NUT/ATL merger ‘international significance,’ expert says

Teachers in the NUT and ATL union have voted to merge to form a new union for education workers which will be known as the National Education Union. 

Expert reaction from Professor Howard Stevenson, Director of Research, School of Education, University of Nottingham:

“The amalgamation of NUT and ATL is a development of international significance. In many countries teachers exist in multiple unions, although these often organise in different sectors of education.

Experience of amalgamations and mergers is quite limited, and often small scale. When the two huge teacher unions in the USA sought to merge this development was rejected in a ballot.

The amalgamation of NUT and ATL is on a scale that has not been seen previously, and may be the beginning of a trend, as teachers everywhere face common pressures.

There is no easy evidence that fewer, bigger unions necessarily generate better outcomes for teachers. There is however considerable evidence that employers and governments deliberately seek to exploit divisions. Making this more difficult will make it harder for government to impose change without wider support and may presage the need for a new relationship between government and teacher unions.”

Further details about Professor Stevenson’s research can be found here.

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