Union recognition

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Rights and conditions
02 November 2016
ATL believes that trade union recognition represents the best way for staff to be involved in decision-making in their place of work.

A trade union is 'recognised' when an employer negotiates with it on pay and conditions for the workers it represents.

State maintained sector

ATL is recognised in pay and conditions negotiations for teaching staff in maintained schools and colleges across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

ATL is not one of the unions recognised by employers for support staff.

Independent sector

Almost 100 independent schools recognise ATL for collective negotiation of terms and conditions - see the complete list. ATL has produced a briefing on recognition in the independent sector.

Roughly, half of the agreements cover teaching staff and half cover teaching and support staff. Since ATL's decision to extend membership to all staff working in the independent sector, a growing number of independent school employers see the benefit of recognising ATL in respect of all their staff.

If you are interested in trade union recognition for your school and would like to know more, please contact John Richardson, National Official Independent Schools.

Support staff - maintained sector

In the maintained sector, ATL provides first-class representation, help and advice to our support staff members. Whilst we are not formally recognised for collective bargaining purposes by the employers, we continue to ensure that the interests of our support staff members are not overlooked by governments and employers alike.

FE colleges

ATL has produced a new factsheet about Seeking and gaining recognition in the post-16 sector.

ATL and the national employers' body (the Association of Colleges) have agreed national guideline agreements which establish recommended minimum standards for colleges and FE institutions on:

ATL has recognition in many colleges and its professional representatives will be consulted on issues that affect their members' working lives. In some colleges, however, ATL has not yet been recognised - but ATL officers can help members seek recognition.

Contact ATL for support if this is the case in your college.

See also