Historic step forward: ATL and NUT to form a new union

Press release
22 March 2017 by ATL Media Office
Today, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and the National Union of Teachers (NUT) announced that members have voted overwhelmingly in favour of joining 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 NUT and ATL both have proud histories, but speaking with one voice we will be a stronger force standing up for education, teachers the wider education profession and for the children and young people we teach. 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.

Editor’s Note: The questions put were as follows: 

Do you agree that the Association of Teachers and Lecturers should amalgamate with the National Union of Teachers to form a new trade union.

And

Do you agree that the National Union of Teachers should amalgamate with the Association of Teachers and Lecturers to form a new trade union. 

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%

The ATL and NUT ballots ran from 27 February to 21 March.

The National Education Union will start from 1 September 2017, with ATL and NUT operating parallel sections under a joint executive committee until 2019 and with joint general secretaries until 2023. 

New rules will come in 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.

For further information, please contact:

  • Caroline Cowie, NUT press officer, c.cowie@nut.org.uk, 0207 380 4706 or 07879480061. 
  • Christine Gregory, ATL press office, cgregory@atl.org.uk – 020 7782 1589, out of hours 07918 617466, switchboard 020 7930 6441
Tagged with: 
NEU