Medical trade unions

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You are well advised to join one.


  • If employed, your employer's interests are very unlikely to always agree with your own.
  • Your problem is not likely to be unique, but if you are not a member of a trade union its more likely to feel that way.
  • Many speak louder than one.
  • Representation by someone who is likely to be more skilled at it than you if there is an employment or disciplinary problem.
  • The employing organisation can relatively easily dismiss/ignore a complaint form an individual or even a small group of individuals. It is much harder for the organisation to dismiss/ignore the same issue(s) raised by a trade union.
  • A trade union will be familiar with local employment law, contract law and national terms and conditions.
  • They are likely to have a role in medical education

Why not

  • There will be a membership fee
  • Larger unions represent the interests of all their members, not a particular subgroup
  • Industrial action might harm patients more than inaction
  • It may be illegal or ineffective in some jurisdictions

Medical trade unions include:

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(It is perfectly possible and acceptable to be a member of more than one trade union - many Doctors in Unite members are also BMA members, for example.)

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