As others have said, speak to people within the school. I know that some unions have very good reps in one school but very poor ones in others. (One of my friends couldn't get her union rep in at all, despite multiple calls and emails to him and the regional office)
I'm also with Voice. My union rep has been very good whenever I've spoken to him about various things although I haven't really "needed" him as such.
teejay (23rd June 2011)
lol sorry i am half asleep its still early! lol i am just looking at voice looks really interesting.
The other advantage of The Voice Union is that they are not affiliated to any politcal party and is not part of the TUC, so totally independent. This was one of the biggest factors for me in moving from Unison as I felt they were more interested in their political agenda than supporting their members.
Ive Thanks almost anyones post..
And ill be sending a e-mail or ringing up for one very soon
Thank you for your help you have all been awesome!
The Burton Union works best for me the more interaction you have the better life seems
ATL. Association of Teachers and Lecturers: the education union which covers independent and state sector schools and covers both support and teaching staff... especially useful if your role is ambiguous and crosses the boundaries!
I've been with Unison for 5 years, used them in one formal capacity and 5 or 6 times just for advice. They've always been quick to respond, the costs aren't extortionate, and my local rep is pretty good.
My feeling is the strength of Unions rely on unification. If everyone doesn't agree on what your meant to be united against, then it defeats the point.
A lot of the support you get is mostly available from other sources for free (such as the CAB), or for one off fee's in the case of formal representation.
The other part is getting your views represented at government. If you don't agree to changes being made that affect your working environment, your Union has the power to bring this forward, on behalf of you and all their members as a single voice, rather than a collection of individuals, the majority of which probably never do anything about it except moan down the pub.
If all you want is the legal support and backup, then most unions will suffice, though some are stronger than others in different places around the UK. They all have a different focus and each will vary on price, exact support offered etc.
You are unlikely to go far wrong by joining one of the biggest unions such as Unison or GMB, as they have more coverage than most unions across the UK. The smaller the union, the bigger the area each Rep will cover, and the more likely you are to find variation in level of support available.
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