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Nautilus: Worth It?

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  • Nautilus: Worth It?

    So been a Nautilus member throughout my cadetship, mainly for the free copy of the telegraph. It was only about ?20 or so for the year so really there was no reason not to do it. However, upon qualifying I have been informed that my membership will now cost me ten times that much! ?20 a month or ?240 odd for the year. Seems a bit steep. Been a member of trade unions in the past and they cost about half of that. So, basically, other than the free newspapers what tangible benefits am I going to get that are worthwhile and would people recommend it?

    Whilst I was a cadet I didn't really pay much attention to the benefits because it was so cheap to be a member, plus I didn't have a COC at the time so things like certificate insurance didn't really apply.

    Has anyone actually had to use their certificate insurance, legal protection or any other benefits or know anyone who has? Any good? Or are there alternatives? I mean, I like the idea of knowing exactly where to go for legal advice if I crash a ship and end up in jail in Singapore or something, but at the same time if it turns out their legal protection is actually pretty crap then there's not really much point is there?

  • #2
    One of the considerations is whether they are involved in pay negotiations with your employer.


    • #3
      They are, yes. Better idea to keep my membership if this is the case then?


      • #4
        Depends. As a union member you get some say in the negotiations - at least a vote on whether to accept or reject company pay offers and the right to take industrial action as part of your union if you want to, and if it gets that far over any issue. As a non-member you just have to accept whatever you are given by the employer.

        FWIW, I am aware of cases in the past where NUMAST (as it was) provided legal assistance to colleagues whom my employer was happy to drop in as much **** as was going - one case in particular where a rating under the supervision of an officer colleague was killed in a mooring accident, he attributes his continued career to NUMAST support and help.


        • #5
          Okay cheers that's good information. The pay stuff isn't really a massive issue as I doubt my one vote is going to make much difference and I'm not sure how common industrial action is in this industry? Useful to know anyway.

          However the legal support stuff is exactly what I was looking for more information on. Whilst I have no intention of getting myself into legal trouble I'm well aware that accidents happen in this industry and would be good too know I would have some support in such an eventuality.


          • #6
            I was wondering the very same question today. ?240 a year seems pretty good value for the legal backup on offer.
            Former TH cadet with experience of cruise ships, buoy tenders, research ships and oil tankers


            • #7
              Yeah that's true, provided it's actually any good. Any other people on here who've been qualified for a while got any experiences to share in this regard?

              Sure I've seen various disparaging comments about the union on here before.


              • #8
                I wonder what the alternatives are to the professional protection offered by Nautilus. Would professional indemnity insurance be the sort of thing. Just had a look at Hiscox insurance, but they dont quote online for marine engineering as such.

                As a side note, Ive looked into their discounted legal services before (conveyancing for someone) and it was a 10% discount off the normal fee charged by Bridge McFarland Solicitors, which was about double the cost of one of the fixed fee conveyancers... so a bit rubbish really.
                Former TH cadet with experience of cruise ships, buoy tenders, research ships and oil tankers


                • #9
                  I was a member for many years, When I started I thought it essential but as time went on I realised the only real benefits were the telegraph and possible legal protection.

                  For pay negotiations I didn't really see any benefits as most of the time all they got was in line with CPI / RPI.

                  The one time I asked them to look into anything they were far from helpful but I would have hoped if it was more serious they may be more proactive.

                  If I moved back to the UK for any reason I would probably join again only for the reason of having a safety blanket knowing that for price of a couple of pints a week I "may" get more assistance than I otherwise would.
                  Pilotage - It's just a controlled allision


                  • #10
                    IMHO they are a bunch of self serving tossers who are more interested in getting their pictures in the paper than in actually helping their members.

                    As far as pay negotiations go I have had similar deals if not better from companies which set the pay scale without negotiation rather than those who negotiate with nautlilus, I also remember one officer who was dismissed from P&O cruises after an incident with a particularly petulant chief engineer, he was told by Nautilus (then Numast, but the same bunch of time wasters) that he did not have a case, he hired a private solicitor and won his case.

                    I would rather spend the money on beer for me than on hotels and free meals for them.
                    Go out, do stuff


                    • #11

                      there we go
                      Trust me I'm a Chief.

                      Views expressed by me are mine and mine alone.
                      Yes I work for the big blue canoe company.
                      No I do not report things from here to them as they are quite able to come and read this stuff for themselves.

                      Twitter:- @DeeChief


                      • #12
                        Is there any practical alternative to Nautilus? I had a quick google and GMB, RMT and Unite seem to represent seafarers according to the TUC, but none really have any information on their websites.

                        Anyone have any experience of using a union other than Nautilus?


                        • #13
                          Quite a lot of the Offshore companies dont recognise Nautlius ... they tend to favour RMT.


                          • #14
                            RMT represents a lot of British ratings since they absorbed the National Union of Seamen. They are certainly the recognised union for ratings in the RFA. There was a bit of dissatisfaction with them a few years ago, and a movement to defect to one of the other unions (maybe GMB), but nothing much came of it.

                            I haven't heard of any officers joining or being represented by a union other than Nautilus.

                            RMT and GMB are basically communists, as per their constitutions. Not sure about Unite.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by bobofinga View Post
                              Quite a lot of the Offshore companies dont recognise Nautlius ... they tend to favour RMT.
                              It isn't just up to the employer, it depends on who their employees are members of WRT statutory recognition.