ATL and NUT to merge and form a new education super-union

22nd March 2017 at 10:01
mary bousted, kevin courtney, atl, nut, super-union, ballot, merger, teachers' union
The two teaching unions have voted to become the NEU - super-union with around 450,000-members

The NUT and ATL unions have taken the historic decision to form a new 'super-union' with nearly half a million members, it was announced today. 

Members of both unions voted to merge and create a new organisation - the National Education Union.

The results show 97.2 per cent of NUT members voted for the merger and 2.8 per cent voted against. In the ATL 72.8 per cent members voted for and 26.8 per cent voted against.

With approximately 450,000 members it will comfortably be the largest education union in Britain, and the fourth largest union in the TUC. 

Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney - the general secretaries of the ATL and NUT, respectively - will lead the NEU as joint general secretaries when it formally comes into being in September. 

The NEU will start a transitional phase from September with separate ATL and NUT sections and a joint executive committee, until national rules for the new organisation come into effect on 1 January 2019.

Ms Bousted and Mr Courtney will serve as joint general secretaries until a single leader is elected in 2023. Both leaders have said they will not run for the role of single general secretary.

When TES interviewed the union bosses earlier this month, Ms Bousted said the NEU would be a "game changer" that would “transform professional voice and professional agency”.

Mr Courtney said that because the union will speak “for a majority of all teachers, and a significant proportion of other education professionals... politicians will have to listen [to it].”

The union leaders listed the “unstable” academies system, qualifications reform, workload (their “key agenda”), and the school accountability system as early priorities for the NEU.

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