Hello and good morning :-)
Im looking to join a union (to cover my own back)
Does anyone know of a union that will work all over the UK? (as i dont wish to stay in plymouth all my life)
If you tell me the main Cons and Pros please
(all posts will get a "Thanks")
It really depends on what you want out of your Union Membership. All will cover your back but may differ in the amount of cover and costs available. Do you support Strike action should it come about or would a non striking Union be more suitable?
Most Unions have national coverage, although policies may be different in Scotland, Wales and NI compared to England.
Unison, GMB and Voice are popular with school support staff if that helps you start.
A significant number of support staff join either GMB or Unison, both are National Trade Unions. I think support for both Unions is patchy across the country, with more members (generally) in the North than the South.
Being a member of a trade union is a two-way thing, you have to support the union if you want the union to support you.
I suggest you speak to local colleagues who are union members, take a look at the Union websites & see what they have to say. You will find Union discussion threads on Edugeek which are very polarised because of peoples personal experiences, they are not always representative of the national picture.
I chose Unison, as did one of the technicians who works for me. The other technician is in the GMB. I believe Unison has traditionally been more 'white-collar' orientated in the past than the GMB.
Reading Laserblazer's post reminds me that some of the Voice subscription costs can be claimed back from the tax man. UNISON (In education) are unable to do so. I don't know about the others but is worth taking into consideration when choosing.
Edit* I found the list from the tax office
Last edited by alan-d; 23rd June 2011 at 08:35 AM.
I dont really want to be going on strick.. @lazerblazer Will they cover me all over the uk? Im tied up at work so cant check the link at the moment
It also depends on whether you work in a state school or an in independent school - some unions are very specifically for state sector employees.
I dont want to blaim it back... I dont want to pay to much :-(
I know Unions can be good/bad depending on where you live, and what your reps are like. I used to be with Unison but left them for two reasons mainly:
1) They didn't move a finger when I requested assistance from them, twice
2) They really made a hash of the last strike
Like I said though, this is my experience of my area reps, and may not represent Unison as a whole.
So I left them, and joined a non-striking union, Voice. I haven't needed to ask for assistance with anything yet apart from a couple of emails which they were very quick to answer my questions. Also, the non-striking side appeals to me now, not because I'm tight and don't want to drop pay. The reason I don't want to strike is that I feel todays strikes are worth nothing - we're fighting over little pay rises here, and having to work until 66 and so on. My pops went on strike for over 18 months while raising 3 boys, not because he wanted a silly little pay rise - he was striking to try and save his job. To say it another way I wake up thankful I have a job, and a good one at that, each morning and that is why I will no longer strike over a 1.5% rise or whatever.
I can recommend Unison. Strong organisation and prepared to fight for its members. Your monthly contribution will be based on your earnings.
I'm trying to join voice but it won't let me get past the dates for qualifying and starting work - bit irrelevant really as I qualified a long long time ago. And as for starting work - starting work as what? In education or just anywhere? Maybe I just can't cope today
Voice always seemed good for me but never had to use them for anything major.
Ok im a bit of a novice when it comes to unions and what not and the teachers strike got me thinking. Being IT support staff which union is best to go about it no point in starting a new thread since its being kinda answered here.
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