Teaching unions - which one?

(29 Posts)
SDhopeful Wed 14-Aug-13 15:38:49

Am starting teacher training in Sept via School Direct unsalaried/PGCE
so have been advise to join a union. Any recommendations? I do not want to pay a political levy to Labour party.
TIA

SDhopeful Sat 31-Aug-13 14:36:07

I want to be part of a profession where a union is a group of people who want to use their collective voice of experience to improve the quality of education, part of which is ensuring sensible working conditions for those who teach. I don't want to be a sheeple driven by an ideologue hijacking the agenda to score narrow political points...

uselessinformation Fri 30-Aug-13 21:18:12

I personally believe that if you expect the union to help you when you need them then you should support the union when a strike has been called (from a ballot by members). However, I do have a dilemma about striking for pay as I think teachers are paid a fair wage. I will strike over pensions. Arranging a school trip for a strike day can be a good idea.

LadyMilfordHaven Mon 26-Aug-13 11:49:09

none I dont belong to any
I have my own insurance

Awakeagain Sat 24-Aug-13 08:54:00

Don't forget you get a countdown car with the nut as well
If you remember that you have it you can make a few good savings :-)

I really didnt know which to join, NUT rang with a good offer so joined then (once I started work), I'm primary and NUT and NASUWT are probably equally represented in my school, there's one ATL member who joined, any they joined the NUT members who went on strike

Join all of them as a student, then once you are employed see what the representation is like in your school

HamletsSister Wed 21-Aug-13 22:00:07

Voice - no strike and no political affiliations. Even if you do "opt out" with the other Unions, your membership is of a pro Labour organisation.

Phineyj Wed 21-Aug-13 21:55:52

I have found ATL fairly useless but it was worth joining for the public liability insurance (covers you for private tutoring and examining) although I expect all unions offer that? ATL do seem to cover people in teaching type jobs who don't meet the formal definition of teacher - for instance they will cover a qualified teacher working as a TA. I have done some lecturing so that kind of flexibility was attractive.

OldRoan Sat 17-Aug-13 18:55:31

At my NQT induction (for the whole London borough) it was made very clear that The Voice aren't recognised as an 'official' union (although this was from the very opinionated NUT rep). I have just finished my PGCE having joined all the unions as a student, and have now joined ATL because they were the only ones who were proactive in promoting CPD courses to students. I'm not sure I'll stick with them though, I think I'm the only member in my primary school (for September).

ouryve Fri 16-Aug-13 11:52:38

Even ATL support striking if a member feels it will support other staff in a school. They were involved with the one day strikes, last(?) year.

SDhopeful Fri 16-Aug-13 11:34:45

Thank you - I like the fact that you can work the day and donate the pay, had not thought of that.

Eyesunderarock Fri 16-Aug-13 09:03:25

I joined a union to protect and look out for me if I got into trouble, and to safeguard my rights as a teacher.
I've used the NUT several times over my career and they have done exactly that.
For those who are uncomfortable striking, an alternative that some use is to work the day and donate the pay. None of the schools I've worked in have had issues amongst staff when some have gone on strike and some haven't, it is a difficult choice for everyone.

soapboxqueen Fri 16-Aug-13 08:49:07

To my knowledge nasuwt have always been a striking union, it's just they were less likely to do national strikes. They tended to focus on school wide strikes.

ATL do strike, just very rarely.

GW297 Fri 16-Aug-13 00:04:36

I thought that. I think NAS do now strike, it's ATL that don't.

SuffolkNWhat Thu 15-Aug-13 23:41:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SDhopeful Thu 15-Aug-13 16:07:46

definitely heading towards NSAUWT, especially as do not want to strike.

mumandboys123 Thu 15-Aug-13 15:51:15

having just completed my training year, I have made my selection based on the union that has saved me the most money - the 'benefits' with the NASUWT worked very well for me as a cash-strapped lone parent with three children! My NQT year will be spent in a school where membership is pretty much equal between the Nasuwt and the NUT.
Clear as mud?!

ninah Thu 15-Aug-13 11:55:51

snap GW
I am with NASUWT now

GW297 Wed 14-Aug-13 20:36:36

Sheerwill - sorry you went through that. Glad NAS were supportive, that is good to hear,

SDhopeful Wed 14-Aug-13 20:36:26

Thank you all. Will join NASUWT and NUT

GW297 Wed 14-Aug-13 20:35:30

I would not recommend ATL.

SheerWill Wed 14-Aug-13 17:01:46

I switched to the NASUWT from NUT, as when I needed help NUT weren't interested in taking on case work, but that might just be in my area. NASUWT have been so supportive, especially when I experienced work place bullying by the head teacher. I have also been a rep in the past and courses they provided were fab.

Don't bother with any union other that the three mentioned above, as if you do have problems more obscure ones are not even recognised by LEAs.

soapboxqueen Wed 14-Aug-13 16:52:49

Personally I wouldn't bother with anything that wasn't NUT or NASUWT. As others have said they are usually free during training so you can join all and decide later. Usually best to join which every is more dominant in your school.

I've personally find NUT to be less involved in local issues and more likely to go for national strikes. While nasuwt is more likely to be involved with strikes in particular schools over specific issues.

BranchingOut Wed 14-Aug-13 16:01:08

ATL - never encountered any members, apart from meeting the head of the organisation once on the tube! Lovely man, now retired.

NUT - probably the most 'political' and some would say militant, but they have the largest membership, I think. Also renowned for really fighting for their members when the chips are down.

NASUWT - less political and quite into broader education issues, such as education in developing world. I was a member. I did need their support once, but never had a rep in my school. I therefore used a regional rep. The rep was very supportive, but not a 'fighter'.

ouryve Wed 14-Aug-13 15:58:47

If you want a truly independent union, then Voice, which used to be the PAT, is non TUC affiliated and anti-strike, though you'd most likely find yourself alone in a meeting in anything but the independent sector.

ouryve Wed 14-Aug-13 15:53:27

It depends on the type of school you are going for, but if you're training to teach in secondary, then ATL may be the best union for you, for now. They tend not to be very well represented in the primary sector

Arisbottle Wed 14-Aug-13 15:48:58

I have switched between NUT and NASUWT according to which was the most represented in my school .

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