Workplace Report October 2008

Bargaining news

Independents recognise five teaching unions

Five teaching unions, the ATL, NASUWT, the NUT, the ASCL and the NAHT, have been recognised by one of Britain’s biggest private school charities, the United Church Schools Trust (UCST).

Christine Gregory, spokesperson for the ATL, said: “This is obviously very good news and means we can work to support members in these schools. Previously we had individual recognition agreements in some UCTS schools but it is good that the group has recognised us.

“We have been working towards this. There are a lot of teachers working in independent schools. Teaching is one of the most unionised sectors for very good reasons and legal representation [through unions] is very important for them.”

Acting general secretary of the NUT, Christine Blower, said: “The NUT has traditionally sought to represent staff in the independent sector but recognition has been patchy until now. The UCST agreement will assist in broadening our presence in the sector.”

The ATL, which has the highest membership among independent school teachers at around 20,000, has had recognition from the Girls’ Day School Trust since 2001/02 for teaching staff and 2004 for non-teaching staff. It has about 80 recognition agreements in the independent sector altogether.