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Joining a union??

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by teacher2TA, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. Hi,
    Do you need to join a union as a teaching assistant or are they just for teachers? Thanks!
     
  2. One of the unions which represent teaching assisants and other non-teaching school staff is Unison. It's not compulsary to join in the school where I work but most non -teaching staff are members.
     
  3. You don't have to join a union but it is advisable in my opinion. I joined when I found there were occasions when I was responsible for 30 children on my own.
    The main local govt unions are Unison, GMB or Unite.
    You can also join ATL as a support staff member
    Hope this helps.
     
  4. Thanks for the help.
    I just feel that with some of the children we have in the school I work in, I want a bit of protection!
    Will have a look at the unions suggested, thanks again.
     
  5. Join a union as fast as you can !!!!! double quick [​IMG]
     
  6. Just don't join ATL. It is not a 'recognised' support staff union. That is, the employers will not include it in negotiations over national pay & conditions.
    Unison or GMB are the ones to go for. There's another one with one of those fancy one word names that's meant to be terribly meaningful - It is either Voice or Unite, I think.
     
  7. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    As far as I know Unite are a recognised Union for school support staff, maizie -they certainly had a representative on the SSSNB (RIP!)
    Voice are what used to be called PAtT - popular with some TAs because of their 'no strike' policy but, unfortunately, this makes them absolutely useless as a negotiating body, even if they were recognised which they are not.
    As always, I'm agreeing totally with you on unions - Unison or GMB - whichever has most members in your school and/or Local Authority.
     
  8. I knew *one* of them was a 'recognised' union, just couldn't remember which! It's a bit of a bummer having Unite and Unison, but, there you go. I found it all much easier when unions were a collection of initials which actually stood for for what they were :)

    (P.S I'm trying a different browser and it doesn't give me any formatting options :-( )

    (P.P.S I'm on our *third* Snow Day so far this week....this is getting a bit silly. There's a blizzard outside at the moment; will someone please tell it to Go Away...)
     
  9. Hmmmm. Let's try that again, with formatting.
    I knew one of them was a 'recognised' union, just couldn't remember which! It's a bit of a bummer having Unite and Unison, but, there you go. I found it all much easier when unions were a collection of initials which actually stood for for what they were [​IMG]
    (P.S I'm trying a different browser and it doesn't give me any formatting options [​IMG] Don't use Apple Safari for posting on TES!)
    (P.P.S I'm on our third Snow Day so far this week....this is getting a bit silly. There's a blizzard outside at the moment; will someone please tell it to Go Away [​IMG])
     
  10. historygrump

    historygrump Senior commenter Forum guide

    As a member of the ATL, I would say it is far more pro-support then pro-teacher, which I have pointed out to the leadership without much success, they do not like things like this being pointed out to them and I know of teachers, who have resigned from the ATL and switiched to the NUT instead.
     
  11. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    I am quite peeved with ATL too, histroygrump - they are trying to 'poach' TAs in order to raise their income even though they don't represent them in negotiations on terms and conditions. This means that those negotiations are being done by the recognised TA unions and funded by their members resulting in said members 'carrying' the people who pay their dues to ATL but gain from the work of Unison, GMB and Unite who are all losing out on member subscriptions.
    I know some TAs will post that they were fantastically supported by ATL in individual instances but this will be a very small minority whereas annual pay claims affect us all. But, most importantly, there is always the possibility that a situation will arise where there is a disagreement between the needs of teachers and those of TAs - ATL is supposed to represent teachers but what will they do in this situation? If I were a teacher I don't think I would be happy with this at all, I'm afraid.
     
  12. Hi
    you dont have to join a union but it is advisable. I would recommend ATL,
     
  13. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    [​IMG]
     
  14. ATL have always been great for me, personally.
     
  15. Haveyou ever felt completely invisible? [​IMG]
     
  16. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    I assumed it was intended to be funny, maizie!
    On the other hand, I do suspect that some people post without ever reading anything on a thread beyond the title so perhaps not!
     
  17. I think you should join a union but you need to think about your priorities when it comes to choosing. Unison are good for pay negotiation but very poor when support is needed in an educational setting. Voice is good for support and legal advice but probably not good for pay negotiation.
     
  18. I would be careful about making sweeping generalisations like that. How good a union is at local level depends very much on the local personnel. Don't forget that most of the union's 'support' work is carried out by shop stewards, who are probably in full time work themselves. A union is only likely to have a very small paid staff at LA level, mostly in admin. So the quality of support can vary from region to region.

    Unison in our area is very strong in schools and is excellent when support is needed by members. I can't speak for other areas.

    But the key thing is to join a 'recognised' union. Even more important now that the Condems are after cutting costs!
     
  19. Is there any nice little union I could join that's not keen on striking? I was very put off the GMB when they came to our school allegedly to talk about working conditions, but actually to do a very hard sell to get us to join.
     
  20. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    It is perfectly clear from previous posts on here which nice little union is not keen on striking.
    When the membership of the recognised support staff unions has dropped to a level where they are no longer allowed to negotiate on behalf of school support staff and therefore those staff no longer get pay rises (contrary to what some people fondly imagine the employers do not pay such a thing as an annual 'cost of living' rise - pay rises have to be negotiated by unions and are not given by the employers out of a sense of beneficence) and when your head reduces your pay and increases your workload (you are a qualified teacher, I believe so they will almost certainly increase your workload) please feel free to come on here and whinge about it.
    I assume your post was intended to be ironic, amusing or plain provoking but, unfortunately, there are many TAs who actually think like this and either do not see or simply do not care that we union members have been paying for years for improvements in wages and conditions which non-members not only accept but even expect! All trade unions, not just GMB, are desparate to increase their membership in order to keep their bargaining position with employers, which is why some teaching unions are now asking support staff to join - not because they particularly want to reperesent them but they want to maintain their position for their teaching members.
    Unions are not just about striking but I do suspect that if you are ever faced with a similar situation to the one we had here when council employees are losing thousands of pounds per year and even total loss of employment you may consider that industrial action might not necessarily be such a bad thing after all!

     

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