At an individual level, it seems to me the unions are powerless against the current culture at schools. Heads are getting away with using support plans to bully teachers out and there's diddly squat one can do about it. The only benefit I've seen having my union involved in my case is the advice I have received. But saying that, it is no different to the advice I've seen on this forum. So did I really need my union in the end? I doubt it...I don't think it's made any difference to the outcome of my case.