New teachers who are eligible for ASTI membership should be approached at the very earliest opportunity. Use may be made of ASTI recruitment publications. A special meeting should be held for potential members, if numbers so dictate, on the first or second day of the new school term, at which the benefits and positive values of ASTI membership should be presented to them. If necessary, the Honorary Branch Organiser, Community and Comprehensive Advisory Committee member, Central Executive Council member or Head Office Official should attend. A commitment to join should be sought at the outset and the School Steward may collect the completed application forms at the end of the meeting or they may be returned directly to Head Office by the applicant.
Where a teacher, who is not a member of another trade union which is affiliated to ICTU, declines to avail of ASTI membership, the reasons for this particular stance should be sought and the misgivings, if any, dealt with; the benefits of individual membership, the teacher’s obligation to the wider teaching body, the influence and advantages (financial, professional and otherwise) which accrue to teachers through a strong union should all be emphasised.
Where other unions exist within a school, including non-teaching ones, contact should be regular and friendly, so as to ensure that common approaches and/or support will be forthcoming in dealings with management when the need arises. Issues of mutual concern should be processed jointly and the other teaching unions should be advised of any difficulties which the ASTI members are experiencing with management.