There is seemingly no limit to the ambitions of Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer. Not content with trying to become Prime Minister, he has been manoeuvring to get himself included in the Christmas edition of the Bradford NUT Newsletter.
“They are bound to write a side-splitting article comparing me with Scrooge”, he must have thought, “if I time the announcement of their 2.5% pay rise correctly.
There might even be a picture of me with one of those Victorian sleeping caps on, especially if I hint they ought to think themselves lucky because health workers are only getting 2%."






It was four years ago that we reported on the privatisation of Santa’s workshop – and now we hear it’s to become an Academy. Bradford, as you probably know, is a statistical neighbour of the North Pole LEA. This is because of the close correlation between winter temperatures in most Bradford classrooms and the average temperature of a polar ice-floe. So what happens to our colleagues in the frozen north today could well be happening to us tomorrow.

Elves need not worry

Lord Narcissus, the minister responsible for leading the Government’sAcademy programme, said that elves have nothing to fear from the changeover. Although the Academy will have the right to decide to abandon current agreements on salaries and conditions of service, it will always act in the best interest of the elves.





The sponsors

Their role is to inject £2m into the new Workshop, and for this they get to run it. Interest has been expressed from several quarters, including road builders, computer manufacturers, train and bus companies, and a second-hand sleigh dealer who believes the world was constructed in forty two minutes by a man in a gigantic JCB. But what they all have in common, say the government, is a proven track record in education and a desire to serve the community.

Union recognition?

The Academy will not have to recognise a trade union if it doesn’t want to. As Academies are all run by nice people (see above), unions are not really needed. In fact, they will be so nice that even elf representation on the Workshop’s governing body will no longer be required.

A success story

“Academy status”, said a spokesperson, “will enable the Workshop to increase the number of presents received each Christmas by every child. This will follow the success story of some schools which have become Academies, where the number of pupils gaining five GCSEs has shot up from 10% to 10%, or even 9%."



It is not too late to seek the help of the NUT if you are facing a wage-cut or an unacceptable job description as a result of the transition to a new management structure.You don’t have to put up with it.
You may also want to contact the Union if you currently hold a post of responsibility for which you are not paid – eg. a subject co-ordinator in a primary school. Although school managements may argue that there is an historical precedent for such posts, it is the Union’s view that the opportunity to pay teachers properly should be taken and old injustices should not be cemented into a new system.



Ian Murch, Secretary of Bradford NUT, was elected Treasurer of the National Union by 20,000 votes to 13,000. Well done Ian, and thanks to everyone who supported him.





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