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I've been a member for over ten years and will continue to be a member as long as I am working in the profession, and if I move jobs, I'll join whatever union represents them. Prospect may not be the most pro-active union, it may contain represent people in industries that I don't like, but it is the union that we have. Short of everyone upping and moving to the TGWU I don't see that changing.

Some full time union officials do appear to not understand us that well, and have odd ideas about priorities, but that is not unusual in such a small body of members.
The volunteer union officials at the unions I have worked at have near universally been fantastic at supporting their colleagues. I've had cause to individually require a lot of help from the union, and I got it. They didn't back me all the way, but perhaps I shouldn't have taken it all the way. When you are in a situation an external view will not always agree with your perspective. And having had non-union advice, they may well have been right. But just because the union didn't agree with my route through the situation didn't mean they didn't back me 100%. The support I had at a very difficult time was total from branch and permanent staff.

In addition my union has successfully sorted issues of health and safety equipment, training, away subs and accommodation, nursery vouchers, flexi-time, travel expenses, redundancy deals, as well as trying to get pay rises. They have reduced threatened redundancies by scouring the figures and finding new work, they have supported colleagues in a number of tribunals, some successful, some not. And the body of employees who are current and ex-branch officers means that there was a culture of being unionised and working together for a better workplace.

Who else is going to do all this for you? And remember if you don't like the attitude of your branch and union, do something about it!

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