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Should I leave my Union

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Like many public sector unions my union, Public and Commercial Services (which despite its name is a civil service union) will be going out on Thursday. Despite voting against the strike I'll be out with them, on the belief if you join a club you accept their rules.

However, I'm seriously thinking about leaving it after twelve years in that I fundamentally disagree with its approach which I think is anti-democratic, anti-public and more importantly not in the best interests of its members. At the same time, I realise I'm a minority in the membership on this and leaving seems a bit like picking up my toys and going home in a sulk just because I don't like its (more or less) democratically mandated position

So do I stay or do go?
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What benefits do you get from being in their club?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Question is one of principles. Is what they are doing against your principles? If so then you should leave.

    Whilst I disagree that what they are doing is undemocratic or antipublic, I certainly think this isn't in the interests of their members.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Now this is just my opinion here, and it isnt true in all cases.

    However trade unions to me these days make me laugh, chiefs on spanking salaries chatting about hard done by their members are, and more often than not giving the impression that the worker in the union is oliver asking "please sir can I have some more" as they are hard done by, when in some (but not all) cases they already do pretty well for themselves.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Question is one of principles. Is what they are doing against your principles? If so then you should leave.

    The question is which principles?

    I think they are wrong so by that measure I should leave. But it is the will of the majority of members and as a believer in the democratic process wouldn't it be hypocritical to pack up my toys and leave cos I'm on the loosing side of the argument.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Theory or practice?

    In theory things like collective bargaining, protection against arbitrary management

    In practice... well I get to moan about how I think my union is a bit shit...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If the government weren't trying to shaft us every chance they got, then I'd agree with you. But with 4 family members all looking like they're going to be laid off because Cameron thinks spending several billion on bombing Libya is a better use of cash, then fuck them. If the public sector going on strike gets us what we want like it does the tube workers (£35k for driving a train anyone?) then why don't we do it???
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Maybe governments of the past made the mistake in giving teachers/civil servants pensions that were mega in the first place. Who are we to argue against people just trying to protect what they have already got.

    I tend to agree with unions when its about protecting rights and getting good deals for their members, but they need to be careful not to appear like they are just wanting "more more more".
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If your union are as much of a waste of space and money as some are then it's pretty straight forward. Of course you should.

    If they're any good, like some are, then of course not. If you don't agree with what they are doing, then leaving is probably the best course of action. Like you said, you join a club you stick by the rules, but if the rules or the club change then there's no reason to stay in that club.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yeah, you should leave your union if they're doing shit that you fundamentally disagree with. And if I were you I'd reconsider joining another one. Like most things born from honourable ideals you end up being beholden to an ideology rather than dealing with the reality.

    Bob 'I'm an Honest Workin' Man' Crow is a prime example of what unions breed these days. On £120k in 2010 before being given a 10% salary rise. Champagne Socialist doesn't even begin to cover him.

    Aladdin-esque enough for y'all? :D
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    If the government weren't trying to shaft us every chance they got, then I'd agree with you. But with 4 family members all looking like they're going to be laid off because Cameron thinks spending several billion on bombing Libya is a better use of cash, then fuck them. If the public sector going on strike gets us what we want like it does the tube workers (£35k for driving a train anyone?) then why don't we do it???

    More like £250m rather than billions

    http://fullfact.org/factchecks/libya_cost_260_million_ministry_of_defence_uk-2794

    However, striking won't get us anywhere and only hurts members and the public
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well considering there are thousands upon thousands more people in public sector jobs thanks to labour, then whilst personal circumstance might be painful, does the overall picture not highlight the fact that we are spending too much money?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yeah, you should leave your union if they're doing shit that you fundamentally disagree with. And if I were you I'd reconsider joining another one. Like most things born from honourable ideals you end up being beholden to an ideology rather than dealing with the reality.

    Bob 'I'm an Honest Workin' Man' Crow is a prime example of what unions breed these days. On £120k in 2010 before being given a 10% salary rise. Champagne Socialist doesn't even begin to cover him.

    Aladdin-esque enough for y'all? :D

    More Stargalaxay ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Interesting snippet about the strikes.

    http://oxfordstudent.com/2011/06/16/think-again-union-strikes/
    A general strike wouldn’t help the unions stop job losses or pay restrictions. Union leaders have forgotten the result of the Winter of Discontent. It didn’t lead to the unions getting their way. Rather they made the lives of the rest of the public so insufferable that they became hugely unpopular. A Labour lead in the polls evaporated and was replaced by a landslide Conservative victory which allowed Thatcher to crush the unions. A general strike today would be similar. The public would hate the unions, and rightly so. How could the NUT possibly portray a strike that would severely damage the prospects of their students as protecting the future of the country? How could the RMT possibly portray the immobilisation of the UK’s infrastructure as being in the interest of the UK’s economy? How could Unison possibly portray serious disruption to the NHS as protecting the weak and in need?
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    I think they are wrong so by that measure I should leave. But it is the will of the majority of members and as a believer in the democratic process wouldn't it be hypocritical to pack up my toys and leave cos I'm on the loosing side of the argument.
    I'm going to reply to just this, as an abstract question (not about this particular case).
    This is how democracy works: What the majority want happens. If you're in the minority and something else than what you do happens, you basically have 3 civilised options:
    1. Grumble and do nothing.
    2. Try to change some people's minds so when the question is asked again you'll be in the majority.
    3. If it's possible/allowed/viable, leave that place/group and try to find one that works the way you like it.
    (In your case, I guess (3) means be your own group.)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I haven't found PCS undemocratic at all, in my experience.

    If you don't want to strike, then don't. Nobody is forcing you to.

    If you don't like PCS, how much are you actively doing to change it? Are you involved with any groups or networks? Are you submitting motions to conference?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    G-Raffe wrote: »
    Now this is just my opinion here, and it isnt true in all cases.

    However trade unions to me these days make me laugh, chiefs on spanking salaries chatting about hard done by their members are, and more often than not giving the impression that the worker in the union is oliver asking "please sir can I have some more" as they are hard done by, when in some (but not all) cases they already do pretty well for themselves.
    You should read about some of the industrial action over DWP call centres, or cases of bullying...
    Maybe governments of the past made the mistake in giving teachers/civil servants pensions that were mega in the first place. Who are we to argue against people just trying to protect what they have already got.

    I tend to agree with unions when its about protecting rights and getting good deals for their members, but they need to be careful not to appear like they are just wanting "more more more".
    Yes, I can't wait to get my massive pension!

    The average public sector pension is around £5000-6000 (not my department though). Somebody on my pay band will be paying an extra £49 per month from my wages, working for longer and receiving less in the end. A pension is not a 'benefit' of a job, as it is something I am paying in to... Effectively, they're giving me a pay cut.

    Why should every worker not have a decent pension? Is it not incredibly fucked up that elderly people who have worked all their lives end up in poverty and die because they can't heat their home, or have shit health care?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Can you not opt out of your pension an pay into your own? Oh wait, then you might not have the employer contributions!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    However, striking won't get us anywhere and only hurts members and the public
    How is it hurting members of the public?

    Strikes have been successful before. RMT managed to get a member reinstated through industrial action. Striking saved the Civil Service Compensation Scheme twice, until those Tory wankers came in and tore it up.

    The problem is that the government needs to listen to the workers. We pay their taxes, they should answer to us. This government is laying people off left, right and centre... It is taking away services to help the most vulnerable in society, closing hospital wards, closing Remploy factories (Ok to be fair, Labour started that, but then they're essentially cut from the same cloth), they are attacking housing, child care... Fuck, the list could go on.

    So really... Who is hurting the public more?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    G-Raffe wrote: »
    Can you not opt out of your pension an pay into your own? Oh wait, then you might not have the employer contributions!
    Why should I have to leave the pension scheme?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Actually public sector workers kind of dont pay any tax when you think about it, if you are paid for by the government, you are more of a net drain on the nations finances unless you contributed 100% of your wages to tax.

    As for labour, didnt they start spending lots of money that we didnt have. Also how high would unemployment be if we didnt have all the public sector jobs that labour created?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Namaste wrote: »
    Why should I have to leave the pension scheme?

    Then you can contribute what you wish to.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    G-Raffe wrote: »
    Actually public sector workers kind of dont pay any tax when you think about it, if you are paid for by the government, you are more of a net drain on the nations finances unless you contributed 100% of your wages to tax.

    As for labour, didnt they start spending lots of money that we didnt have. Also how high would unemployment be if we didnt have all the public sector jobs that labour created?
    That doesn't make sense... ???
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    G-Raffe wrote: »
    Then you can contribute what you wish to.

    It's likely that I may have to pull out of my pension scheme because I can't afford it. :( Financially, it would be like going on strike every month. It's a piss take...

    Again I ask... Why shouldn't everybody have a decent pension, rather than a lucky few?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If you are public sector, your wages are provided for by the public sector, ie the govt.

    100% of your wage coming from the public sector, and 20% going back as tax (for example)

    Therefore the government coffers are down by the equivalent of -80% of your wage/salary.

    Private company pays a wage, the government is then up because of the tax they receive.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    G-Raffe wrote: »
    If you are public sector, your wages are provided for by the public sector, ie the govt.

    100% of your wage coming from the public sector, and 20% going back as tax (for example)

    Therefore the government coffers are down by the equivalent of -80% of your wage/salary.

    Private company pays a wage, the government is then up because of the tax they receive.
    Where are these taxes spent, if not being used as services for people, such as the NHS, welfare for those who need it, schools, defense ect?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Namaste wrote: »
    Where are these taxes spent, if not being used as services for people, such as the NHS, welfare for those who need it, schools, defense ect?

    The taxes are what the government had already given the public sector worker anyway. So why not just allow public sector workers to avoid tax, but pay them a lower wage?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    G-Raffe wrote: »
    The taxes are what the government had already given the public sector worker anyway. So why not just allow public sector workers to avoid tax, but pay them a lower wage?
    What would be the point in that?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Namaste wrote: »
    Where are these taxes spent, if not being used as services for people, such as the NHS, welfare for those who need it, schools, defense ect?

    Because the money that public sector workers pay in taxes towards these things, is money that the government already had to begin with!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I get what you're saying, but I'm guessing that would be much more of an arse to organise than just having one system for everyone. And you could guarantee there'd be one awkward bugger who didn't quite fit into one or the other.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I guess that all I'm saying is that when public sector workers mention about them paying taxes for NHS/Fire/Ambulance etc, the tax paid back to the government is really kind of a rebate back to the government, and it is private business that drives the tax revenue of the country in effect.
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