Law enforcement can be an extremely demanding job and you never know what dangers lie ahead. Police often put their life on the line for us every day. But they also need to make sure they are protected in their working environment too.
If you work in the police, you should consider joining a police union. In this article, we are going to look at what a police association is, why they exist and what the benefits of belonging to one are. This will allow you to make an informed decision whether or not you should join one.
A look Back in Time
Labour unions can be traced back to the mid-18th century when people started demanding better wages and banded together to make those in charge improve their working conditions. As the years went by, trade unions became more important.
The purpose of a union is to ensure safe working conditions, fair wages and dignity.
Why Police Unions Exist
Police are subjected to working extremely long hours, often without sufficient breaks. Criminals may threaten their lives and they put themselves in danger as well as work under stressful conditions. Unions were established to create a criterion of payment and understanding for tasks such as callouts, overtime and danger pay.
The union will.
- Negotiate better pay.
- Create fair working hours.
- Carry out disciplined procedures.
Benefits of belonging include.
- Life insurance policies.
- Disability benefits.
- Counselling services.
- Legal representation.
Why You Should Join
Police officers like any other trade’s person, deserve to be protected. You could hope that you are treated fairly and paid what you are worth, but oftentimes this is not the case.
If something goes wrong while you are on duty, wouldn’t it be reassuring to know that you have someone in your corner especially if you need legal representation?
Why Unions are Important
Unions are important for the following reasons.
- Unity means strength: A united voice gives you the power and allows you to create a change. The union protects the people and makes sure any grievances are heard.
- They protect your interests: Unions are there for the people. They negotiate the best conditions on your behalf and protect you from poor management.
- Paid holidays: Belonging to a union ensures you get paid for holiday leave and they negotiate your annual leave on your behalf.
- A higher salary: Union members receive a higher salary than non-union members.
- Increased job security: If you belong to a union, you have someone that wants to help you keep your job.
- Someone in your corner: A union’s job is to do the best it can for its members. Provide job safety and expert advice when you need it most.
- Equal opportunities for all: They ensure that the minimum wage amount is fair, working overtime is paid for and that men and women are treated equally.
- Protection from sexual harassment: If you experience sexual harassment in the workplace your union representative will handle the situation on your behalf.
- Health and safety: The union will protect all workers. They insist that a health and safety officer be present at every shift and that workers have access to medical attention if and when necessary. This includes access to masks and hand sanitiser during covid-19.
- Legal representation: if you are required to attend a disciplinary hearing, a union representative will be able to provide you with expert advice, solutions and support, as well as representation when necessary.
Questions about Collective Bargaining
Collective bargaining covers subjects that involve several different unions. They represent members when it comes to wages and other benefits. Collective bargaining allows all those that are part of the union to benefit from any new benefits awarded to the council.
Unions help to establish laws that protect their members. Once they win a case for their members, all other members will benefit from that point forward. Acting as an individual won’t intimidate the company, but having a collective voice, will make them sit up and pay attention.
Are Unions Still Relevant Today?
Union membership is at an all-time low and people are wondering are unions still relevant in this day and age? Most individuals stay at a job for 4.4 years so joining a union won’t appeal to them.
As more people become self-employed, they see the point of joining a union and wonder how it will benefit them. That’s why a new type of union is starting to become popular which is the freelancer union.
This comes with health benefits, allows for networking and informal sharing of information. Although this type of union won’t be ideal for every trade it is an alternative to consider.
Joining a police union is cost-effective and it offers you protection when you need it most. Joining comes with a wide range of benefits and may protect your job should you be unfairly dismissed.
Now that you know a bit more about unions and what they do, you can make an informed decision about joining one.