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Subject:OT: worth and unions From:Cyndy Davis <kivrin -at- ZDNETMAIL -dot- COM> Date:Tue, 2 Mar 1999 17:08:27 -0000
(apoligies to Eric - I said it was offtopic)
Oh dear! While I appreciate Micheal's satire, I have to insert some of my own observations.
Not all unions have the strict job/promotion/duties that were outlined in the satire. I used to be an English teacher - hence UNION. The union serves a variety of purposes for teachers, none of them being restrictive. Teacher unions provide:
-legal counsel for teachers (on censorship issues, parent issues, faculty problems, etc.)
-standard pay and benefits for a career that is notoriously underpaid and unappreciated
-a community of like-minded career people
As with any large group of people attempting to make a decision for everyone, someone gets the short end of the deal. But no union offical will come into a classroom and attempt to instruct a teacher on how to teach.
Technical writing does NOT need to be unionized. If we were to attempt this, we would have to institute a method of educating and evaluating writers to ensure competency.
When you accept a job with a company, freelance or staff, you know the terms before you accept. You know if you are going to get 5.25/hour or 500/hour. That is part of what made your decision to accept or decline. Everyone will take a job that might not be ideal to gain experience, to work in a specific industry, work close to home, work specific hours, get certain benefits.
Discussions of how much am I worth do one thing. Encourage jealousy, envy and ego trips. Last year when we went through this same discussion I found that I was paid less than other people with similar experience. This made me feel unappreciated. I wanted to make what they made - it would make my bills easier to pay. It took several weeks for me to realize that I took the job I currently have for reasons, few of them being pay.
While it is good to know what going rates are, they will always vary. If you think its not enough, ask for more. If you think you are worth more, ask for it. If you are willing to take less $$ to work from home, go for it. There are lots of jobs out there, find one that you can live with. (Notice I don't say like. Everyone will dislike their job some of the time. You can't pleae everyone all the time and you can't be happy all of the time.)