29th March 1996 at 00:00
National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers Contributing members 146,266 (December 1994)

Membership fee Pounds 86.40 (full-time teacher)

HQ Hillscourt Education Centre, Rose Hill, Rednal, Birmingham B45 8RS General secretary Nigel de Gruchy (53). Salary:Pounds 57,523 plus Pounds 22,208 superannuation contribution(1994

) Executive members 46 (11 women, 35 men)

Financial position Income in 1994: Pounds 7,958,316; expenditure, Pounds 6,860,556

Power base East and West Midlands - particularly Birmingham and Nottinghamshire - and the North. More members than any other union in Wales and Northern Ireland.

Potted history Set up in 1922 by some self-confessed male chauvinists who did not approve of the National Union of Teachers' "equal pay for equal work" policy. Originally existed simply to safeguard the interests of schoolmasters and schoolboys, but embraced equal rights belatedly in 1975 when it amalgamated with the Union of Women Teachers. The NASUWT has since striven to build up a reputation as a muscular defender of classroom teachers which prefers union action to legal action.

Achievements Still dining out on its 1993 High Court victory over the London borough of Wandsworth. The decision to boycott national tests on the basis of workload rather than the NUT's strategy (that the tests were educationally unsound) paid off spectacularly and forced the Government to be much more conciliatory.

In 1994 the NASUWT obtained Pounds 1.3m compensation for injured or dismissed members, even though it has a less high-powered legal department than its rivals.

Weaknesseslow points Traditionally weaker on education policy than either the NUT or ATL. Union executive were embarrassed a year ago when one of their former colleagues, Les Moores, asserted that despite their tough image the leadership had not dealt effectively with bullying employers.

Prognosis The immediate future looks rosy. It has put on more than 10, 000 members over the past year and now claims to be recruiting more than half of all newly-qualified teachers. Industrial action does not seem imminent, but the NASUWT need not fear it from a financial point of view as it has Pounds 7 million in its "fighting fund".

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