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PROSPECT....where are you?
#31
One of the main reasons for joining a union is in case things go badly wrong, but it is important to realise that unless there is an existing union structure in place in your workplace, and a formalised relationship between the union and management, then it will be harder for union membership to make a massive difference at such times of crisis. Whilst we all need to acknowledge that the union cannot conjure jobs out of thin air, it can work with managent to see whether all redundancies are necessary. I know of at least one case where several posts were retained after the union successfully argued that there was in fact sufficient work to keep the staff. This does however require members and reps to work hard, unpaid, to formulate alternative strategies; union HQ cannot do it on their own, you need members on-site.
This does all of course mean that unions 'work better' in larger units where there is a branch or sub-branch structure that can focus on day-to-day issues and have a voice at the table with management, rather than in the rather disparate 'archaeologists' group, but to an extent that is down to people standing as reps once recognition has been won. There is a separate Museum of London Branch, but is there any reason why other large units cannot have their own branches should there be the membership? I can remember joining one unionised unit and after signing away my life, a rep came in and told us about the union, what it did, and asked us to consider joining.

As with everything in life, you have to put in to get out, one reason why the archaeology branch has 'gone quiet' is that many reps have retired after long years of service (thankyou!) and there has been a lack of volunteers stepping forward to replace them. As has been pointed out Dave Allen has many many more responsibilities than just archaeologists, and he probably spends a disproportionate amount of time helping archaeologist members. I do think it is a bit tight to make apparently sarcastic comments about him not replying to this thread within a few days. Not very constructive really David. Yes the website should be updated, yes it all needs more work, yes things are out of date but maybe he is busy working for Prospect members?

As I've said before, the union is not Dave Allen or a the Prospect staff, it is all of us. If the union is inactive then it is up to all of us to fix that. How can Union HQ do anything if people don't join or stand to be reps?

......its also worth pointing out of course that union membership and recognition can actually be good for the employer as well as the employees and shouldn't be seen as a negative....
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#32
Quote:I do think it is a bit tight to make apparently sarcastic comments about him not replying to this thread within a few days. Not very constructive really David. Yes the website should be updated, yes it all needs more work, yes things are out of date but maybe he is busy working for Prospect members?
I am not saying anything about him not replying to this thread chiz... you are reading that in are are geting a tad defensive.. which is also not very constructive ... that aside.. my point stands... as you say..

Quote:[one reason why the archaeology branch has 'gone quiet' is that many reps have retired after long years of service (thankyou!) and there has been a lack of volunteers stepping forward to replace them.
so why is that?? YEs the website has not been updated... and yes the latest initiative is dated 2003... which to my reckoning is nearly 7 years ago... This is the problem.. it is double-edged... nobody is bothering their arse to get involved and join... and on the other side.. nothing 'seems' to be happening (apart from London)

I stand by my offer.. and my wish... to see a unionised workforce... and to support that.. I can help... and the offer is there.

I do also have lots of other things that I do... and do them - with little or no help or reward, other than nobody else will. Step off the outraged box and lets see some action.

Who will help me...?

It seems the only way to reactivate is to agitate
For really I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live, as the greatest he
Thomas Rainborough 1647
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#33
BAJR Host Wrote:I am not saying anything about him not replying to this thread chiz... you are reading that in are are geting a tad defensive.. which is also not very constructive ... that aside.. my point stands... as you say..

sorry David, but :
BAJR Host Wrote:12th Jan: So... PROSPECT.... where are you... Helloooooooooooooooooooooooooo. Anyone there. I was told that Dave Allen would be contacted to provide some new info about what is happening.

12th Jan: Exactly... if they want people to join... and are doing lots of great work... then visible might help.. replying might help... and being more active in the public arena might help.

hey they might be great... but I can't see it?

[FONT=&quot]14th Jan: I have emailed Dave Allen to ask for a discussion... to explain about this thread..and what we could do... and also to see how long it takes to get a reply.[/FONT]
(my italics)
[FONT=&quot]
[/FONT]
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#34
Moving swiftly on from how busy Dave Allen is...

I didnt see this point up on the earlier posts but this is in relation to the point that if your on a short term contract 3-6weeks or whatever Prospect cant do anything to help you. You couldnt be more wrong - lets face it early on in our careers (or until very recently in my case) the majority of us work in this way, week here week there and in this way you are incredibly vulnerable. If there was a larger number of transient workers within the union than when they come together on sites there would be a large enough workforce for union recognition. And what about the aforemention H&S information - that would apply whether the unit was unionised or not by you raising concerns.

Get off your arse and stop wingeing - you will achieve nothing in that way!!

And for those who complain subs are too high its interesting to note that the drop right down if you unemployed, and you can pay monthly!
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#35
Absolutely Trowelfodder... so we need people who are on sites now to get this message out...

We need info about what and how to join... (I could get it.... but perhaps would be better coming from PROSPECT)

and yes... arse...off...whinge...stop.... rearrange this well known phrase. Things only change when people make them change.
For really I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live, as the greatest he
Thomas Rainborough 1647
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#36
Well, if you really want to join you go here:

http://www.prospect.org.uk/joinus/index

And proceed with your application.

Or contact you union rep at work who will have the application forms.
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#37
" This is why an archaeology only union couldn;t really work, there just aren;t enough of us."

Alternatively, you could view this as being our greatest strength if we only realised what kind of punch we could swing if we set our collective minds to it.
I
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#38
Exactly - the only way we can achieve anything is to work together
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#39
So did Prospect get back in touch?

And out of interest have any archaeologists read this tread and been inspired to join the union or is there still reservtions?

And if you wont join think about why,

Apathy? Fear? Just dont believe anything will change?

Are these real reasons? And if Prospect say offered a six month discount on memebrship would that persuade anyone to give the union a try? If not that then what will it take to unionise the workforce?
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#40
Well I was a member of Prospect before so I can't say much has changed for me, but (and maybe its more than coincidence) I received a mail this morning from Louise Staniforth, the new Prospect organiser for archaeology. I haven't sought permission, but I imagine she wont mind me quoting some small parts of her mail:

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and wish you a positive and happy 2010. In December, I was pleased to be promoted into the role of Organiser covering your area. Having previously worked as an Executive Assistant for the Senior Management Team and a Senior Executive Assistant on the Agriculture pitch for 2.5 years, this is a welcome challenge and I look forward to dealing with you.


We’ve had a challenging year at Prospect but are pleased with the outcomes of 2009 as a whole. But times are changing as I am sure you have noticed, and there are many issues facing members in all areas within Prospect. You, as employees within Archaeology, know that there is little sign that things are going to stop changing. A potential new government, cuts in funding, fitness for future… anything is possible. By standing together, we tackle these head-on. Over the years Prospect has done a lot to protect your jobs and virtually every day we see Prospect members, whether it be Branch Council members or a Local Rep, in action within Archaeology - trying to make it a better place for you to work. So, on that note, I would like to say a big thank you for your continued efforts throughout 2009. Although for the year, there has been a decline in membership of –16.7%, we will try and work together and turn this around for 2010.

Prospect has been dealing with the consequences of the economic climate which has seen a catastrophic collapse in the building industry. Many Archaeological areas have seen redundancies and, in an attempt to cut costs, changes to members’ terms and conditions. Throughout all of this, Prospect has sought to protect jobs, whilst where redundancies have been made, to ensure that they have been done fairly and legally. Many members have seen the benefit of our work ensuring that processes are fair and that redundancy payments are met in full. Prospect will continue to work with the employers during the coming year to seek to obtain agreements around job security and pay levels.



2010 is going to be a trying year. We need your continued support and drive in taking the union forward. The time to recruit your colleagues is now. If you are a non-member reading this, Prospect are a recognised trade union within Archaeology and are therefore able to negotiate pay and changes to terms and conditions that impact upon all staff. Furthermore, Prospect provide personal representation to all members who need it and will continue to do so. We have a policy not take on any cases that pre-date your membership start date, so join now before it is too late. Moreover, members recognise that belonging to a trade union is essential in the current climate and they see that Prospect are not only prepared to listen to their concerns, but also raise them at the highest level. Finally, in order that your voice can carry greater weight in discussions within Archaeology, it is essential that the union continues to grow. Please take time to speak to your colleagues about the importance of being in a union.

Yours sincerely


LOUISE STANIFORTH
Organiser
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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