Why seek advice on a forum such as this. First thing, ring the Union's you are seeking info from and make up your own mind. Personally I'm a member of the AFAP and whilst I know they are not perfect at least they understand the intricacies of aviation. Unions are useless and a waste of money till you need representation....then their priceless! Good Luck.
I have been an AFAP member for years.
They have been more than helpful and have spent a small fortune on lawyers and Barristers over the years in my support. On both occasions we won. Loss of licence is excellent value compared to what others are offering.
I have spoken to a few people who whinge about the AFAP not assisting then, but in all cases what they were asking was completely unreasonable and beyond the scope of the AFAP or even their own EBA/ award.
Van do you own a car? Do you own a house? Do you insure these high value items? If so ,why wouldn't you insure your most valuable commodity, your job? If you look at union membership this way it tends to make the decision a lot easier for most.
When you have a little incident or accident and CASA or your employer have your testicles in their clasp do you want the shop steward from the TWU representing you or somebody with a little more expertise in aviation matters representing you?
You won't get any better loss of licence cover for your dollar, and don't get sucked in by the insurance broker talk of a better deal, because as soon as you mention the magic word pilot they tend to get a glazed over look in their eyes!
Last edited by Stationair8; 4th Nov 2008 at 08:00.
Location: within a circle in a spiral, within a wheel within a wheel, never ending or beginning on an ever spinning reel.
In my experience the CWA would generally do a better job of defending you or your conditions than the AFAP.
Rather than rely on an impotent federation. Save your union fees so that if the day ever comes that you're called in for tea and bikkies, you can afford to bring your own nasty snarling flesh eating lawer to the meeting...Instant respect.
I amnot sure how the supporters of te AFAP get a reaction.
I haven't been a member for 2 years now. I had reason to ask them to deal with a personal issue of mine around 4 yrs ago and I didn't receive one iota of help. Then the Pilots in the company I work for had an agreement to negotiate and I was astounded at the attitude of the AFAP. They tried to convince us the company offer was a reasonable deal and sign up. My attitude was "pigs arse" it was a crap deal and should have been sold as such. We didn't want more, we wanted to retain what we had. The TWU were useful in achieving that goal.
Since then, well they (TWU) haven't had a great impact. The AFAP have had none.
If you know some one in a position of power in either the AFAP or TWU you may have an opportunity to kick some goals when required. If the organisation needs some publicity and they think they can win, you will receive some assistance.
It all boils down to how it will effect the union. Their funds are limited and they will not want to or be able to asist every person who asks. The TWU membership is around $1 a day. That is only a little over $360 a year. Most employees in Aus ave an issue at some stage so do the math and work out how much support you will get. Your membership also has to pay for the organisations fixed costs, let alone legal fees if it ends up inconfrontation.
My advice, the AFAP should be better regarding aviation issues, the TWU is probably better dealing with IR issues. Consider why you want a union, IR or personal aviation support and go from there.
Unless you need the loss of licence insurance, and if you are generally a model citizen, Psycho Joe's advice is good. Assuming you only get into an employment dispute or some argument with CASA about once every 5 to 10 years, a good lawyer should produce better results for about the same money as what you would spend in AFAP subscriptions, allowing for the tax deduction. On the other hand, if you are always in trouble (as some seem to be) the AFAP can at least provide nuisance value which may make the employer think twice about whatever it is they are contemplating. Lawyers fees quickly add up if you are a habitual user of their services; however these should still be a tax deduction if associated with employment matters. Although I don't have any personal experience, I don't think the AFAP would be as good as the right lawyer at taking on CASA, should CASA in some way seek to reduce your chances of earning a living. But the AFAP has had success at recovering money due and I have seen their nuisance value at work - sometimes worth it just to piss off recalcitrant employers! So, it's a case of what each person sees as the best insurance for their most likely needs.
Van Gough Been a member of the AFAP for many years, needed their help twice, and their assistance was absolutely bloody invaluable. Sure, you need to make up your own mind, however, if you sit back and take a long, dispassionate view of the matter, there is really only one decision to make. Cheers.
For the public record Pinky, I don't consider you in either category. I do however stand by my comments.
Lost money due to the unions truly incompetent behaviour. Failed to get their assistance in AWA negotiations. Took them two weeks to call back a fully paid member despite numerous calls and unanswered messages. I had given notice, 4 weeks, signed my new AWA and was 2 days away from starting before they finally called me back. Having sourced my own independent advise whilst considering what my membership fees were really going to. That's right, they were going to woo new Jetstar membership.
AFAP is so pleased with the new members, yet it is failing to look after the people that have stood by them for 20 years!! They are mostly interested in recruiting new members. I like others would leave today if it was not for the LOL!
Location: Hughes Point, where life is great! Was also resident on page 13, but now I'm lost in Cyberspace....
I think there is value in being a member, I do however think that 1% is too much, so it may not be 'worth it'! However you may never know until you actually need them! I think around $400-500 per anum is a more realistic figure and they just might end up with a bigger following...
In my experience they have been helpful when needed. I do have a concern that our industrial officer moved on and the replacement has not been seen, nor bothered to make contact in around 8 months!