The members of two different teaching unions have voted to merge to form a new ‘super-union’; this will be called the National Education Union (NEU.)
The two merging unions, known as National Union of Teachers (NUT) and Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), will become the biggest union of teachers and educators within Europe.
The new union will help to represent the whole education profession, covering leaders across the UK’s maintained and independent sectors.
With ATL having nearly half a million members alone, the new union will have a stronger voice and will become a ‘game-changer.’
People are able to join the NEU on the 1st September, representing over 450,000 teachers, as well as other education workers such as teaching assistants and support staff. Until that time, you can still join either ATL or NUT making sure the union best meets your needs, as they currently don’t offer a joint membership.
ATL and NUT have a vision for education which enables students to understand and therefore contribute to a wider society which will support, encourage and consequently improve the working lives of education professionals.
Given the current challenges facing the education sector, the NEU aims to give its members excellent advice, support and representation, learning and development opportunities as well as a stronger voice in local and national negotiations/campaigns.
This merge will be the chance to bring together the best elements of both ATL and the NUT to provide stronger representation and support in every workplace, sector and role.
The NUT and ATL member’s votes were balloted between 27th February 2017 and 21st March2017.
For the ATL members, the response rate was 25% (29,841 votes) while the NUT’s was 23% (67,865 votes). Of all the ATL members who voted, 73% (21,722) stated yes to the merge, in comparison to NUT’s 97% (65,908.)
It is lead to believe the merge was a ‘historic moment’, with supporters also stating how ‘the government will need to listen when key issues facing education like funding cuts, workloads, recruitment and others are spoken about.’