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

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

  1. Rutita1

    Rutita1 Scum with no integrity, apparently.

    Bump... A couple of Union related thoughts.

    Has anyone here gone on from workplace rep to working at their local branch? If so how did you go about it and how was it?

    Also...I've got my eye on this ACAS Mediation course
    It's pricey though... Anyone done similar? How was it?
  2. Guineveretoo

    Guineveretoo Mostly bewildered

    I started off as a workplace rep, progressed through working for my branch then my union, and have been a National Officer of a union since 1999.

    What do you need to know? :)

    I have not been on that mediation course, but I know others who have and who rate it. I guess it depends whether you will need to act as a mediator - if so, go on the course :)
  3. Lord Camomile

    Lord Camomile Lemonade socialist

    Wasn't until this point that I realised we were talking about mediation, not meditation :oops:

    I did think it was a bit of an odd course for ACAS to offer, but wellbeing and mindfulness are very in right now... :hmm:
  4. equationgirl

    equationgirl Respect my existence or expect my resistance

    The redundancy exercise was definitely a baptism of fire. There are cases going to tribunal, supported by the union. It was hard work but I learnt a lot.
    Rutita1, Riklet, Almor and 2 others like this.
  5. Lord Camomile

    Lord Camomile Lemonade socialist

    For Young Workers' Month we're looking to organise a film screening. Current front runner is The Divide, but while this is a very good film that raises a lot of issues, I'm not sure how much it talks directly to issues faced by young people today. Does anyone have any other suggestions for films that focus a bit more on issues facing those 27 and under?
  6. Rutita1

    Rutita1 Scum with no integrity, apparently.

    Guineveretoo Thanks for this reply...sorry I missed it, have been busy...

    I suppose I am just curious about other people's progression routes from wp rep to working at the local branch...(considering my own future etc.)..also I like the look of that course and think it would be a useful bit of CPD... :hmm:
  7. Guineveretoo

    Guineveretoo Mostly bewildered

    In my case, it happened pretty quickly, as something I was particularly interested in was equal opportunities, so i asked who the EO Officer was and was told there wasn't one - did I want to take it on. So I did.

    It kind of went from there.

    It was all in my own time initially - I used up a lot of my annual leave on union stuff - but, after a while, I was taking on more and more stuff and I secured an agreement where I would work half time for the union and half time for the council.

    Then the Branch Secretary retired and there was no-one to take that on, so I did that, on top of the other union stuff I was doing, and became a full timer, still on release from the Council.

    I did that for about 5 years, I think. 10 years in total anyway, and then started applying for full time union positions.
    Rutita1 likes this.
  8. Rutita1

    Rutita1 Scum with no integrity, apparently.

    Union people....have a look at this...a teacher friend of mine is talking about it over on FB....gonna use this as a opportunity to learn.

    Obviously employers want to stop employees abusing the 'sickness abscence' as a way of avoiding legitimate capability issues but WTAF?...blanket-management-will-investigate-and-decide? :eek::hmm::mad:

  9. Guineveretoo

    Guineveretoo Mostly bewildered

    That is fucking outrageous! Is it being challenged?
  10. Rutita1

    Rutita1 Scum with no integrity, apparently.

    I can only go by my mates timelime convo...she can't name the school obviously so it isn't where she works....she has also said this:

    Everyone reading it is losing their shit obviously but I am interested in how this plays out and what statuatory law/rights stuff+ good pracitce advice can be and is used to counter such a blatant stitchup!
  11. Riklet

    Riklet procrastinación

    edit: I've started a new thread. Tips, ideas, suggestions and ideas welcome there or by PM.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
  12. Rutita1

    Rutita1 Scum with no integrity, apparently.

    Union people :cool:

    Are you a member of any official or unofficical union related meet up groups/networks?

    Seems to me a great way to meet others involved in union bizniz, share thoughts and experiences, chew the fat on current issues etc....

    Does such a thing exist for you/where you are?
  13. Lord Camomile

    Lord Camomile Lemonade socialist

    I've been trying to build some connections among London university branches; very early days yet.

    Think these are more online than you're looking for, but might be useful to someone else:

    unionreps.org.uk - forum, probably most similar to what you're after
    tuceducation.org.uk - more about learning, but think you can still chat to others
    climbingframe.unionlearn.org.uk - as above

    There doesn't seem to be a whoooooole lot of union-based online activity, but I may just be looking in the wrong places.

    Would definitely be interested in meet-up type things. I've been thinking about doing a 'reps case studies' group, where each meet up you work through a particular case or two to build up experience and advice without using live ammo, so to speak. Nothing's come of it yet, of course...
    equationgirl and Rutita1 like this.
  14. Rutita1

    Rutita1 Scum with no integrity, apparently.

    Thanks for that LC. :) I will take a look at those links tonight at home as at work now.

    Just to say, a 'reps case studies' group sounds great and definately the kind of helpful, interesting, learning opportunity I have a taste for. The face to face thing is also much more my style and it reduces the platform for anonymous grandstanders and/or trolls.

    I have been thinking a lot about this stuff lately, fresh from another week's rep training last week and just generally because in between particular cases at work it all seems to get a bit dry even if the work around policy review/change etc seems to be infinite.

    I have started my own networking group for community based enterprise and develop ment projects in the past and that proved really useful and popular with those that participated so I know this approach can definitely work.

    Some of the people I met on the latest course I did expressed an interest in this kind of thing too so I reckon it has legs.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  15. Duncan2

    Duncan2 Well-Known Member

    Couldn't think where to mention this but it is sort of union-related and might be of interest to someone on here.Back in 2013 i got dismissed after thirteen years of employment with an American multi-national for using the word "bull-shit".I went to a tribunal and spent a fair bit of time preparing some kind of a case,a Schedule of Loss and such-like.Anyway it came to nothing because fees had just been introduced and my dead-line to pay a seven hundred quid hearing fee came and went.
    Much later the govt's decision to impose fees was found to have been unlawful and I had thought I might apply to the Tribunal for a refund of an initial payment of 150 quid to launch my case for unfair dismissal.I now have a letter from the Tribunal saying that,if I want,they will reinstate the claim i originally made four years ago against my then employer?If i can find the gargantuan dossier i compiled-happy days!
    Miss-Shelf, doodlelogic, A380 and 6 others like this.
  16. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    is there any life in the local borough TUCs?
    GLATUC Links to London TUC's
    I've heard that some are quite active.
    i think any card carrying union member is welcome in their local TUC branch?
  17. Lord Camomile

    Lord Camomile Lemonade socialist

    Does anyone have any experience of cross-branch organising?

    I'm working on setting up a network between branches based in London unis. While I have a whole host of ideas it's always good to hear from people who've been there, done that, and know what works, what people forget, what people shouldn't bother with, etc :cool:
  18. Lord Camomile

    Lord Camomile Lemonade socialist

    One of our Young Workers Month events last month was a panel discussion, and one of the things that really struck out to me was when one guy, mid-20s, who works for the student union said lots of young people can't spend money on "just in case" stuff like unions, insurance, savings, etc - they're too busy dealing with "right now" expenses.

    It got me wondering how unions could provide more value for money beyond the "just in case" stuff, to maybe make trade unions a bit more relevant and worth the monthly 'subscription'.

    Thoughts on the back of a ballot paper, please ;)
    muscovyduck likes this.
  19. Duncan2

    Duncan2 Well-Known Member

    If your employer is minded to discipline her employee-is there any limit to the number of pre-disciplinary "investigation" hearings she can require him or her to attend withot prior notice and without a union or other representative?I am currently between my third and fourth such hearings and on each occasion there has been two of them and one of me.At the fourth hearing they are to tell me whether there will be a formal hearing in which case it will be on notice and I will be able to take a rep along.This will be the disciplinary itself.It is already apparent that their recollection of the investigation meetings is at variance with mine and also that it is these subsequent discussions which are to be the focus of the disciplinary.[The original offence ( which got me removed from a meeting) was suggesting that voter apathy re employee of the month was related to not having had a pay rise again].Is this fair?
  20. Lord Camomile

    Lord Camomile Lemonade socialist

    Does anyone know 'owt about the Women's Strike (on 08 March, International Women's Day) and the legalities around striking? Got some people who are interested but I was under the understanding that for strikes it has to be a dispute your union is directly involved in?

    Is it just a case of taking leave/calling in sick?
  21. crossthebreeze

    crossthebreeze Well-Known Member

    Yes - unless they want to organise (and take the risk for - though there is a strike fund meant to being organised) a wildcat walkout or something:
    from here: "On 8 March 2018 women will strike and refuse to work. We will walk out of our kitchens, universities, brothels, schools, bedrooms, factories, hospitals and offices. We will strike from all the work we do, whether it is paid or unpaid. If you can strike on 8 March, do. If you need to book the day off work, do it now. Or call in sick on the day. Withdraw all the housework and domestic work you do everyday for free. If you have a partner, get them to care for the kids or make breakfast."
    Lord Camomile likes this.
  22. Guineveretoo

    Guineveretoo Mostly bewildered

    On 8 March this year my work, and that of quite a few other women, will take me to the TUC Women’s Conference. I really don’t want to withdraw my labour that day.
    crossthebreeze likes this.
  23. Lord Camomile

    Lord Camomile Lemonade socialist

    Is that when the TUC Women's Conference is this year? I tried googling last week but could only find info about previous ones :confused:
    Guineveretoo likes this.
  24. Guineveretoo

    Guineveretoo Mostly bewildered

    Yes. It’s usually in the same week as International Women’s Day. On the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of that week.
  25. Lord Camomile

    Lord Camomile Lemonade socialist

    Is there any info online?! Would like to promote it to our members, if possible.
  26. Guineveretoo

    Guineveretoo Mostly bewildered

    I don't think the website is very well maintained these days - not a priority in a time of cuts, I suspect :(

    I will have a look later and see what I can find.

    it is a delegate conference - information is sent to the unions directly, and delegates and visitors have to be signed off by your General Secretary.

    And the deadline for delegates has passed, I am afraid. If you tell me which union you are, I could probably let you know who your union contact is :)
  27. Lord Camomile

    Lord Camomile Lemonade socialist

    I'm UNISON. Our branch sec is pretty snowed under at the moment with casework plus a fairly substantial campaign to bring our outsourced cleaners in-house, so this 'non-vital' stuff often slips through the net.

    I'm starting to try and pick that sort of thing up, but it's early days and a lot of work to do.
  28. Guineveretoo

    Guineveretoo Mostly bewildered

    I meant at a national level.

    When I was a member of UNISON, you used to determine your women's conference delegation through the national women's committee, but also through the regional conferences.

    You have quite a big delegation, but not enough for branch people to be able to go, other than through the union bureaucracy.

    You have regional women's officers as well as the national contact, actually, so it is all a bit complicated and difficult for ordinary members to find out about these events and to get along to them, because, by necessity, a large union has a complex bureaucracy.
  29. Lord Camomile

    Lord Camomile Lemonade socialist

    ...so I am learning ;)

    I do get rather turned about and confuzzled by all the different levels, roles and other things involved from branch right up to national level. I'm trying to get my head round it though so I can be of more use to the branch, and hopefully act as something of a 'translator' for other branch members, trying to make the whole thing a bit more accessible and get them more engaged.
  30. Guineveretoo

    Guineveretoo Mostly bewildered

    You have my sympathy!

    When I was a branch person for Nalgo then UNISON, we focussed on local things and got ourselves involved with the Trades Union Councils and things, which seemed a good way to get involved in the wider movement. I know they are mixed as well, in terms of how effective they are, but they get to send Observers to TUC conferences as well, and they often struggle to find anyone interested in attending, so that might be something to talk to your members about.

    Trade Union Councils are local enough that they seem relevant to ordinary members, as it were.

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