Joint UNISON, GMB and Unite statement on the outcome of their complaint against the NEU

The complaint alleged that the education union had actively sought to recruit school support staff and had intervened in pay negotiations between the three recognised unions

In late 2022, having failed to reach an agreement informally, UNISON, along with the GMB and Unite unions submitted a formal complaint to the TUC about the NEU’s organising activities and recruitment of school support staff.

The complaint alleged that the NEU had actively sought to recruit school support staff and had intervened in pay negotiations (known as the NJC) between the three recognised unions and the local government employers.

This undermined a previous agreement between all four unions around two fundamental TUC principles that require unions not to recruit nor organise in areas already covered by other recognised TUC unions.

Following a TUC disputes panel hearing the TUC issued its judgement the end of March 2023, which has now been presented to the TUC General Council. This upheld all the complaints against the NEU.

The judgement reaffirmed that the NJC unions (GMB, UNISON and Unite) have exclusive bargaining rights for school support staff. It also explicitly stated that, in future, the NEU should take no action that could be regarded as organising activity among these workers.

Please see the full joint statement from UNISON, GMB and Unite for more details.