list today! Need to speak to Branch Sec tomorrow to tie up a few issues that I have, so I won't list them at the mo, as it's quite personal. But what I will say, I can't be climbing fucking trees with my back problems anymore.
     
    muscovyduck and Rutita1 like this.
  3. Mr.Bishie

    Mr.Bishie You fooled all the people with magic

    Oh I won't be detached from the membership by any fucking means! If owt, I'll be thrust 500% into it! But, full time release is under attack, & one facilitating post has already gone. Mine (if I take it) could go in 18 months time when next reviewed by Council.
     
  4. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    Fun with restructuring. :rolleyes:

    Was ok though :)
     
    Rutita1 likes this.
  5. Mr.Bishie

    Mr.Bishie You fooled all the people with magic

    "Restructuring" - I fuckin' hate that word!
     
    Rutita1 likes this.
  6. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    Well yes but we can't say "class warfare" can we? At least not in the actual meeting.
     
    equationgirl, Miss-Shelf and Rutita1 like this.
  7. Mr.Bishie

    Mr.Bishie You fooled all the people with magic

    Oh I dunno, I'd be fuckin tempted.
     
  8. Mr.Bishie

    Mr.Bishie You fooled all the people with magic

    Had a lot to think about today, probably more negatives than positives tbh, so I've done the right thing & declined the position. One full timer would have been a massive undertaking, & hugely stressful.
     
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  9. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    Fair play. I think that probably is the right decision.
     
    Mr.Bishie likes this.
  10. Lord Camomile

    Lord Camomile Lemonade socialist

    The higher education pay dispute has gone to a ballot, which will most likely result in strike action.

    My branch has usually been pretty quiet and not altogether organised this front, but I'd like to change that this year. Are there any guides/sites for advice or tips on planning and organising?

    There's a UNISON guide on their website but it's from 2009 :facepalm: :D
     
  11. Miss-Shelf

    Miss-Shelf I've looked at life from both sides now

    My union reps have been made compulsory redundant in an attack on unions :mad:
     
  12. Lord Camomile

    Lord Camomile Lemonade socialist

    Fucking hell :(

    Are there any next steps, or can the branch not do much?
     
  13. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    The branch should be able to take it to law, if the justification(s) for compulsory redundancy aren't watertight.

    That doesn't help those being made redundant or those being left without representation in the meantime, though. :(
     
  14. Miss-Shelf

    Miss-Shelf I've looked at life from both sides now

    The national exec are involved
    But fighting all if this is uphill struggle
     
  15. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    The national officers will be well-aware that if they don't fight it, then they'll see a flood of similar spuriously-justified redundancies though, so it's good that they're not doing a Bill Morris and just letting it happen.
     
    Miss-Shelf likes this.
  16. Looby

    Looby Well-Known Member

    I'm a support worker in an organisation that supports and houses very vulnerable and often challenging clients. When I started I asked who the union rep was and was told there wasn't one and HR couldn't even tell me which unions I could join.

    This worries me because of the job we do, staff are physically and verbally attacked and there's always the potential for complaints against staff. I think everyone should join a union but particularly those who could need Union/legal protection if something went wrong at work.

    I've joined Unison and there are a couple of people I know of who are members but I doubt there's many.

    I was a very active rep in my last job and was branch organiser for 8 years but I really can't get involved to that level now. I'm a relief worker in a very busy and unpredictable service plus I'm starting uni in September so it will be a very part-time job during term time and not my long term career. I keep talking myself in and out of contacting my unison branch and asking about a recruitment campaign/representation but I don't want to get sucked in here.

    Has anyone here ever tried to get a workplace unionised and active?
     
  17. equationgirl

    equationgirl Respect my existence or expect my resistance

    I've been asked to consider joining our union committee as a member. Any thing I should be aware of? I'm having a meeting with a current committee member tomorrow to find out more.
     
    Guineveretoo likes this.
  18. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Be aware that however much time the other committee members tell you business takes, it'll be longer! Also be aware that last person in makes the tea until a new victim member joins. ;)

    Oh, and the usual caveat that the more involved/the higher up a union hierarchy you are, the more the bosses will either smarm you, or monster you.
     
    equationgirl likes this.
  19. equationgirl

    equationgirl Respect my existence or expect my resistance

    Cheers VP :)
     
  20. Rutita1

    Rutita1 Scum with no integrity, apparently.

    Sprocket. and eatmorecheese like this.
  21. Rutita1

    Rutita1 Scum with no integrity, apparently.

    Sprocket. likes this.
  22. Sprocket.

    Sprocket. Jive Miguel, he’s in from Bogotá...

  23. Rutita1

    Rutita1 Scum with no integrity, apparently.

    Ermmmmmm please don't... 88 pages will certainly hurt :D
     
  24. Sprocket.

    Sprocket. Jive Miguel, he’s in from Bogotá...

    Having spent time on many ACAS courses and reading agreements I fully understand. :D
     
  25. catinthehat

    catinthehat Failed VK = Replicant

    I have been in various unions for nearly 40 years and in most have held a TU role. Some points I think might be relevant:

    - facility time - you may or may not be entitled to it, get it in writing and check with the Union not just the employer as there may be statutory allowances for various things like H and S, conferences, training etc.
    - get all the training you can
    - if possible go to regional and national meetings and conference as it will tell you an awful lot about your union and who are good or not good allies not to mention the open or sometimes secret groups within the union and their agendas. Sometimes the inner workings of the union are as conflict ridden as the relationships between employers and unions/workers
    - be prepared for most of your members to treat the union as an insurance policy for themselves and have no understanding of or support for the notion of collective action or democracy
    - be prepared for most of your members to be totally disinterested in the union apart from on an issue that directly impacts on them, and then be prepared for them to swallow the management line even if it is going to clearly have an adverse impact on their terms and conditions or even job itself
    - know every policy back to front and pre empt problems by getting specifics on any grey areas
    - get a definition of what management mean by consultation - often it is 'we told you'
    - if you are responsible for personal cases try and get an agreement for any that are found in favor of the staff member or that are dropped by the employer that your time spent will be added to facility time.
    - ensure you know what your role is and where it starts and ends and have the relevant union full timers or national bods on speed dial
    - be prepared to find out that the jolly bonhomie displayed by some managers with their matey small talk and bearing of Quality Street at Xmas is a front and they care about their staff less than their bonus or progression.
    - find someone that is good at accounts if you are not
    - if its a public body there is a lot of information that should be freely available but often is not
    - get the minutes of all meetings you are entitled to see - you can often join up the dots from these
    - never agree to anything on the spot or informally or in unminuted meetings
    - double check in meetings that any points you want recorded have been put in the minutes.
    - double check the above has been done when you get your copy

    You will know if you are doing a good job if they try and buy you off with a promotion or move or more interesting work. If you fail to respond to this be prepared to be cast as a rebellious loon or some form of anarchist that does not understand the 'real world' bla bla.

    For the most part it is a thankless but highly needed role. There may be jolly camaraderie at conferences or campaigns to keep your spirits up. You can also imagine how things would be if we had strong unions, active members and decent reps and you can be at least one of those things.

    Power to your elbow and I wish you luck and good fortune.
     
  26. Rutita1

    Rutita1 Scum with no integrity, apparently.

    catinthehat

    Amazing advice! :cool: Thanks for taking the time to post that.... Some points have already rang true/loud and clear even though I am merely months into this. :D

    Can you clarify/expand on this point please? I want to be sure of what you mean. :)

    My weekend reading is this:

    http://www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/1/1/Redundancy-handling-accessible-version.pdf

    (obviously printed out at work ;))
    Relevant to something possibly brewing at our place. So cross referencing with internal documents at this stage.
     
    catinthehat likes this.
  27. catinthehat

    catinthehat Failed VK = Replicant

    Things like accounts not being qualified or auditors picking things up can give early signals that things are wrong. You might also pick up things such as pay 'cheats' - for example claims that management only got 1% pay rise but then sneaky additional bonus payments that have not been announced, perks like private healthcare, or the distribution of expenses, training budgets and so on. There might be some figures that seem out of whack and you can ask for clarification. If its a public organisation the accounts etc should be a matter of public record so there should be no issue with access to them - I'm not sure this is the case with other types of organisations as I have only ever worked in the public sector but we used to pick up a lot of things via the accounts.
     
  28. equationgirl

    equationgirl Respect my existence or expect my resistance

    I 've taken the plunge and told them I'll do it. I've asked that a couple of points ate checked though as we're about to start a redundancy cycle and I want to be able to support staff through it if I can.
     
    Almor and Pickman's model like this.
  29. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat meh

    hope it goes well

    although bear in mind that if your own job is one of those that's at risk, there's a chance that some people may think that you are too close to what's happening and may have personal motives as well.

    and as i think i've said on this thread (or a similar one) before, don't be afraid of not knowing the answer to a question a member asks you - it's better to say "i need to refer this one to branch officer" or whatever than to say what you think might be the right answer and get in to a tangle.
     
  30. equationgirl

    equationgirl Respect my existence or expect my resistance

    thanks Puddy_Tat that's good advice. I'll know by next Friday if I'm completely safe, none of the other union reps are safe either.
     

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