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Topic Title: Union membership for Software Engineer
Topic Summary: Which unions are relevant for software engineers and are they worth the money?
Created On: 01 September 2006 03:17 PM
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 01 September 2006 03:17 PM
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Posts: 1
Joined: 16 January 2002

I'm a software engineer and until very recently saw no benefit in me joining a trade union since if thought that I ever didn't like my working conditions I'd simply leave. Then, the company I work for got into financial difficulties, people resigned, there was talk of sueing and lawyers and I realised pretty quickly that I didn't know anything about my rights. A quick trip to the Citizen's Advice Bureau provided me with good advice (and I could have also called IET Connect if only I'd remembered it existed) but should there be any comeback I couldn't defend myself against company lawyers (not that I've done anything wrong, I might add!).

So, my questions are:

Does anyone belong to a union?
If so, which one?
And is it worth it, i.e. do they represent IT professionals well?


 26 September 2006 03:54 AM
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Joined: 07 June 2006

Legal representation works both ways. It could be you in dispute with your employer, or someone you employ in dispute with you. You are also subject to a considerable amount of safety legislation, and could be prosecuted by HSE, Environmental Agency, DTI or other statutory bodies and enforcers. Representing yourself in a legal dispute is possible, but requires a considerable amount of experience and self confidence so is not suited to everyone, which is why Trade Union membership is useful.
Possibly the best Trade Union for professional engineers is PROSPECT - see - which represents engineers in a variety of disciplines. Prospect and other Trade unions also do rather more than negotiating terms and conditions. They also make representations to government on many social, environmental and educational aspects related to their members interests, and their magazines, web-sites, and other publications often contain excellent information on legislation and technical matters.
They will also advise and assist members and their families in the event of serious long term injury, or bereavement.
 04 January 2007 12:28 PM
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Joined: 04 September 2003

Yes, I am a member of a union. It cost just under £10 per month. Nobody wants to be in dispute with their employeer but it happens. The union is in a better position than me to resolve it. Having worked for some right "egos" in the past it would have helped if I was a member then.

 09 March 2012 12:52 AM
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Joined: 09 March 2012

There had to be a true Professional Union of Software Engineering industry, and now there is.
The website "theiet" removes links in the messages posted here, therefore find us on LinkedIn: group Professional Union of Software Engineers. To let me add you to the group conversation in Skype, add ID: sarge.rogatch

Edited: 09 March 2012 at 12:59 AM by rsarge

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