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Time for stronger workplace Unions?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by install, Jul 14, 2020.

  1. install

    install Star commenter

    Is it time for stronger unions in the UK public sector? According to this it may be;

    ‘The French government has agreed to give pay rises worth €8bn (£7.2bn; $9bn) to health workers, as it hailed their role in fighting coronavirus.

    The deal was signed with trade unions on Monday after seven weeks of fraught negotiations.

    Health workers have been revered as heroes during the pandemic with regular displays of public appreciation.

    But they wanted more than recognition and have held protests to demand pay rises and better funding for hospitals.

    Some demonstrators were fined for breaking social-distancing rules. More than 200,000 infections and 30,000 deaths have been recorded in France, one of Europe's worst-hit countries.

    Now the government has reached an agreement on pay that will see the wages of health workers rise by €183 a month on average.

    The agreement, which most trade unions have signed up to, was hailed by the new French Prime Minister, Jean Castex, as a "historic moment for our health system".

    "This is first of all recognition of those who have been on the front line in the fight against this epidemic," Mr Castex said at a signing ceremony.

    "It's also a way of catching up the delay for each and every one - including perhaps myself - has their share of responsibility."
    Aquamarina1234 likes this.
  2. BigFrankEM

    BigFrankEM Established commenter

    English state school teachers, with a few honourable exceptions, "don't do" trade unions.

    [Why not?

    i) It's un-English

    ii) It's "naff"

    iii) They're frit.]
    nervousned likes this.
  3. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    The Tube train drivers union has been immense. Even Scargill would admit that :p
  4. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    Or alternatively the management have been weak and have allowed the rates of pay to be driven upwards.
    Anecdotal evidence from several LAs that disciplinary hearings and dismissals, which would be fully justified, have been avoided because management are afraid of union backlash. Lack of management courage has led to incompetent staff, or worse, remaining in post.
    dumpty likes this.
  5. BigFrankEM

    BigFrankEM Established commenter

    A: "England"?


    B: Though it is now the best part of a decade since I was freed from the chalkFace, this bears no relation to the frequently by turns vicious and malevolent SMT which, again with honourable exceptions, were the order of the day in the previous 35 years.

    Incompetent? Yes
    monicabilongame likes this.
  6. Aquamarina1234

    Aquamarina1234 Star commenter

    Qu'est-ce que c'est "frit"?
  7. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    In the past, powerful unions acted irresponsibly.
    Had they been more sensible they would have maintained their strength and influence.
    With power comes responsibility, a lesson from the past that we should all learn.
    I have not forgotten the Teachers unions refusing to support FE Lecturers unions when the Government imposed a form of privatization called Incorporation on FE. Teachers unions were told at that time by the FE unions, what would eventually happen to them and they ignored them.
  8. BigFrankEM

    BigFrankEM Established commenter

    A madMaggie HoC original !

    (From her long forgotten and psychologically eliminated small town childhood)

    "Afraid/ fearful"
    Aquamarina1234 likes this.
  9. costermonger

    costermonger Occasional commenter

    A working union would be excellent, in teaching and everywhere else. In schools the unions are so toothless that malevolent management getting away with murder, almost literally.
    install likes this.
  10. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    Yes England but not teaching, not schools.
    install likes this.
  11. burajda

    burajda Star commenter

    One fact remains, the French NHS funding crisis continues. Also, I think few French workers are actually members of unions and TU officials are much more involved in management decision making. The legal and statutory environment that unions operate in is very different to here.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2020
    install and Burndenpark like this.
  12. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    If teachers had had one union it might have helped.
    install likes this.
  13. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    And when the NUT and ATL voted for their merger, less than 25% bothered to vote.
    install likes this.
  14. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    I dont think any members voted when the NAS and the UWT merged in 1976. It happened as a result of the Sex Discrimination Act. I cannot recall having a vote as a member of the NAS.
    install likes this.
  15. install

    install Star commenter

    Agree completely. One Union would have more clout. For me the divide between ht and teacher Unions is also a problem.
  16. install

    install Star commenter

    Yes there is a level of apathy or steering clear for some. And that in itself creates another original problem in my view.
  17. install

    install Star commenter

    In my experience I have seen that with some Union Reps. Although most are good. Some are relentlessly targeted or bullied, whilst others play the head’s tune without talking to the staff.

    The Gvt don’t help by allowing some Academies to not recognise Union representation.
  18. BigFrankEM

    BigFrankEM Established commenter

    I share that memory. I seem to remember attending the NAS conference in Digbeth Town Hall that summer to agree the change.

    Though I am reasonably sure that in strict legal terms it was not a merger as such but rather a takeover of the UWT by the NAS

    (As always, the devil is in the detail.)

    Certainly I also recall that the UWT had very healthy reserves of cash at the time, though the passage of the SDA was indeed the main motivator for change.
    nomad likes this.
  19. BigFrankEM

    BigFrankEM Established commenter

    You originally wrote "LA" which I mistakenly interpreted as "LEA" and based my post on this error.

    Mea culpa.
  20. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    Brief summary. Dreadful standards. Line manager and LM's manager not prepared to act, fearing union and / or tribunal. Escalated to professional registry. Struck off, registry very willing to act.

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