/ Instructor's union

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Andrew G - on 16 Nov 2012
Is anyone aware of a union for workers, such as instructors, in the outdoor industry?

Brett Ffitch - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to Andrew G: Not so much a union. But there is the:

Mountain Training Association (MTA)
The Association of Mountaineering Instructors (AMI)

Very similar, but for different levels of qualification
Jamie B - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to Andrew G:

Why bdo you ask - have you been the victim of employer malpractice?
oggi on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to Andrew G: There is also the Institute for Outdoor Learning (IOL). Howver, none of these are a union in the strict sense of the word but AMI and BMG will represent members.
george mc - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to Andrew G:

If you are an employee of an organisation or company then you may be able to join whatever union represents workers for that organisation/company. If you are freelance/sole trader then 'fraid no union - and arguably when push comes to shove probably very little in the way of actual rights when it comes to working conditions i.e. complain and the phone/emails stop. Although it works both ways. You don't like it as a freelancer you don't work for them. That is what tends to happen in RL from both sides.

Closest would be AMI but they are not a trade union and I'm not sure whether they would want to become involved in what essentially may be a work/employee issue with regard to working conditions. If it relates to use of awards/professionalism etc then yes. But how much you are paid, hours worked, time off etc. I'm less sure.
Andrew G - on 18 Nov 2012
In reply to RockUp-Climbing:

I've not been the victim of mal practice. I have a friend who works in the outdoor industry they have had an accusation, which I'm sure is false, made against them by a child.

I'm a teacher and I'm a member of a teaching union and know that should this happen to me I would get support from my union. I've always been advised to never step into a classroom unless you're a member of a union. I have quite a few friends in the outdoor industry and speaking to them none of them are a member of a union. Made me realise how poorly protected they are against this kind of thing!
highclimber - on 18 Nov 2012
In reply to Andrew G: He needs to speak to the BMC or MLTA for advice. either that or get some advice from a solicitor. allegations like this are not to be taken lightly!
woody5 - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to Andrew G: It may be a little late now but for the future,do not take chances ,if you need to get close to a child or a vulnerable adult say putting on harnesses ,always get a parent,staff member or other adult to be there with you when you do it .
I taught outdoor activities to adults with a learning disability for many years,and consider that I was experienced with this group ,on one occassion whilst fitting harnesses a young man shouted loudly "you just stroked my bum "fortunately I had requested this young man's carer to witness me putting on the harness,no case to answer ,but this could have been serious.
In sixteen years instructing in a climbing centre never once did a parent object when I asked them to watch me if ever I needed to get close to a youngster.
Use the same rules as teachers Do Not Touch if it can be avoided,if you must touch get a witness .
Hope this stops someone else facing the same problem as your friend
In reply to george mc: I have to agree with Geogre. I was working for one centre who paid substantially below AMI rates for MIA work. When the recession hit I went from 50+ days a year to just 12. I sent an email asking for them to start paying AMI rates. I never got a replay from that email or another phone call from the centre.

Whereas another centre I worked for, I ask the same thing for the MIA work I did for them and they simply said 'yes, no problem'.

The first centre has numerous instructors on contracts that are now joining a trade union, as times are hard and they are facing further cuts in pay and working conditions. I am not sure which one. Probably a general workers union or a leisure workers union.

It is hard though as there are so many centre closures at the moment. With even more outdoor centres threatened with closures or at the very least major changes in pay and working condiitons. Many people are facing a choice between having a job on worse pay and conditions or no job at all. A few decide not to accept the new conditions and may take redundancy or simply face not having their contracts renewed, whereas many more accpet those changes as part of the finanacial reality we are in.
Nick_Scots on 25 Nov 2012
A way round it is to get more quals. and work for a variety of different centres.

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