An Organiser from my union came in to work today to talk to us ATL members about how things were going; we don’t have a representative within school and so rely on the national office to give us help. During the discussions I might have expressed an enthusiasm to put myself forwards as the school ATL rep. Oh dear.
I feel strongly that collective bargaining is a GOOD thing, and think we really need representation at a school level, especially as my school is an academy, and the potential for problems is all the greater. However, being a rep means meeting with management, and this is scary. Thing is, as the Organiser explained, being a rep means that things are depersonalised, as you can ask members their opinion and then present it to The Powers That Be as a group opinion rather than having to stand up during a whole school meeting, which can be fucking terrifying.
So, I would have to be given the go ahead from the other members of the union – i’d get elected AKA “Oh gooood… Someone else has volunteered!” – but it could be pretty interesting so see the other side of things and formalise my emails to sympathetic colleagues. Would get training and support from the union and be a point of first contact for staff with issues, referring them on if I feel I am not able to help. I’m a bit apprehensive, but the opportunity to give it a shot would be a good one.