CAREERS: Worth a Look ...

Mathew Little

Amicus became one of the UK's largest trade unions overnight after the merger last year of the unions AEEU and MSF.

The new union has developed a strong presence in the voluntary sector and now has 25,000 members through its old MSF section.

It has also established a not-for-profit section web site that combines information for members in charities and housing associations with a service for unionised vicars, a major growth area thanks to the Church of England's less than stellar record as an employer.

Charities themselves have also come in for criticism for the off-hand way they often treat employees and the web site contains a charter for workers' rights in the voluntary sector.

The charter urges charities to develop "consensual decisions" through a human resources policy, plan budgets to include pensions, maternity leave and training and show proper regard for employees' psychological and physical health.

It is still open for amendment by members before it is finalised.

The site also contains an interesting feature on 'community unionism', in which it is argued that unions could rediscover their popular appeal by identifying with local community campaigns.

- www.3rdsector union.org.uk. Not-for-profit section of Amicus' web site.

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