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Unions

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by dozymare1957, Jun 14, 2015.

  1. dozymare1957

    dozymare1957 Occasional commenter

    I know this was discussed some years ago but I think the information may be out of date and I wondered if people could advise me please.

    At present I am not in a union but I feel that I must join one now. I just don't know anything about unions.

    Which one are you in and why did you choose it?

    Thanks for any input.
     
  2. Trekkie

    Trekkie Occasional commenter

    GMB at my school.- always has been since I started there 18-19 years ago. I don't think any of us have the time or inclination to check out the other options so we just joined the same one!

    Before my (early!) retirement at Easter I was paying £7.15 per month. I believe there are different rates depending on hours worked.


     
  3. Underachiever

    Underachiever New commenter

    Originally I was in UNISON because they negotiate our pay. However, I found them unhelpful to say the least. I've long since come to the conclusion that my pay is a lost cause and now I'm only interested in my work conditions and legal protection. I'm in ATL. I have had recourse to them and found them excellent.
     
  4. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    Here is my oft-repeated spiel on unions!

    Only three unions are currently involved in any negotiations with employers on behalf of school support staff: Unison, GMB and Unite. All unions are in danger of losing this right if membership falls below a certain level (don't know percentage offhand) which is why teaching unions suddenly changed their stance on having TAs as members.

    Most unions are currently struggling in terms of offering support because funding for Union Reps to have time free for their duties was drastically cut since the 2010 coalition government came into power so I suspect many people will find that it is difficult to get hold of anyone to come into school if you do not have a workplace rep.

    My advice still remains that whatever their faults it is important to be in a union - any one of the above three, best to check out which has most members in your LA when choosing - it's generally GMB or Unison in schools.
     
  5. I am in UNISON and I would recommend them but it depends on the reason to join. I worked in a Special School when I joined UNISON as it was recommended by one of the teachers to join a union. There was only one option at the time as to which union I could join but I was glad I did. I had to have them represent me after being reported for something I didn't do. They were great.

    When I moved to my next job in a college I continued my membership as I feel it is very important to have someone on your side. I am at present one of the work place reps in my college and I can see how well the college work with the unions. We have had a few people I have been able to represent and they have felt it worthwhile having someone who works at the college in meetings with them and just to advise them in certain circumstances. I am not into negotiations for support staff in schools being in a college but I have worked with management to get better contracts for our support workers.

    Do other support staff in your school belong to unions? Ask about and see which ones they are in. Not just TA's etc. there are office staff etc. too. Go online and see how much you would pay a month for fees. If you are on a low income some unions (I know UNISON do.) give grants towards winter fuel bills or school uniform grants and you can most likely get more back than you have paid in fees.

    Do join a union asap as if you need them then they will need you to be a member for a certain time before you can access their services.

    Let us know what you decide.
     
  6. mummysue

    mummysue New commenter

    Please join one asap. I was UNISON rep before I escaped and can only say in this day and age it is vital to have some back-up when allegations against adults fly round schools, sometimes just for the fun of it, or so it seems.
     
  7. mrmatt73

    mrmatt73 Occasional commenter

    Whatever union you do choose, just join one that you have had good feedback on. I'm in Unison as are most of the TA's and HLTA's in my school. It is cheaper than GMB by about £4 per month and you can opt out of giving money to Labour. As 'mummysue' said above, please, please join one for the reasons she has given. Also, we have had TA's in my school that have no help when they have had health problems and the school wants to get rid of them.
     

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