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How did you choose your teaching union?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by StarbabyCat, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. StarbabyCat

    StarbabyCat New commenter

    ....I'm wondering because I was debating with my little sister. She is currently doing her primary PGCE and I start mine (secondary history) in September. I asked her why she joined the NUT and whether she had done any research and she said that it was because she had been given a free bag by them! Then she conceded that the ATL had also given her a bag but she joined the NUT because that was the union her mentor was a member of (in her first placement). Essentially, she hadn't really given it much thought!
    They all have 'deals' to entice student teachers, so just wondering how you came to your decision? I have been reading all the policies etc.
  2. thequillguy

    thequillguy New commenter

    NASUWT secondary, NUT primary, ALT others. Simplistic, and likely wrong, but my experience (although with exceptions.)
  3. thequillguy

    thequillguy New commenter

    As a student I believe they are all free. What you might want to do is see which union rep you like the most, as they'll be the person you'll be dealing with. The unions have political reputations, but that's for others to tell you about.
  4. As a student you can join all of them for free, and I'm pretty sure you can remain a member of all of them - cheaply or free - during your NQT year. Thereafter you have to make a choice. So why not join the lot and decide after experiencing what they have to offer which to stay with?
  5. Join them all, take the goodies. When you find a permanent post, talk to the reps at your school and see which of them is the most proactive and go with their union. If there are any issues, they will be the people looking out for you
  6. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    In my area the two main unions seem to be the NUT and the NASUWT. When I was on my final placement there was a strike and my teacher tutor advised me to think about my feelings towards strike action when choosing which union to join. Some unions (eg. NUT) are more likely to take strike action than others (eg. NASUWT). If your union chooses to strike, it is expected (although not required) that you will join in with the strike. My teacher tutor said that, in her experience, if it's a situation where some classes are closed but others remain open, the teachers who have chosen to strike can come up against anger from parents, and it helps if they have strong convictions towards strike action. As I don't have strong feelings towards it, she recommended I join the NASUWT.
    I also liked how simple the NASUWT's sign up was - join for free for the first year, just give us your name, address, etc. The NUT promised me free membership in the first year, 50% off in the second year - but I couldn't find out anywhere how much membership costs - and required my credit card details as well as name, address, etc. That annoyed me because, if it's free, they shouldn't need my credit card details, yet I couldn't join without giving them.
  7. Sometime between October and February the TES had a fantastic table comparing the unions, the main three and another one for student teachers and NQTs to consider - including price, unique offering to support trainee/new teachers and their respective industrial action policies.
    I've just spent the last god knows how long going through all the old copies I've got looking for it but I just can't find it... It definitely exists though! Does anyone else remember it/know which issue it was?
  8. primenumbers

    primenumbers New commenter

    I joined all three during my PGCE as they were free.During my NQT year, only NUT charged £1 for the annual fee.Once you are in a school, you will be abe to see which union is the most active in your school and can choose one.

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