In Praise of Union Jobs

Anyone who is leery of those of us who work in union jobs I dare say has bought into the divide-and-conquer tactics of the government.

I make the case for getting a union job as opposed to a job with a private employer.

My experience sheltering in place in the time of the COVID-19 outbreak in New York City gave me the idea to write in detail about the benefits of having a union job.

Not a lot of union jobs exist anymore because of the union-busting tactics of the government as well.

My job is a union job for city employees. While the library has shut down we are getting paychecks every two weeks.

Having a union job that offers a perk like automatic paychecks in a crisis can make the difference between affording to pay your rent or mortgage and going into debt just to be able to live.

In 2000 when I graduated library school I chose not to pursue a job in a library in a legal or corporate office.

Decades later I’m glad I choose to get a union library job.

With a union job your chance for a promotion isn’t linked to the whim of whether your supervisor is willing to give you that chance.

With a union job you often have a pension when you retire which is now rare for private business jobs.

With a union job you could have the benefit of signing up for a 403(b)–a retirement plan for nonprofit agencies that is like a 401(k) for private employers.

With a union job you might have the benefit of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to get counseling services and financial help information.

With a union job you could possibly be able to use free legal services to hire a real estate attorney or a lawyer who can help you create a will for free.

What’s not to like about a union job?

In New York City you can go on NYC.gov to find civil service and other government jobs.

The number-one benefit of having a union job is that you cannot summarily or capriciously be fired or laid off.

You have protections in place as a union worker.

In a coming blog entry I’m going to talk about the benefit of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and athlete.

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