A mega union is born

Members of two of the biggest education unions voted overwhelmingly to combine their forces in the face of what they believe is unprecedented crisis in teacher recruitment and retention, caused by a hostile government agenda.
The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and the National Union of Teachers (NUT) announced voted by huge margins to form a new union*. The union will be called the National Education Union.
The National Education Union will come into existence on 1 September 2017 with over 450,000 members, representing the majority of teachers and providing a powerful voice for the whole education profession, including support staff, lecturers and leaders working in state-funded and independent schools and colleges. It will be the fourth largest trade union in the UK and the biggest union of teachers and education professionals in Europe.
Mary Bousted, General Secretary, ATL said: “This is an historic moment. I am delighted that both ATL and NUT members have voted to come together to form the National Education Union. With nearly half a million members, we will speak with a stronger voice on behalf of education professionals and the children, young people and adults they support. The Government will need to listen when we speak on the key issues facing education – funding cuts, excessive workloads, the recruitment and retention crisis, the chaotic exam reform, and accountability.
“The new union will combine ATL’s diversity of members, training and policy expertise with the NUT’s lobbying and effective local activity. It will be the largest union in most schools, bringing together everyone in their workplaces - teachers, lecturers, support staff, heads and managers – and empowering them to share their expertise and improve their working lives.”

Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the NUT said: This is a fantastic result for members of both unions and for education. For too long Governments, have played divide and rule amongst education unions. Today marks the beginning of the end of that. The National Education Union will be a game changer in the education landscape and I am delighted to be jointly leading it forward over the coming months and years.
ATL Ballot Results
Total number of papers issued: 121,083
Total number of ballot papers returned: 29,841
Total number of spoiled papers: 111
Number voting ‘YES’: 21,722
Number voting ‘NO’: 8,008
Percentage voting ‘YES’: 73%
NUT Ballot Results
Total number of papers issued: 300,046
Total number of ballot papers returned: 67,865
Total number of spoiled papers: 29
Number voting ‘YES’: 65,908
Number voting ‘NO’: 1,928
Percentage voting ‘YES’: 97.2 per cent
On 1 January 2019, a new executive will be elected and the ATL and NUT sections will be integrated. Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney will remain as joint general secretaries until July 2023 when there will be an election for one general secretary of the new union.


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