Getting active in the Local Association
Your NASUWT Local Association and the Local Association Secretary represent a key source of support and advice for the NASUWT workplace team. The Local Association Secretary is the first port of call for NASUWT representatives. Local Associations will also make sure that Representatives have details of their Regional Centres where prompt advice and guidance is always available.
The Organising Local Association
The NASUWT is committed to the organising approach to trade unionism. This approach means actively involving members in the work of the Union and making sure that the NASUWT has a voice in every school. Local Associations have a key role in pursuing the Unions agenda at a local level, identifying and supporting new NASUWT representatives and encouraging teachers to join and get involved in the Union. There are a number of ways that Local Associations can advance the Unions organising agenda;
- Through active two way communication between the association and the members, involve members in the decision making processes of the association.
- Ensure that Local Association meetings utilise venues that are accessible to all and are at times where the majority of people can attend.
- Regularly ask all NASUWT representatives in your area for agenda items for meetings.
- Work with your Regional Centre to map your schools to see where gaps need filling in your school representatives network.
- Encourage those members that do not neccessarily want to become accredited representatives at this time, to become Workplace Contacts whereby they can pass vital information from the national, regional and local Union to the members within the school.
- Work with your Regional Centre to try and facilitate the setting up of networks of groups of members in your local association area, for example you could try and set up networks for under represented groups such as young members, women members, LGBT members, black members and disabled members.
- Ensure that all members are informed about any regional seminars or conferences that are taking place.
- Ensure that all members are informed about the National Consultation Conferences.
- Ask your Regional Centre for information about what members from within your local association have attended any national events. Make sure you keep in regular contact with these members and attempt to encourage them to get involved.
- Ask for nominees for Annual Conference from amongst the membership.
- Make sure that all your current and new school representatives take part in any relevant Union training.
Standing up for Standards
The NASUWT is the only teachers' trade union that has followed the national day of action on 30 November 2011 with Action short of Strike Action from 1 December 2011. The NASUWT membership balloted overwhelmingly to undertake a campaign of action short of strike action to ensure that the contractual rights that the Union has negotiated over a number of years, are defended. The Union believes the action is pupil and parent friendly as it is aimed at winning back the classroom for teachers and stopping teachers undertaking the numerous tasks that prevent them from concentrating on teaching. NASUWT Workplace representatives and local association officers have a vital role to play in communicating important information from the NASUWT in regards to the action short of strike action and the Standing up for Standards Campaign. To find out more information and to download resources visit the Industrial Action section of the website.
How to contact your Local Association
Remember getting involved in the Local Association can mean doing a variety of tasks both big and small, its all about doing what you feel you are able to at the present time. The more members that get involved in the NASUWT the stronger we will become.
Organising Training and Support
For Local Associations to develop and grow they need a robust workplace representatives network. The more trained and accredited Workplace Representatives, Health and Safety Representatives, Learning Representatives and Teacher Govenor Representatives there are, the more chance that the Union will recruit and retain more members at a local level. All representatives of the NASUWT should undertake the appropriate training course and Local Associations should have an overview of this process within their own areas. To find out where and when relevant courses for your representatives are happening go to book a training course.
However, Local Associations should also try and make space for some strategic planning when it comes to recruiting and organising the membership in their own areas. The Organising in the Local Association course is a two day course for Local Association Officers and experienced reps. Although individual officers would benefit from undertaking the course, the course works best when a group of officers from the same association take part in the days together. The course allows groups to discuss the organising and servicing approaches to trade unionism, how to map workplaces, how to communicate with hard to reach teachers and finally participants are encouraged to create a 12 month recruiting and organising development plan for their own local association. To find out more about this essential course for Local Associations go to local officers. To book this course for your Local Association you can either have a discussion with your Regional Organiser or go to the book a training course page to see where a relevant course for your Local Association is running.
To find out more about the NASUWT's organising agenda and the kinds of tasks you could undertake within the Union have a look at the resources on the Voice in Every Workplace page. You can also read about the experiences of one of the NASUWT's National Executive Members below.
Every year at the NASUWT Annual Conference, the Union announces the winners of the annual NASUWT Recruitment Awards. The awards have been created to recognise the innovative and creative work that Local Associations, NASUWT activists and members have undertaken within the recruitment of new members into the Union. There are a number of different entry categories, to find out more about the awards, the entry categories and guidance on entering the awards use the link below. Individuals that have been undertaking recruitment work for the NASUWT should contact their Local Association in the first instance about entering the awards.
Young Activist of the Year Awards
Every year at the NASUWT Annual Conference, the Union announces the winner of the annual NASUWT Young Activist of the Year Award. The award recognises the contribution made to the NASUWT by young members, particularly the contribution made to recruitment, organising and union activity in their school and Local Association. If Local Associations would like to find out more about entering individual young members for the award use the link below. If individual young members would like to be entered for the award they should have a conversation with their Local Association in the first instance.
Young Activist of the Year Award