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Obstacles to union and factions among practicing engineers

 
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Does going on strike create awareness?
Yes - Helpful
50%
 50%  [ 1 ]
Yes but detrimental
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Not at all
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Can't say
50%
 50%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 2

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vegad
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Joined: 25 Dec 2013
Posts: 138

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:23 am    Post subject: Obstacles to union and factions among practicing engineers Reply with quote

Dear Members, please read at ease.

Obstacles to union and factions among practicing engineers

Need for Union:


Like all other professions in which citizens contribute their labor in an economy, consulting civil engineer is no different. Whether it’s a design for structure, road, water supply and sanitation facility, networks and technical due diligence for large infrastructure projects, our services strive to deliver efficiency, safety, integrity under real time resource constraints for a built environment.

The very existence of professional institutions in a democratic setup is very helpful in some ways, but becomes ineffective when it has to bring new reforms and get it approved through a legislation.

In such a scenario, we need to exercise some stimulating techniques to get the message of reforms across the society at delivery level.

It’s not a good idea to wait for Engineers Bill and revision of acts of allied industries, we should keep trying for that too, but not just that. We need to bypass such obstacles, if we really need to implement BIS and still survive as a profession to benefit the society.

There are ways to convince buyers of services to pay reasonable fees for adequate quality;

A) The development control approval office be strict enough for not just stability certificate, but also many other certificates required in engineering sense viz.(design reports, supervision evidences, BIS compliant procurement evidences, test certificates, and alike.). If such submissions become mandatory, buyers will not underestimate the work and pay less.

B) The union of practicing engineers convinces the buyers directly by exhibiting the importance of the consulting service by any means linked to delivery of product and services. How do we do that? By stopping the services and calling the buyers for workshops during our nationwide strike.

Option A, is a distant possibility, this has been proved by history till yesterday. Option B, can be expected to create some change, some news, some effect on psyche of the buyer of the services and also the end consumer.

Like barbers union, there is need to create rate cards. We need to have meetings and active institution to pinpoint, chase one on one every registered practicing engineer to know what deliverable he aims to deliver, his/her team, clients, reasons of violating ethics of the union and communication with respective approval offices in case of help required on either sides.

Factions:

We are a nation of factions, united by external causes but thankfully our own initiatives. Except governing effectively, governments have been busy in politics, controlling sensitivities of factions by providing freebies, producing soaps, and many other things but governing effectively by policies. Off late we see many changes, which is good sign, but government refining the reforms up to implementation level will take a lot of time.

We have sub-factions among practicing engineers under different commercial models –
1) Proprietors,
2) Private limited firms,
3) Independent consultants, and
4) Employed (in public and private sectors), Academicians, Contractors (of varying capacities) and Researchers. Each one has varying customers from students, local developers, and public offices to international clients in different sectors.

By and large, customers like public offices and international clients are out of current discussions as they are qualified customers, but others are not.

To get the message to identify the value and pay reasonable fees to 1 to 3, all factions have to come together to assemble the raw materials for quality development (engineering knowhow, construction resources and BIS standards).

For this we need marketing effort to tap every engineer and include one for strikes mentioned in point B.

Do let me know your opinions so that I can take this further to civil engineering professional institutions.

A plan for B is already under drafting.

It may or may not work, but it’s worth a try for the benefit of the society living in private built environments.

Thank you.
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vegad
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Joined: 25 Dec 2013
Posts: 138

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear friends and colleagues,

The rowlatt act has been repealed in 1922, so you need not fear the consequences of the voting or opinions.

Similarly, if you need to go by the way of courts, you are requested to participate in PIL to de-couple the engineering services from non-engineering statutes.

Let your consent to PIL at:

http://www.sefindia.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=17917

reflect your care for your profession and public safety. Your consent may qualify for more than, if not equal to, any contribution made in any research or code committee.

Thank you.
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rahul.leslie
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I’ve been much impressed by the way the points have been laid out. But the whole thing seems to have boiled down to the two options noted:

Quote:
A) The development control approval office be strict enough for not just stability certificate, but also many other certificates required in engineering sense viz.(design reports, supervision evidences, BIS compliant procurement evidences, test certificates, and alike.). If such submissions become mandatory, buyers will not underestimate the work and pay less.

B) The union of practicing engineers convinces the buyers directly by exhibiting the importance of the consulting service by any means linked to delivery of product and services. How do we do that? By stopping the services and calling the buyers for workshops during our nationwide strike.


I’m of the opinion that that only A will work and not B. Partly because no matter how united we are, there will be someone somewhere working outside the unity; and now matter how much low we keep our rates, there will always be someone somewhere who is prepared to be cheaper. And this is because the option B is not in place. That was what my reservation in the word ‘partly’ stood for. And probably also partly because the clients are not aware? May be. This reminds me of a similar discussion in SEFI to which a part of my response was as quoted below:
Quote:
... And to add to the above, every one is fond of structural designers who take peanuts in exchange for their services. At this time, don’t speak of the ‘supply/demand’ ratio that we learned in the Economics class, commonly explained with the example of fixing price of tapioca (a cheep tuber crop sold in many parts of our country) in the open market. I remember, once a scientist of our space organisation, when speaking about how a research/development work was to be awarded to another research agency without inviting completive bidding, and granting without arbitration, he said (in my mother tongue, literally translated as) “this is not like buying jack-fruits or mangoes, to go for the cheapest offer”. Ours is not rocket science, but not cheap enough to be brought the cheap way it is being brought now either (maybe not in everyone’s case).  

There are even Architects who take a handsome rate from the builder/client/developer, saying “this is not for me, it’s for the structural designer”, and then he himself passing low rates to the structural designer, keeping the rest for himself. Some split the fees for uncompromising structural consultants to three or four instalments, and the last one is mostly meant to be a waiver. Many of then genuinely think it’s the computer program that automatically does all the design, and we are only taking print outs.

We all should continue to practice ethically (including giving higher margin for ‘fear’ factor of safety where appropriate) – but it doesn’t help in forcing anyone else (the unethical ones) to be ethical. As long as builders (however minority they may be) run for unethical economic designs, and ultra-low fees designs, they both sell, so does continue those designers – and the danger they pose.

It’s cruel (and quite anti-social) to say ‘cheap money buys cheap goods or services – they get what they pay for’, but not saying this doesn’t make it un-true either. There’s no way to get past this, until there’s a strong system that those designers can’t get past: be it proof checking or peer review or frequent site inspection or whatever.
  
As far as faulty designs due to ignorance of designers are concerned, one obvious answer to anyone’s guess will be to check up their degree certificates, but I don’t think so. We have lots of ignorant degree holders who work in this field. And many don’t admit (or realise) it and so consequently they never feel the need to learn and update either.
  
So to fight it is to put up barriers – regulatory mechanisms, if it works. Create such a situation. Regulatory authorities have to come in and set it. Let difficulty in non-adherence to regulations/codal compliance come in; and ways of enforcing that difficulty (if not impossibility). And of course, comes with it is the usual reaction to the fear of intervention of under-qualified pencil pushers (as some call it). After all, not everything (I didn’t say ‘nothing’) seems to be right even without their intervention. But rather also think of smoothening the system once it is in place.

I’m not talking about a situation where a designer has to give assurance to the authority who insists that: “That thing should be standing there (for the next 30 years) and that should be the proof; we are not in a position to check your design” – there was a discussion on this lately in our forum. It should be the other way round. The proof of designing as per the conventional technical procedure and adherence to codes should be confirmed, and then the designer should be left free from being a lifelong ‘assurer’ (read ‘insurer’) to that structure. Collect enough documentation for filing, if needed.

I repeat: There’s no way to get past this, until there’s a strong system that they can’t get past so carelessly: be it proof checking or peer review or collection of design volumes to select projects at random for thorough review or whatever. How to confirm this in actual site execution is a task more difficult than checking computer models and drawings.

And finally, a disclaimer: None of what I described above is from my experience – I have friends and acquaintances who are consultants. Some have shared their bad experiences. I remembered their experiences when I read the above posting, and wrote this in one go… didn’t re-think about it. May be things are much better actually. Should say here that most I know are happy with what they are paid.
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vegad
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Joined: 25 Dec 2013
Posts: 138

PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Eng. Rahul,

Thank you for thinking through. I agree that option A is a way civilized option and B only has power to market the problems.

But even a fruit fork has two tines, so B may help push A, which has relevant potency.

Thank you for your thought and your vote.

God bless your courage to think for the society.
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