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Which Union best for TA's?

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by MissKorbey, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. I joined Unison, I know some other TAs who are members of GMB. When I joined, I was just looking for one that would give legal support and advice if I needed it. I didn't do much research.
  2. There is only 2 out of 30 TA's in my schol that are not members of GMB... in fact, in the last year those that hadn't been left Unison to join GMB =) they offer legal advise even if it's nothing to do with school/education.

    GMB reps seem to be more enthusiastic - the reason those who had been with Unison moved was because they'd never actually ever seen a rep... GMB comes into schools in our area at least once a year.
  3. Hiya
    I joined GMB 10 years ago when I was working with a child that needed positive handling...I figured that I ought to protect myself, and the child.
    I've been with them ever since tho thankfully have never had the cause to use them...you just never know!
    For a fiver a month is really is worth it.

    Having said that they only just this year came back to visit and sign up the 18 TA's that have joined our school since!!!
  4. I am an HLTA and am a member of ATL. This has more traditionally been a teaching union (formerly AMMA) but now has a strong support staff wing. I have contacted my local rep on a number of occasions and have always found her very willing to listen and offer advice. Although I have never investigated further, there is training available for teaching and support staff at various locations throughout the country and each area has a rep who works to develop local training needs. Hope this helps.
  5. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    The three unions which are recognised as representing school support staff are Unison, GMB and Unite. Best to find out which one most of your colleagues are in (or which is judged the best for TAs in your authority) and go with them.
    Teaching unions can give you personal support but are not able to negotiate on terms and conditions so, for the vast majority of TA members who hopefully will never have need of personal legal support, they really would be taking your money for nothing - they cannot negotiate any pay rises (the supposed 'cost of living' rise which we haven't had for the last two years is not automatic, it has to be negotiated by our unions,) and they will not be involved in any discussions about changes to terms of employment such as the implementation of Single Status.
    Many GMB and Unison Shop Stewards are themselves employed as school support staff so they have personal knowldege of the jobs done by members of these unions and can ensure that union support is targetted appropriately. I know that GMB provide lots of free courses for members, and I pretty sure Unison must do the same.
    If union membership is split between too many unions then member numbers for the smallest ones will fall to below the level when they are legally entitled to be consulted - I'm afraid I very strongly suspect this is why teaching unions have recently launched recruitment drives for TA members - they want to keep their own numbers up to prevent this happening to them, leaving them unable to represent their main membership group - teachers.
  6. I'm a HLTA and have been a member of GMB for a number of years now. Iv.'ve never had the need to use them but if I did then I'm luck to have a local office 5 minutes walk away from my school.
  7. I'm a member of Unison because that was my union in my previous job - university senior information assistant (library assistant SSShhhhhh!) Also, some of the other TA's are in Unison so just went with that so that we would be all in the same boat.
  8. Am about to go on one of their courses this week. bahaviour management for support staff. Sounds good when I had the info through.

  9. sorry, thought above message had a quote. It was in reply to nmadeley
  10. I know this is a long time after you asked, but just so you, and others, would know for the future the following unions all take teaching assistants, ATL, NASUWT (only those with teaching in their job description), GMB, Unison and Unite. If working in a college rather than a school then UCU would also take you.

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