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Topic Title: Fees nearing £200 per annum
Topic Summary: Benefits of membership for 2013 ?
Created On: 30 November 2012 10:02 AM
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 30 November 2012 10:02 AM
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nickthorne

Posts: 4
Joined: 05 November 2002

In 2011, membership fee was £152 and ECUK reg £31.
In 2013 it is £164 and £33.50 respectively. Quite an increase.

We are now pushing annual subs to a shade off the £200 mark.

£200 buys a lot of other useful things for my business. E.g. a year's PI/PL insurance, FSB membership, LinkedIn advanced membership etc etc.

It is not possible to only pay the EC annual fee I am told by the membership helpline.

I have been a member for 23 years (full for the last 14). So that is a lot of subs over the years. There hasn't been much improvement of engineer's lot in the last 20 or so years. In fact, peak earnings for many of my peers were during the 'DotCom' boom. Since then offshoring & globalisation certainly have taken a heavy toll in keeping wages subdued.

So, does anyone fancy a discussion about the benefits of spending another £200 ?

BTW, if it was £100 then I wouldn't be posting this message.
 30 November 2012 10:51 AM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

Originally posted by: nickthorne
There hasn't been much improvement of engineer's lot in the last 20 or so years. In fact, peak earnings for many of my peers were during the 'DotCom' boom. Since then offshoring & globalisation certainly have taken a heavy toll in keeping wages subdued.

Not quite sure what you're suggesting here, is it
a) that this investment in fees should have resulted in higher salaries or
b) that lower salaries makes it hard to afford the fees?

If b) then I'd agree, if a) then I wouldn't - the IET isn't a trade union!

Thanks,

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 30 November 2012 11:09 AM
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nickthorne

Posts: 4
Joined: 05 November 2002

Andy,

Mainly b)

I am asking the question as to why the fees are rising above the rate of inflation, without a step increase in membership benefits ?

There are other institutions one can join (and maintain ECUK membership through) that are now quite a bit less money.

Regarding a) why not ? Trade Union of sorts is a subset of the activities.
Isn't looking after member's interests a core role of the institution ?
 30 November 2012 12:10 PM
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DavidParr

Posts: 242
Joined: 19 April 2002

I would say that membership fees are probably rising in line with the true rate of inflation. The problem is that RPI and CPI figures are ruthlessly manipulated for political reasons.

I can understand that many people are finding inflation financially tough to deal with - I certainly am!

-------------------------
David Parr BSc.CEng MIET
PRA
 03 December 2012 03:19 PM
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chris1982

Posts: 35
Joined: 09 August 2007

as said in another thread, if there was an option to have a discounted membership where the member didn't take the magazine then I would be interested in that, i know i am not alone in some issues left sitting collecting dust and just skim through the magazine when i do read it
 03 December 2012 03:56 PM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

Originally posted by: nickthorne
Regarding a) why not ? Trade Union of sorts is a subset of the activities. Isn't looking after member's interests a core role of the institution ?

As far as I understand it it isn't, see Vision and Mission:
Vision
Leading the development of an international engineering and technology community, sharing and advancing knowledge to enhance people's lives.

Mission
To build an open, flexible and global knowledge network supported by individuals, companies and institutions and facilitated by the IET and its members.

Key facts
The IET is a world leading professional organisation sharing and advancing knowledge to promote science, engineering and technology across the world. A professional home for life for engineers and technicians, and a trusted source of essential engineering intelligence.

OK, I suppose you could say you can't advance knowledge without engineers being properly paid, but then it could equally be argued that that you can't advance knowledge without the employers being profitable. And you could argue what a "professional home for life" means, but it seems pretty clear from reading through the IETs info (and attending the Volunteers' conference) that this is supporting members knowledge and skills, not their employment contracts.

In any case, semantics of particular statements aside, it's pretty clear that the Engineering Institutes/Institutions see their role as centres of technical authority, not as member led trade unions.

Unfortunately I personally feel that the IET isn't as much of a centre of technical authority as it should be either - I certainly don't feel that my membership gives me access to a wealth of technical information (and yes, I have tried over many years).

But in terms of which institution it is best to join, only the individual member can decide. Working in the field of electronics I don't really feel there is much choice if you want professional accreditation.

Originally posted by: chris1982
If there was an option to have a discounted membership where the member didn't take the magazine then I would be interested in that.

Totally agree, even though I don't pay my own membership fees!

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 04 December 2012 10:09 PM
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nm234

Posts: 35
Joined: 19 March 2008

I have just recently got my CEng this year, do we have to pay £33 to hold onto our CEng title? or is this an IET membership charge to maintain the CEng title on their databases?

Because everything is become falsely expensive, and does not represent true value. If you know what I mean. We live in this consultancy clientèle "bull$%t" fictitious fallacy engineering industry in the UK, trying to pay to retain out names and titles is ridiculous!!!.

I know many high profile colleagues of mine who left the IET IEEE and so on so forth membership traps because of this very reason. THEY DON'T PROTECT the term "ENGINEER".

Government I guess are happy because they can pay a Power Systems Doctor the same as an electrician, but yet half of the power engineers in the UK are foreign imports who get their VISA's without question at Heathrow Airport just so that they can pay us less. And they wonder why we leave the UK!!! 70k tax free in Qatar, yes please!

I'm seriously worried and concerned about keep my membership!

nm234
BEng(Hons), MSc, CEng, PhD, (MIET?)
 05 December 2012 10:05 AM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

Originally posted by: nm234
I have just recently got my CEng this year, do we have to pay £33 to hold onto our CEng title?

Yes, the title is only valid as long as you keep up your EC fees and IET membership.

Regarding wages, the UK is pretty much as close to a free market as you are going to get, protection of jobs to keep wages high died out from 4th May 1979. Wages are now nothing to do with protection of job titles, I think we all know that the highest paid people in this country work in the finance sector, which many would argue is precisely because it is unregulated! (Not that that has neccesarily been a good thing...)

And remember the IET does not consider itself a UK institution, it sees its role as supporting the engineering community world wide. So it should be supporting the free movement of overseas engineers into the UK - and those in the UK to work elsewhere.

As I said above, don't stay in the IET expecting it to act like a trade union, it won't (and under its charter it probably can't?).

Reasons to stay in: 1) to keep up your professional registration, 2) for the value of member services, 3) to support the wider engineering community. It's up to each individual to decide whether the value of these is worth the fees or not to them.

Personally I stay a member because a) the CEng title is still slightly useful to me and b) my company pays my fees anyway. I have also been very active as an IET volunteer, but if I left I'd just become active in something else, so that's not a real incentive.

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 05 December 2012 01:52 PM
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ectophile

Posts: 544
Joined: 17 September 2001

You have to pay a yearly fee to the EC to keep your title. But the EC only allow you to register through an institution, so that means you have to pay their membership fees as well.

You can transfer to another UK-based institution (but not the IEEE since that's American), and take your CEng with you.

The IET or the EC don't protect the term "engineer" since they don't own it. Anyone can call themselves an engineer, and the UK government has shown no inclination to regulate the title.

The EC does control the titles "chartered engineer", "incorporated engineer" and "engineering technician".

-------------------------
S P Barker BSc PhD MIET
 05 December 2012 04:51 PM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

Originally posted by: ectophile
The EC does control the titles "chartered engineer", "incorporated engineer" and "engineering technician".

And these are protected by law. So if you want a legally protected title you pay yer money!! (Fair enough.)

There is an excellent description of this issue on the EC site http://www.engc.org.uk/statusofengineers.aspx In particular

Shouldn't the Engineering Council protect the status and interests of its registrants?

It does, through the award and protection of its professional titles. These titles are protected by law (stemming from the Engineering Council's Royal Charter & Byelaws) and unauthorised use of them is pursued through the courts. The Engineering Council and its licensed Professional Engineering Institutions are vigilant in this matter. It follows that it is incumbent upon individual registrants to bring all suspected cases of misuse to the notification of their respective PEIs


-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 06 December 2012 02:46 AM
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nm234

Posts: 35
Joined: 19 March 2008

Then why do doctors not have to pay to hold onto "Dr" "MD" "PhD" but an engineer has to pay to hold onto "Chartered", it seems completely irrational?
 06 December 2012 08:49 AM
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ectophile

Posts: 544
Joined: 17 September 2001

Originally posted by: nm234

Then why do doctors not have to pay to hold onto "Dr" "MD" "PhD" but an engineer has to pay to hold onto "Chartered", it seems completely irrational?


Before you start complaining too loudly about the £33 fee to keep the "Chartered Engineer" title, I suggest you have a look at this page GMC fees. Being a doctor isn't cheap.

Now, I can call myself "doctor" because I have a PhD, but I don't think the GMC would be too impressed if I started up a medical practice. But I can't call myself a "Chartered Engineer" because I'm not (yet).

-------------------------
S P Barker BSc PhD MIET
 06 December 2012 11:12 AM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

And also http://www.gmc-uk.org/doctors/licensing.asp

Same applies to some safety critical engineering roles: whatever your degree in engineering you can't work in railway signalling design unless you are IRSE licensed. I believe the same applies in areas of aeronautics.

In the end if you don't want to pay the £200 you don't have to. But if you apply for a job that requires ongoing approval* of technical competence (i.e. CEng / IEng) then you won't be eligible. It's your choice, and exactly the same as in all other professions: except that you are far more likely as an engineer to be able to practice as an engineer without certification than you would in any other profession. So I'm not quite sure what the complaint is!

A good complaint would be why CEng / IEng is not continually assessed, i.e. we should all be regularly giving the IET / EC evidence that we are still working at CEng / IEng level. But I'm glad we don't have to (Only because life's busy enough.)

* That's what you're paying for

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert

Edited: 06 December 2012 at 11:23 AM by amillar
 08 December 2012 09:28 AM
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jencam

Posts: 608
Joined: 06 May 2007

Originally posted by: nickthorne
So, does anyone fancy a discussion about the benefits of spending another £200 ?


Any ideas on exactly where the money goes? Has the IET become another Trafalgar Club?

Vision

Leading the development of an international engineering and technology community, sharing and advancing knowledge to enhance people's lives.

Mission

To build an open, flexible and global knowledge network supported by individuals, companies and institutions and facilitated by the IET and its members.

Key facts

The IET is a world leading professional organisation sharing and advancing knowledge to promote science, engineering and technology across the world. A professional home for life for engineers and technicians, and a trusted source of essential engineering intelligence.


The internet has rendered this function of the IET almost obsolete. There are plenty of high quality engineering discussion forums where engineers talk technical that do not cost a penny to join.

Originally posted by: nickthorne
Regarding a) why not ? Trade Union of sorts is a subset of the activities.

Isn't looking after member's interests a core role of the institution ?


Originally posted by: amillar
In the end if you don't want to pay the £200 you don't have to. But if you apply for a job that requires ongoing approval* of technical competence (i.e. CEng / IEng) then you won't be eligible. It's your choice, and exactly the same as in all other professions: except that you are far more likely as an engineer to be able to practice as an engineer without certification than you would in any other profession. So I'm not quite sure what the complaint is!


Some time ago my son was discussing the IET with a former member who said that people usually get suckered into it when they start at university where they usually have no idea of what it is and what it isn't.

The basic simple explanation is that if your job requires that you have certain letters after your name or your employer insists that you join the IET, then join. If not, then it probably isn't worth bothering. This is what the IET isn't:

1. A trade union. It probably can't become one or offer many of the services of a trade union unless it first deregisters as a charity.

2. An organisation that stands up for the interests of British engineers and the development of the engineering industry in Britain - often in the face of globalisation. The IET is a global organisation; it believes in the globalisation of the economy; it wholeheartedly opposes protectionism; it does not mind if the entire British electronics industry is driven to extinction and British engineers spend the rest of their working lives cleaning toilets so long as it gets it membership fees from engineers living somewhere else in the world.

3. A guild for engineers. The IET plays a completely different game from that played by the Programmers Guild or the American Engineering Association.

The conclusion is if you want a trade union, or a guild, or an organisation that stands up for the interests of British engineers, then you would be much more successful starting such an outfit from scratch rather than trying to reform the IET into what it isn't.
 08 December 2012 10:06 AM
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DavidParr

Posts: 242
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Originally posted by: jencam

The basic simple explanation is that if your job requires that you have certain letters after your name or your employer insists that you join the IET, then join. If not, then it probably isn't worth bothering. This is what the IET isn't:

1. A trade union. It probably can't become one or offer many of the services of a trade union unless it first deregisters as a charity.

2. An organisation that stands up for the interests of British engineers and the development of the engineering industry in Britain - often in the face of globalisation. The IET is a global organisation; it believes in the globalisation of the economy; it wholeheartedly opposes protectionism; it does not mind if the entire British electronics industry is driven to extinction and British engineers spend the rest of their working lives cleaning toilets so long as it gets it membership fees from engineers living somewhere else in the world.

3. A guild for engineers. The IET plays a completely different game from that played by the Programmers Guild or the American Engineering Association.

The conclusion is if you want a trade union, or a guild, or an organisation that stands up for the interests of British engineers, then you would be much more successful starting such an outfit from scratch rather than trying to reform the IET into what it isn't.


I agree with point 1, can't really comment on 3. but would disagree strongly with point 2.

The IET is a global organisation, and is making inroads into gaining membership in places like India and China, however it does stand up for the interest of British Engineers and is putting a huge amount of effort into encouraging young people in this country to look at engineering as a career. It has increasing influence with the decision makers and is working hard to get the message across about just how vital it is that engineering is supported.

I believe that our country's future depends upon this message getting through, and I hope the IET succeeds for al our sakes. Let us support our institution because we are at a critical point.

We could engineer our way out of this recession. We wont "bank" our way out of it this time!!

[Off soap box]

Regards,

-------------------------
David Parr BSc.CEng MIET
PRA
 08 December 2012 01:13 PM
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hamishbell

Posts: 287
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Regarding Item 3: Both of the organizations quoted seem to have rather out of date websites with latest news being 2009 in one case and dates of 1996 in another. Not a good example of a resilient, on-going operation compared with the IEE/IET one-hundred and forty years of life.
Regards
Hamish

-------------------------
Hamish V Bell, BSc, CEng, FIET, FCQI, CQP
2007 - 2010, Vice President and Trustee
 10 December 2012 08:24 AM
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jencam

Posts: 608
Joined: 06 May 2007

Originally posted by: DavidParr
however it does stand up for the interest of British Engineers and is putting a huge amount of effort into encouraging young people in this country to look at engineering as a career.


Encouraging them to look at a career that is vulnerable to being lost from the UK due to globalisation and outsourcing. There are already more than enough unemployed and badly underemployed engineers and software developers in the UK at the moment with no signs that the situation will improve over the next 10 or so years.

You would be surprised how many former engineers there are in the home education movement who are critical of an academic education and feel that if their children follow in their footsteps then they could be on a road to unemployment or badly paid unskilled jobs. There is no guarantee that home education will lead to riches but they say a traditional academic education doesn't either.

My own background is economics rather than engineering but I'm aware that globalisation has changed the game to the point where if a job can be offshored then it will be.

It has increasing influence with the decision makers and is working hard to get the message across about just how vital it is that engineering is supported.


The IET steadfastly refuses to call for protectionism or to stop companies offshoring work to low wage countries. A significant proportion of its calls are for better education despite the IET not maintaining a list of electronic engineering qualifications.

our institution


Our institution? It is estimated that about half of all people eligible for IET membership in the UK are not members.

We could engineer our way out of this recession. We wont "bank" our way out of it this time!!


My knowledge of economics says that a recession does not have to end and can drag on for decades. Already the government is saying that austerity will last until 2018. The only way we can engineer our way out of recession is by heavy financial investment into engineering under a modern day version of the 1930s New Works Project. Unfortunately this will not happen under the present government committed to a Victorian Classical Economic policy with a laissez faire approach that does not favour one sector of the economy over another.
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