The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and the National Union of Teachers (NUT) held special conferences on November 5 at which delegates welcomed the progress made in negotiations on the amalgamation of the two unions to form a new union. The conferences endorsed the rules of the new union, to be called the National Education Union. This decision will now be put to the members of both unions for approval in ballots to be held in the spring term. The following press release was published on November 5 by the Media Office of the ATL.
Association of Teachers and Lecturers’ (ATL) members have today (Saturday) voted for ATL members to be balloted about a new union with the National Union of Teachers (NUT) with more than 450,000 members.
Delegates at ATL’s special conference in London voted to take the next step towards forming the National Education Union, which would bring together ATL and NUT members across every sector and role.
Delegates at the NUT’s special conference also voted to ballot its members on creating a new union.
Following today’s vote in favour, ATL, and NUT members will be balloted in spring 2017 on whether they want to form a new union which would launch in September 2017
If it goes ahead, the new union would become the largest education union with approaching half a million members speaking with one voice on education. It would be the fourth largest union in the TUC.
Dr Mary Bousted, ATL general secretary, said: “A new union will bring together the best elements of ATL and NUT to give a louder voice to education professionals when speaking out against poor government policy and bad employment practices.
“The new union will support every member in maintained or independent schools and colleges – teachers, lecturers, support staff, leaders – to come together to make their working lives better, letting them concentrate on their main purpose, to educate children and young people.”
If approved by both ATL and NUT members in separate ballots, the new union will start a transitional phase from 1 September 2017 until 1 January 2019 with separate ATL and NUT sections and a joint executive committee and joint general secretaries.
National rules for the new union would come into effect on 1 January 2019 with a new executive elected and the integration of ATL and the NUT would have separate sections. General secretary posts will be elected to run from 1 August 2018 to 31 July 2023 when an election for one general secretary will be held.
In the new union, a ballot for industrial action could only take place after an indicative survey of members which showed a ballot was likely to be successful and meet industrial action laws.