November 20th is an important date for NUT members. Ballot papers are being sent out to ask us to support union guidelines on workload.

It is of paramount importance for every member to vote YES.

Further ballots for action will then be conducted in schools which, after representations, are unwilling to work within these guidelines.

Teachers are working too hard, and their hours are too long. We all know this, but the Government’s own watchdog, The Office of Manpower Economics, has just agreed with us. In a recently published survey, the OME concludes that there has been “no statistically significant changes in the number of hours worked by full-time teachers between 2005 and 2006.”

This, of course, is despite the introduction of the Workforce Agreement much vaunted by the other teacher unions. But the full text of the OME survey paints an even worse picture than the conclusion: for some categories of teachers, working hours have actually increased between 2005 and 2006:

Primary Heads - working time up by 0 .6 hours per week

Secondary Heads – working time up by 2 .5 hours per week

Heads of Faculty/Department – working time up by 0 .3 hours per week

And for some colleagues, teaching time has increased:

Secondary classroom teachers – up by 0 .4 hours per week

Secondary Heads of Faculty/ Department – up 0 .7 hours a week

Special school classroom teachers – up by 0 .4 hours per week.

We also need to remember that these increases are on top of what is already an unacceptably long working week of 50.1 hours for Primary classroom teachers, and 49.1 for Secondary.

Whether planning, attending meetings, filling in reports, completing Ofsted Self-evaluation Forms or preparing for HMI and Ofsted inspections, teachers are being ground down by constant demands to prove themselves against government imposed targets.

“By responding positively to the Union’s ballot members will strengthen significantly the Union’s campaign for a better work/life balance and improved conditions for all. I urge members to vote YES to both questions.” Steve Sinnott, General Secretary, NUT.

Remodelling and social partnership have failed to make a dent in the juggernaut. It’s time to turn to the collective action of the NUT.


The ballot comes out on November 20th. If you do not

receive one by the 24th, ring the Union Hotline

on 0207380 6300 or e-mail workload06ballot@nut .org .uk