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Alternatives To Joining A Union


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Just thinking about the iminent start of term and Union membership. Previously I have belonged to unions (NUT & NASUWT) have never used them but got a plethora of calendars, diaries etc which go to waste as I always buy my own/have it provided! There have been in the past 'letters' that have gone from the local branch secretary saying that local members disagree with an issue when I didn't nor was given an opportunity to express my view for that letter! Personally I begrudge 'having' to belong to one just in case (they aren't really in my personal politics either) and having spoken to some colleagues that if situations arise, the local LEA tends to use their own or local solicitors and would rather use the firm of a family friend or someone they recommend personally. In terms of advice re: work etc, I have experienced teacher relatives who can always advise!


I wonder if there is some professional indemnity insurance or public liability insurance that I could as a teacher take out to cover legal expenses (although I think legal expenses are covered in my house/car insurance) etc. I'm getting in touch with my Dad's business insurers next week to see what they can find but wondered if anyone had experience of getting this instead of union membership?


Many thanks,




Apologies if this is in the wrong place!

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Personally I would always be in a union, for the specialised and immediate and "free" (albeit for my union fees) support that they provide. The local LA wouldn't be involved if, for example you were negotiating your return to work after a long period of illness, but a union representative can be invaluable, or say if you needed to make a complaint against a colleague for bullying behaviour, or relations with your Head turn sour - all of these have been reflected in the problems raised in the forum over the past year.


Without the unions you also maybe wouldn't have the working hours/directed time agreements, PPA cover and many other things that union action has campaigned for!! I suppose I see a level of altruism inherent in membership, it's the collective working to ensure support for the individual in need.



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For what it's worth I agree with catma. Imagine if your problem was with the LA employing a specialist solicitor would cost thousands always supposing you could find one as most are affiliated to the unions.


Perhaps the answer is to get involved with your local union and then your opinions will be heard.

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