Two of the UK’s biggest teacher unions recently announced a merger which will create the biggest union of educators in Europe. Moving forward, the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) will become known as the newly-formed National Education Union (NEU) on the 1st September 2017.
The super-union is headed up by both former leaders of the NUT and ATL, Kevin Courtney and Mary Bousted respectively. The two will share the post of general secretary, are said to have a good working relationship and will oversee half a million members.
Both Courtney and Bousted believe that this move will give the profession a truly stronger voice and NUT head Courtney said the union would be a “game-changer” and Bousted followed up by calling it a “historic moment”.
The action comes following a ballot of members between 27th February and 21st March 2017. Results show that 73% of ATL members who voted said Yes to the merger (21,722) and 97% of NUT voting members said Yes (65,908). The overall response rates were ATL; 25% (29,841 votes) and NUT; 23% (67,865 votes).
Bousted said, “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.”
Courtney followed up, “For too long, governments have played divide and rule amongst education unions. Today marks the beginning of the end of that.”
Time will ultimately tell if schools and educators are better heard, but it appears that this super-union will certainly look to seek answers on the education sector from the UK Government moving forward.
What are your views on the merger? Were you involved in the vote? Let us know in the comments section below.