1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

What is the point of belonging to a union?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by TEA2111, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    I am glad that there are volunteers, but my particular local school rep was utterly, utterly useless. Beyond useless.he did nothing. I think, I’d anything, he was pumping me for information to send back to his bully mates in the SLT. He was looking forward to his own juicy and well pensioned full final salary retirement, so didn’t want to rock the boat. That is the simple unvarnished truth of it. I bet it’s not uncommon either. He made a big deal just before I left of having a’little chat’ and I felt like punching him. I remember he peeped through the door window of the conference room I was hauled into. I called it the ‘mega meeting’ as the school had insisted on EIGHT of us being there: bully deputy head 1, deputy head 2, ( my spineless hod was too chicken to show so she was replaced by a faculty head who liked me, was utterly uncomfortable and out of his depth), me, the school’s jaded and ‘about to retire’ HR trollop, the school’s new HR spray-tanned trollop, my regional rep and her assistant (as my regional rep was so overworked, she, too was about to retire.) What did local school rep do? Have a ‘quick word’ with Chief Bully 1, nod his entitled and indulged little head and scuttle off! Cheers then. My regional and school reps were poles apart within the same union.
  2. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Yes but see my post below. Some reps are diamonds, others are melted chocolate fireguards. And we the union membership pay consistently....service offered is anything but. I understand why local reps can feel intimidated. It’s another symptom of how unhealthy school cultures are now. People are scared to do all out strike action because most carry debt and don’t want to be fired and without salary. Money talks, money wins. If my other business come through I will be cancelling my associate membership. Whenever I cal, the union membership department, they sound desperate. They say that despite twenty years of service, if I quit and there was a break, if I later rejoined, I’d nit enjoy the same level of access. Currently I do not even teach in a school and am paying them for just staying as an associate.
    Orchid2457 likes this.
  3. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Pretty soon they won’t need teaching unions anyway. School will move entirely online and be fully automated with the good online independent educators being self employed and their own best bosses.
    a1976 likes this.
  4. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Nice simile!
  5. Orchid2457

    Orchid2457 New commenter

    I sympathise totally. Feeling like you’re walking away and letting the bullies win.
    Someone once told me I had to pick my battles and let karma do the rest. It’s 2019 and I feel like I’m back on top after surviving a toxic environment. Know that you will get through this. X
  6. Oscillatingass

    Oscillatingass Star commenter

    Absolutely. It is quite amazing how many experienced and therefore expensive teachers are suddenly found to be "ineffective" at the time of budget constraints.;) Of course they are "supported" and then capabilitied out of the profession. The best the Unions can do is negotiate a "settlement" which enables the victim to leave their job with an agreed reference. If their confidence has not been totally undermined they may find a teaching job elsewhere but invariably at a lower salary to the one they left.The Heads laugh at the Unions.
  7. Oscillatingass

    Oscillatingass Star commenter

    Spot on.
  8. Oscillatingass

    Oscillatingass Star commenter

    Mrsmumbles likes this.
  9. FriarLawrence

    FriarLawrence Senior commenter

    Well, yes. This.

    I'm afraid that too many SLTs (but by no means all, thank god) are like mine:
    • Ambitious, ruthless and (often) pretty dumb;
    • As a result, very VERY fond of a ticked box;
    • Very resistant to being gainsaid, challenged or constructively criticised;
    • Zero critical thinking ability;
    • Zero inclination to shield their subordinates from unnecessary work - rather, a tendency to shovel downwards to keep their own desk clear. Sorry - I mean delegation.
    • Total lack of empathy, having completely forgotten what a 100% timetable feels like;
    • Invisible;
    • Disproportionately comprised of promoted PE teachers - not that there's anything wrong with that, but PE is not the same as full time classroom practice, and often these colleagues have a skewed sense of what life is like for classroom staff;
    • Disproportionately comprised of promoted HOYs rather than HODs - again, an imperfect understanding of curriculum pressures;
    • Almost no core subject specialists - so no understanding of the pressure of being an English or Maths teacher / HOD whose class's / dept's results could make or break the whole school;
    So is it any wonder they promote in their own image?
    a1976, tenpast7, Orchid2457 and 6 others like this.
  10. i4004

    i4004 New commenter

    Suggested viewing: Trotsky on Netflix. Excellent dramatisation and in Russian too! Then Lemony Snicket's Unfortunate series of events. It is all about the Schism between those who believe in the rules and moral principles and those who pursue self interest before all else.
  11. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Frankly, mate, the entire English education system’s meltdown over the past ten years has been a Govian series of unfortunate events...
    tenpast7, Orchid2457 and Curae like this.
  12. ElizaMorrell

    ElizaMorrell Occasional commenter

    Or teachers join the school with ideas different to the academy's ideas so the heretics get forced out.

    Or the school hired an experienced teacher because recruitment was low, but really they'd like a nice, cheap, naive NQT so they need the experienced teacher to leave.

    Or the teacher threatens Union action over unfair treatment of staff so the teacher needs to be forced out.

    Or the school is due ofsted so people get put on support plans, allowing SLT to more closely monitor staff even though there's no real concerns.

    Or the HT has 6 year's teaching experience in a limited range of year groups before the MAT promoted him to management so he wouldn't know good practice if it smacked him in the face, and often doesn't understand why teachers make the choices they do.

    I'm sure in a minority of the cases, ISPs are warranted but in today's atmosphere there are many cases of inappropriate support plans.

    I've had no need for a union until I joined a MAT. Hopefully my years of subscription are worth it...
    Lara mfl 05, TEA2111 and Mrsmumbles like this.
  13. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    You know, I’m reading all these posts and am so glad to be self employed now. It’s not that I cannot teach,or don’t like the kids or don’t like the subject. It’s that a bunch of stupid and vindictive little s.its in suits have made my job impossible, so I have had to make myself a new career. What a weird country the UK is. The wastage and corresponding skills drop mus5 surely be affecting grades now? It has already affected student and staff morale.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  14. TEA2111

    TEA2111 Established commenter

    Spot on! I'm now very grateful to my union; they got me out in the nick of time. Quite frankly, I don't know how my now exHead sleeps at night.
    pepper5, Orchid2457 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  15. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Post #1 - Monday
    Post #74 - yesterday
    Blimey, that's the quickest change of mind TES has seen for some time ;) Good decision.
    nomad, ilovesooty and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  16. TEA2111

    TEA2111 Established commenter

    :pNope, I haven't changed my mind. There were issues that my union had strong opinions on about my case, but left me to deal with them, as well as not representing me at a meeting with the Head . I strongly feel that had he been a little more involved the Chair of the Governors may have had a different take and the outcome could have had a different turn. I felt there was a slight disinterest and I was also frustrated that I was left to deal with my Head who plays dirty. Basically, my experience is that the union is there more as an advisory than a representative.

    However, with the outcome as is I'm glad I had the union to turn to manage an exit deal for me. The exit has been the least stressful part of my experience. :D
    Orchid2457 and Rott Weiler like this.
  17. shenshah

    shenshah New commenter

    Well don't worry TEA. ..if you really are a good teacher and I'm sure u are ..you will easily get a job anywhere as there is shortage of quality like yourself
  18. banoffeepie11

    banoffeepie11 New commenter

  19. banoffeepie11

    banoffeepie11 New commenter

    I've posted something similar to you. I am questioning the unions support also. The best advice I've received is here and at the CAB. Also check out the gov.com for your work rights. Really good advice about employment rights.
  20. a1976

    a1976 Established commenter

    I second that!

Share This Page