Getting active in the workplace

By far the easiest way to increase the influence of the NASUWT in the school is to have a well organised NASUWT membership. Recruiting new members, retaining the current membership and organising those members collectively at school level is the key to gaining influence with both employers and the government. As more members are recruited into the NASUWT, the Union can speak on behalf of more teachers. Teachers are far more likely to join the NASUWT if one of their teacher colleagues asks them, therefore members of the NASUWT are often the best people to convince other teachers to join and get involved in the NASUWT, every member of the NASUWT has an important role to play in building the Union.

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If you are interested in getting active in the NASUWT in your workplace there are a variety of different roles you can undertake depending on your specific interests. The NASUWT would like to fill all of these roles in every school as we believe creating an NASUWT workplace team is the most effective way to represents the needs of all of the Unions members in the school. Find out more about each NASUWT workplace role Workplace Rep, Health and Safety Rep, Union Learning Rep, or Teacher Governor Rep. The Union is only as strong as its members therefore every workplace needs an effective NASUWT team by having members volunteer for these roles. This team can influence all aspects of the workplace.

What else can I do?

The NASUWT recognises that although not everybody wants to become involved at this level, many members have told the NASUWT that they are willing to support Union activity by ensuring that members in the workplace are well informed about the latest developments in education policy and by acting as a communication link between the Union and its members. It is for this reason that the NASUWT is developing a network of workplace contacts. Examples of the types of activity Workplace Contacts could undertake include opening and disseminating NASUWT post to members, making sure the school noticeboard has NASUWT information on it and is regularly updated and attending NASUWT members meetings in the school. If you are interested in becoming an NASUWT Workplace Contact in your school contact your Local Association Secretary, your National Executive Member and your National/Regional Centre and they will provide you with essential support and guidance. There is no obligation for Workplace Contacts to take on one of the workplace representatives roles at a later date, but if workplace contacts are interested in getting more active in a formal accredited role, training and support would be provided by the Union.

You can also have an input into the NASUWT by attending one of the many regional and national seminars and conferences the Union runs. To find out about what is happening locally to you contact your Local Association Secretary in the first instance, your Regional Centre should also be able to provide you with information.

Nationally the NASUWT holds annual Consultation Conferences for under represented groups within the Unions membership. Find out more about 2011's Young Members, Black Members, LGBT Members, Women Members and Disabled Members Consultation Conferences or to book a place on one of this academic years Conferences go to book an event. Many NASUWT regions are also attempting to set up networks for members from under represented groups, to find out more or to express an interest in getting involved in regional networks, contact your Regional Centre in the first instance.

Training for NASUWT Representatives

The NASUWT ensures that all of the Unions representatives are appropriately trained to undertake their roles. All NASUWT activist training courses use trade union education methods which utilise learner centred methods, group work and are inclusive for all. Training courses for all representative roles are accredited through the Open College Network (OCN) and are totally free for NASUWT representatives including the payment of all appropriate expenses. The courses take place both nationally at the Unions headquarters in Rednal, Birmingham and also locally within regions. To find out more about the training for each of the NASUWT representative roles use the following links Workplace Reps, Health and Safety Reps, Learning Reps, Local Officers, other training courses, to find out more about course dates and locations and to book a place on a course go to book a training course

Why should I get involved?

By getting active in the NASUWT you will not only improve your own skills, knowledge and confidence, but you will also have the knowledge that you have helped your colleagues as well. By getting involved you will:

  • make a difference;
  • improve the working environment for you and your colleagues;
  • learn new skills;
  • meet new people;
  • ensure you and your colleagues are heard and
  • get access to FREE training to undertake your role.

Getting elected

The NASUWT is a democratic organisation run by teachers elected by their colleagues to represent them. This is true from every formal workplace representative role to the National Executive Members and National Officers. Every year, usually in June/July, a meeting of members in the school should be called and nominations for school based union positions requested. If there is more than one nomination for a position a ballot should be held. If you are interested in taking on one of the formal union reps roles in your school today you should inform your Local Association Secretary straight away.


Did you Know?

The NASUWT's network of Workplace Contacts is growing all of the time, there are now hundreds of teachers getting involved in the NASUWT for the first time as a Workplace Contact. Many of these first time activists are keeping NASUWT members across the UK informed about the Union's campaigns such as the Standing up for Standards campaign, as well as ensuring that issues raised by members in the school are passed onto the School Representative or NASUWT Local Association or Regional/National office ASAP.