Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Monday, 5 January 2009

Running Tax & Closed Shop Update

Just before Christmas I described how, as a member of my local athletics club, I was, without my knowledge, an affiliate member of England Athletics and paying an affiliation fee for the privilege. Given that this was never made clear to me and that the benefits appeared to be nil, I was none too pleased. I wrote to the club seeking clarification.

"Clarification" I now have, or ringing endorsement, more like. From the General Secretary (just like a trades union) I have a mail defending the policy whereby I am automatically a member of an organisation to which I have no wish to belong (in the 1970s this would have been called a "closed shop", whereby trades unions forced people into membership just because they worked for a specific employer).

Apparently membership fees are discussed at the AGM, and, according to the mail "are set out clearly in the light of the democratic decision of the club that the affiliation fee is applicable to the majority of members" [they don't force under 11s to be members of England Athletics]. He goes on "I sympathise with your concern about costs to your family especialy (sic) in the current climate [yeah, right !] however, I feel that the question of affiliation runs to the heart of the reasons underpinning the Club's existence and its role in the community." Whatever that means.

Sounds like I've got a fight on my hands. I've written back questioning the legality of the club's policy. And I shall write back to the very nice guy at England Athletics, asking him how the club's policy is compatible with his assertion that membership of England Athletics is discretionary.

Game on !


Shades said...

Keep chewing away at their shins, you persistent little terrier.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Looking forward to further updates. :-)