- feedback from your emails
the emails I have been receiving – over 30 now – I am told of very different
standards of support and representation. Comments have ranged from ‘my union
rep has been brilliant’ to ‘my rep was a waste of space’.
unions are either professional bodies such as the Royal College of Nursing or
more general unions such as Amicus and Unison. The problem with the latter two
is that the rep is unlikely to understand clinical issues and will therefore not
want to get involved with work performance issues.
appear to be three different types of set up for union reps.
the feedback I have received, people have complained about the following.
is not to forget the reps who have given excellent support and been very aware
of the destructiveness of suspension and false allegations.)
presumably it is inevitable that they know the managers and have to work with
them, in order to negotiate. Investigations into allegations of poor work
performance are so adversarial, such a relationship is not reassuring to the
‘accused’. Some people believe it has clouded their rep’s judgement, to
the detriment of the union member.
remembering how some reps are working under such duress, with no resources, it
is understandable how this happens.
this never happens in industry because they treat it as an emergency situation
and expect to deal with it within a week. 2 reasons for this: the cost to the
business – they cannot afford it and stay competitive; they understand the
cost to the individual’s health!
it is very common for people to fail to understand the trauma/grievous loss a
person is suffering, as with any of life’s bereavements. However, the reps are
supposed to have some idea about this.
the unions without clinical expertise need to set up a system of reps who can
give advice and defend members.
concerns are obviously very serious and suggest all is not well with the current
systems and apparent lack of accountability.
have themselves to blame when they leave all the work to a few individuals and
give no support. (Attending meetings would be a start!)