On Friday 4 May 2018 Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) wrote: ‘We are delighted to confirm that your request to affiliate to the TUC was agreed at the most recent meeting of the TUC’s General Council.’
This represents the culmination of over two years work, meeting with the General Secretaries of other teaching unions, the Artists Union, and consulting with NSEAD members.
The Society offers no less than three areas of professional expertise for the benefit of members, that of a subject association, a learned society and a trade union. It is as a trade union that we are ultimately regulated, and our work within this context is representing members across the UK in formal meetings and giving advice and guidance by telephone and email. The General Secretary and a Trade Union Advisor undertake this work.
Our trade union activity is increasing, as are the unintended consequences of government policies on our subject. The TUC aims to be an authoritative voice in political debate and frequently meets with minsters at all levels of government, to include Secretaries of State and the Prime Minister. The TUC builds links with all political parties, local communities, business, and campaigns for a fair deal at work, and social justice.
The Society will significantly benefit from affiliation in the following ways:
We can send one formal delegate, (and observers and visitors) to the TUC conference which meets annually for four days in September. We will have voting rights in this context and we can submit two motions and two amendments. NSEAD Forum will be preparing our first submission for a motion at the end of June.
Attendance at TUC conferences will give us the opportunity to network, listen to a wide range of speakers, have a stand and host fringe events. The Society will have access to TUC consultants to support us with capacity building and organisational development.
Throughout the year the Society will have the opportunity to attend a wide range of networking and influencing events and debates both across the UK and at Westminster. Our concerns and our visibility will substantially increase. If appropriate to our work and values we can engage in regional and national TUC campaigns.
Our members will also individually benefit from access to the TUC Education programme which delivers a wide range of online and face-to-face courses to and for the workplace representatives of affiliated unions. We hope NSEAD members will engage in these courses and feel better empowered to represent NSEAD in their school, college or setting.
Independence is of high value to the Society. Financially supported by membership subscriptions this gives us the autonomy to speak on behalf of our members uninfluenced by any other agencies. This independence will continue alongside our affiliation. We will remain a cross-party organisation (affiliation to the TUC is not synonymous with affiliation to the Labour Party) and the TUC cannot authorise nor instruct us to engage in industrial action.
The history of trade unionism positions the Society at the forefront of activism and change. The legal status of trade unions in the UK was established by a Royal Commission in 1867, agreeing that the establishment of such organisations was to the advantage of both employee and employer. The TUC was founded in 1868, Trade Unions were legalised in 1871 and the Society founded in 1888.
NSEAD members will have access to an enhanced TU offer on the new website, and opportunities for engagement, and TUC briefings that involve the Society will be posted on our members' e-bulletin.
Thank you to all members who responded to the consultation.