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Teacher unionism in changing times: is this the real “new unionism”?

Stevenson, Howard

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Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies


This article provides a case study of union change in an environment in which radical school restructuring is taking place, and active strategies to weaken and marginalize organized teachers are being pursued by the state. The case study union is the National Union of Teachers in England. The article explores a number of different strategies open to teacher unions, utilizing a framework provided by Turner (2004). Drawing on data collected at a national level, and in three local authority areas, I argue that the National Union of Teachers’ response to the erosion of collective bargaining is best presented as an amalgam of strategies focused on workplace organizing, political campaigning, and coalition building. The data demonstrate considerable congruence between national and local strategies, although local data reveal considerable challenges in implementation and consequently considerable unevenness in local experiences.


Stevenson, H. (2015). Teacher unionism in changing times: is this the real “new unionism”?. Journal of School Choice, 9(4),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 18, 2015
Online Publication Date Nov 18, 2015
Publication Date Nov 15, 2015
Deposit Date Jun 16, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jun 16, 2017
Journal Journal of School Choice
Print ISSN 1558-2159
Electronic ISSN 1558-2167
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Issue 4
Keywords Social movement unionism, Teacher unions, Union change, Union organizing
Public URL
Publisher URL
Contract Date Jun 16, 2017


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