Why union membership is essential for teachers

Most of us joined the NUT as students. It was free and, in all probability we joined more than one union and took advantage of all the free goodies that went with signing up.

Membership of the NUT is still free for student teachers, and the first four terms of membership after starting as a teacher cost just £1. Subscriptions are tax deductible because membership of a professional association is regarded by the Inland Revenue as a necessity for teachers. Details on how to do this can be found Tax Relief on NUT Subscriptions

Membership gives you access to quality professional development, advice and support. It also gives you access to practical and legal support in the event that you get into difficulty.

Teaching is a very highly unionised profession; only a tiny minority of teachers are prepared to risk not being in a union at all. These brave, or possibly penny-pinching, souls may not really know exactly what's at stake.

Our office receives phone calls almost daily from teachers who say they've been called to meetings to discuss problems. It might be a parental complaint, or allegation. It might be to discuss sickness absence, pay, capability or disciplinary issues. We run a membership check while we're dealing with the query.

Where a member is not in membership when the 'incident' occurred, we can advise, but we cannot support. This means we can offer advice by phone or email but, in practice, we don't accompany teachers to meetings or hearings, or write letters on their behalf. A member who joins when in difficulty cannot, in any circumstances, access our free legal advice and support. It's not fair on the members who pay, and are in good membership, if last-minute joiners get the same service.

What's different about the NUT?

You've probably noticed that there are lots of teachers' unions. Daft, isn't it? The NUT actually has a policy of one union for all teachers and, if we achieved that, would have an even louder voice. There's only one union in Scotland and they've secured a lot of advantages by 
standing together.

However there are things about the NUT that make us special and different. We offer first class training and CPD, sometimes at the wonderful Stoke Rochford Hall during a weekend stay. We also campaign on educational issues, on behalf of our schools and the children we teach, not just on workplace issues like pay and conditions.

To Join click on the logo below

Join the NUT now and pay nothing until 2014