A union’s “power/clout” comes from the size of its membership in one specific field. For example if you had 40% of train drivers in London as part of a union the train company employing all the drivers would have to listen to the union as ultimately that union could bring the train company to a standstill.
Sorry if that sounds patronising. I agree a trade union is what we need but joining a union from a different field I’m not so sure about.
The college is there to educate the profession.
The GOC is there to protect the public.
The AOP is for optical businesses/practice owners. AOP is supposed to be our union but it’s not – they provide us professional indemnity and charge £600 for the privilege! I don’t think it would be £600 per Optom for one of the large multiple retailers who buy their professionals indemnity cover in bulk.