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Unions for TAs?

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by nhdut15, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. I've just accepted a job as a HLTA and was wondering which is the best union to join as a TA. Any hints or tips will be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you in advance.
  2. I've just accepted a job as a HLTA and was wondering which is the best union to join as a TA. Any hints or tips will be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you in advance.
  3. I am in Unison.
  4. I am in GMB. To be honest I think there's very little difference between the two. The only reason I went with GMB is that they were fractionally cheaper than Unison at the time I joined.
  5. I'm with ATL, they are a little more expensive... but the training they offer is frequent and outstanding.
  6. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    The only 'official' unions for TAs (that is, the only unions who are involved in negotiations with the employers regarding pay and terms and conditions of service) are Unison, GMB and Unite.
    Some teaching unions, most notably ATL, will allow TAs to join and can act as union rep for personal issues (eg, disciplinary hearings) but are not involved in the aforementioned negotiations. The teaching unions are desparate for new members and so are happy to have non-teachers even though their main purpose is to stand up for the interests of their teaching members.
    My advice is to find out which out of GMB and Unison your colleagues are in and go with that if they are happy with it - in my area GMB are extremely pro-active in representing TAs and other school support staff but I know that in some others it is Unison who are the most effective. Please don't be tempted to join a teaching union - lots of people will tell you how lovely ATL are, and I'm sure it's true, but there will come a time (and I suspect it's not too far away now) when an issue will arise where teachers and TAs do not want the same outcome, and teaching unions absolutely must represent teachers first!
  7. taitie

    taitie New commenter

    Lol - and I was going to recommend ATL as a TA!! I have to say that my school union rep (who is a teacher) has all the members interests at heart and we are going through a major reorganisation ( 3 tier schools into 2) at the moment. He has fought for all of us equally whether its teaching issues or support issues. I also have personal dealings with the regional rep who won me a lovely huge sum (thousands!!) from a previous school. I am rather biased but I do believe they have the same goal as me which is to give the students the best we can. I cant see what issues teaching staff and support staff could possibly disagree on when it comes to the education of students. The only issue maybe the HTs' use of support staff for unqualified teaching but unfortunately its what we do to keep our poorly paid jobs!
  8. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    Voice may claim to be 'recognised' by all local authorities but they are not involved in any group negotiations with employers - apart from anything else, they have a tiny membership and so are not considered as representatives of TAs as a group. I used to be a member when they were called PAtT - they are also very nice and helfpful people but have no input into policy or negotiation. The sadly soon-to-be-scrapped (although they haven't actually gone yet!) SSSNB only has representatives from Unison, GMB and Unite as part of their membership - no other unions are 'recognised' as representing School support Staff as far as Local authorities are concerned.

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