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IT guy...Coalition?

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by OceanPacific, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. OceanPacific

    OceanPacific Byte Poster

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    Is there like a coalition, or maybe a union for IT workers? If not I really think there should be. Were a very specialized people and often abused and mistreated in the workplace.

    Your Thoughts?
     
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  2. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    We're also in an industry that has sprung up from nothing in the past twenty years, at a time when unions are being increasingly marginalised due in equal measure to:

    Outmoded working practices,
    Increasingly restrictive legal strangleholds on any form of meaningful industrial action,
    The feeling of many unionised workers that their Trade Union still exists to look after their individual rights rather than the wellbeing of their colleagues/the workforce as a whole,
    Indifference amongst younger people (especially in the UK after most IT workers will have grown up during Thatcher's Reign Of Terror (tm),
    Irrelevance in an era when employment law now favours the employer more than it used to (apart from the Public Sector)

    There are a number of other factors too, but those are as good a place as any to indicate why there aren't any dedicated IT unions.

    I ought to know enough about this subject, I was the Trade Union Side chair at a workplace in my pre-IT career, representing 2500 people on issues such as Pay, Terms & Conditions, Workplace Disputes, Redundancies, Industrial Tribunals and everything else. I started out doing it because where I worked at the time the management were absolute bastards (its not all rosy in the Public Sector believe me!) and I felt the workforce needed someone to stick up for them. Two (successful) strikes later and I'd begin to get sick of it all - I realised that most of the time the individual disputes I was resolving were petty squabbles between staff members who should have just shut the **** up and got on with it, and that personal cases I was dealing with were almost exclusively down to the individual being lazy, intransigent or rude. When I was asked to represent a woman at a tribunal who was finally being given the push for having an average (an AVERAGE, mind you) of 32 days sick leave per year despite having precisely **** all wrong with her I knew it was time to move on.

    Besides, IT in the private sector is a LOT better paid than most other jobs - even non-professional IT occupations like first-line roles where you need no more ability other than basic customer service skills, are better paid than equivalent jobs in the non-IT sector. Once you get more skilled, and provided you are good at your job, your skills will allow you to command a hell of a lot more in the way of respect and rights (even if that respect is given grudgingly at times!) than most of the drones in the average company.

    In any case, you can always join a union if you want. It won't mean a damn thing if that union isn't recognised by your company but, and this is especially true in the public sector, just because you work in IT doesn't mean there isn't a union 'for' you. In the public sector you could belong to any of UNISON, PCS or Prospect - all three take IT staff as members
     
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  3. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    To be honest I personally do not believe in unions, so if your not happy with current employer, colleague or workload look elsewhere. I really do not think it's worth the hassle as if you're experienced and good in what you do there would always be another employer out there for you especially in the private sector.

    Best wishes and don't stress just move on as long as you have solid years of experience and are still willing to learn you'd be okay elsewhere.
     
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  4. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    There is no need in a union and unions are bad in my experience.

    I work in the print trade and the printers are in the union which make them tend to think they have some devine superiority over people and the union people are stuck in their own way of doing things, which is a bad idea when it comes to IT. In the IT industry everyone involved needs to be able to adapt with new technologies not say thing like 'this is how we do it, it our way or no way' as the printers I work with would.

    And as Zeb said there is a lot of back stabbing in unions where people are only in it for themselves

    The British Computer Society is something you could join.
     
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  5. OceanPacific

    OceanPacific Byte Poster

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    Unfortunately im American. :D

    Yeah, Ill agree with you on the union thing. And maybe its just me but it seems like IT people are just looked down on. This is very possibly something just in my company, and not as a whole, but its hard to say as im fairly new to the industry. (im only 21, this is my first real job)
     
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  6. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    IT people are looked down but lot of people in lots of different jobs are looked down.

    Some professional guy might go to a cafe for their lunch and think thats because some girl is a waitress and doesn't get paid as much as the pro that she should be at his beck and call whilst he is at the cafe. But I doubt there will be a union of waitresses.

    Normally in IT your supposed to be able to fix a problem there and then and know the answer to everything thats just life and we have to get on with it.
     
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  7. OceanPacific

    OceanPacific Byte Poster

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    Well put. Your correct, my Friend.
     
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  8. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    Thanks for words of wisdom GBL, and wish a lot more people would reason the way you quoated above and just basically get on with it:)
     
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  9. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    I don't know of any IT specific unions, best bet is to join a Union that is already established (if you really want to join one).

    As for IT Professional associations in the US, there is the Comptia IT Pro, the NPA (have some links with the BCS in the UK) and the CCIA (just to name a few). They may have more information for you, as they are based in the US.

    -Ken
     
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  10. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    To be blunt, in the present day and age, I think unions are cancerous. They certainly served their purposes loooong ago, when working conditions WERE bad... but they're not that way anymore. You can't even begin to compare the labor practices of today with how things were a century ago.

    Everywhere I've worked, people never looked down on the IT staff - they were well respected, and the IT staff was worthy of respect. To be honest, there are probably far more IT staff people who look down on "the users" more than the users look down on the IT staff. We're generally paid more, we generally enjoy better working conditions, and we're valued for our knowledge. I love IT, and I really wouldn't want to work in any other industry.

    As you state, this is your first real IT job. It's *really* not like that elsewhere. Sure, there are crappy bosses, and management staff who don't understand technology, and companies who consider technology to be a drain on financial resources rather than a tool to increase revenue. But none of that is unique to IT, and none of that is something a union could protect you from.

    So if a union can't help you, what should you do if you're not treated well where you are? The answer is simple: start looking elsewhere. It's not like we're locked into working for 3 or 4 companies... IT jobs are everywhere, in millions of businesses across the US. If you don't like it where you are, our "job protection" comes from the fact that we can work for someone else if we want. :)

    Welcome to the forums. I wish you success in your IT career.
     
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  11. OceanPacific

    OceanPacific Byte Poster

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    Thanks. And on a side note, it may help if I didnt answer the phones, "Hello IT, Have you tried turning it off and on again?"

    --Roy, IT Crowd:biggrin:biggrin:biggrin
     
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  12. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    The very nature of the modern work force means the nature of unions hold little ground
    people are valauable assets to most companies, and those that don't invest trying to keep them, lose them

    gone are the days of 25 year veterans getting gold watches when they retire and such, people shop around, the web has continued to facilitate the ease at which that possibility exists, people go where they want, where there treated right, where interview promises are followed through...

    IT people in my experience are very much not looked down upon, we are some of the most trusted advisors to C / Director tier outside of the finance team

    Junior IT folks may well be looked down on, may well be treated like crap, but the same can be said for most junior roles, and lets be fair, what CAN junior roles bring to the table?

    I'm the first to admit during the earlier years of my career I was a dick, I thought that IT was the be all and end all, and that without us the business would fall apart, with email down no body would work etc etc
    It's just simply NOT true, and as you gain more experience and start to take more and more BUSINESS responsibility under your wing your views, like mine, will change, and you will fill the role that C / Directors are looking for in senior IT folks.. people who understand the technology AND the business, and who can help move it forward.
     
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  13. BosonMichael
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    Hah! I really need to watch that show. :)
     
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  14. sunn

    sunn Gigabyte Poster

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    I’m not a fan of unions. From what I’ve seen (never been a member) they don’t do much good for society anymore.

    A lot to agree with here. I have never been looked down upon. I’m much harder on myself than anybody else is. IT staff (especially junior roles in a helpdesk) often look down on users. I find users just trying to get the darn thing to work.

    The only IT people that I’ve seen looked down on are Helpdesk (customer facing) and 1st line support. Even those teams are looked more down upon from other IT teams as opposed to 3rd parties.

    Maybe I’m biased because of my background (having done both roles) but I’ll support these guys through anything. Not that I’m really a great of a guy (although I’m sure I am :) ) but I need there support for my projects to be successful.

    As mentioned in the quote, “I love IT, and I really wouldn't want to work in any other industry.”
     

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