British Association of Advisers and Lecturers in Physical Education (BAALPE) v National Union of Teachers (1986) I.R.L.R. 497

trade union, BAALPE, NUT,

British Association of Advisers and Lecturers in Physical Education (BAALPE) v National Union of Teachers (1986) I.R.L.R. 497 is an Employment Law case concerning Trade Unions and Industrial Action. 

Facts:

An unincorporated professional association (BAALPE) issued a writ against the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and other unions claiming a declaration, an injunction and damages in relation to an alleged breach of contract. However, BAALPE was an unincorporated association and not a trade union. Consequently, NUT contended that as BAALPE was not a ‘trade union’ as defined in the Trade Unions and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, it had no right to bring proceedings against NUT. 

Nonetheless, the relevant object clause in BAALPE’s rules stated that it was “concerned with the professional interest of its members”. Furthermore, the representatives of BAALPE had participated for several years in the Soulbury Committee (a national negotiating body for certain categories of Local Authority employees). Therefore, BAALPE asserted that it was a trade union within the TULRCA 1992.

Issue: 

The key issue in British Association of Advisers and Lecturers in Physical Education (BAALPE) v National Union of Teachers:

Was BAALPE a trade union as defined in the TULRCA 1992? 

Held:

The court held that the conduct of industrial relations was one of the principal purposes of BAALPE. Therefore, BAALPE was a trade union within the ‘wide definition’ of the TULRCA 1992. Furthermore, BAALPE was entitled to bring proceedings against NUT. 

References: [1986] 1 WLUK 45, [1986] I.R.L.R. 497, [1987] C.L.Y. 313

Read our notes on Trade Unions and Industrial Action and other cases for more information.