Recruiting new members and organising

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Rep Zone
13 February 2017
Teachers talking
Members are the lifeblood of ATL. As an active member in your workplace, you have an important role recruiting new members to ATL.

Teachers, lecturers, the newly qualified, trainees and support staff that are involved in the direct delivery of education and learning can all join. It is very important to remember that recruitment is vital for the health of ATL in your workplace. There is no better representative than you. Existing members sharing with others what they know and like about their union is a very powerful message.

Your branch secretary and members of ATL's national organising team will be more than happy to assist you with advice in your recruitment of new members. You will also find our tips for asking new faces to join ATL below.

Recruitment tips

  • Face to face contact is the best way to recruit.
  • Identify members (and non members) through a mapping exercise; who is in ATL? Find out who is not in a union and target them.
  • Talk to new staff members (or supply teachers, trainees, etc) about the benefits of joining ATL.
  • Introduce yourself to trainees and newly qualified teachers, and talk them through why it is important to join a union and what ATL can offer them.
  • If a colleague is busy, leave them a recruitment flyer and arrange to talk to them another time.
  • Listen to the needs of potential members and demonstrate how ATL's services and benefits meet those needs.
  • Understand the different categories (and costs) of membership.
  • Have a ready stock of recruitment leaflets, flyers and posters (all available in the resources section of this website, accessible from the home page).
  • Where possible, seal the deal yourself - get on the telephone to enrol the potential member at tel: 0845 057 7000 (lo-call), or enrol them online.
  • If you are attending or organising a recruitment event, ATL has produced a recruitment event checklist to help you.

When to recruit

Recruitment is an activity that can be carried out all year round.

However, during the autumn term, introduce yourself to all the new teaching and education support staff, and talk to them about why it is important for them to join ATL.

Trainees and NQs

If new starters are new to the education sector, or newly qualified, explain to them that union membership is vital in schools and colleges from their first day in the job.

Most schools get new student placements during the year. Ask them if they've joined ATL and if not encourage them to join.

Build up a rapport with student and newly qualified members in school. Ask them how things are going and refer them to our website for advice.

Build a union team within your school or college

Ask colleagues in different departments if they will assist you in distributing information, asking new starters to join ATL, sticking a poster up in a faculty/department staffroom, etc.

There are a variety of rep roles in schools and colleges, from ATL rep to health and safety rep or union learning rep. Encourage others to get active to assist you in your role.

"In our school we've gone from 3 members to 40-plus in the last two years. For me ATL embodies what modern teaching is all about and, as the rep, I wanted to make sure all staff, including non-teaching staff, had access to the information and support ATL offers. It can be as simple as starting conversations with colleagues, finding out what their issues are."

Lee Richardson, Rep, Broadgreen International School, Liverpool

See also