NEWSLETTER - APRIL 2004
REPORT ON THE 2004
The issues debated at the NUT’s Conference this year reflected the serious attacks on teachers through salaries, pensions, workload and remodelling.
* A two and a half year pay freeze.
* A cut in the number and value of management allowances.
* The abolition of points 4 and 5 of the Upper Pay Scale.
* The explicit linking of pay to performance management and new criteria for progress on the Upper Pay Scale intended to deny it to more teachers
*The abolition of recruitment and retention allowances.
* An increase of 10% or £2,400 (whichever is the greater) for all spine points.
* The merging of the main and upper pay scales into a single scale with annual progression up it.
* An increase of 10% on all Management and SEN allowances, and on the leadership spine.
* Increases to the Inner and Outer London allowances.
Which of the above is the NUT’s pay policy?
(Answer: the second)
Which of the above is an April Fool’s joke?
(Answer: neither. The first is the recommendation of the School Teachers Review Body)
The Government’s pay policy is a serious attack on the standard of living of teachers and can only make teaching a more unattractive profession than it already is. It must be fought.
The Conference motion, passed unanimously, to submit the Union’s pay claim despite the decision to make one pay award last until 2006 is the first stage of that fight.
Conference condemned the Government for threatening a further attack on public service pensions and supported the TUC campaign. A series of actions was decided upon, including a lobby of parliament, a ballot of members for industrial action, and to try to convince the other teacher unions to take similar action. Ian Murch, Secretary of Bradford NUT, made a speech supporting the call for industrial action.
“Teaching is not an occupation in which most people can reasonably be expected to work until they are 65, he said. “Teachers’ well being, their health, and in many cases their lives will be put at risk. The proposal to reduce the amount of pension gained for each year worked after 2006 will affect all teachers but will have its greatest effect on the pension of younger teachers. The union must pledge itself to protect their interests.”
The Union reaffirmed its opposition to the Government’s School workforce Reform Agreement. The Agreement will do little to reduce workload, but will undermine the entitlement of children to be taught by qualified teachers. The motion pointed out that NUT members already have the protection of the ballot on bureaucracy to allow them to refuse to prepare work to enable unqualified staff to take classes. The Union will consider action, including ballots for strike action, to oppose the employment of unqualified staff to teach whole classes.
There follows a brief summary of other motions passed by Conference. Full details are available from the union office.
14-19 Education Reform –calling for sufficient funding and proper training for teachers for any major new qualification.
Ofsted – calling for its abolition and replacement by school self-evaluation.
The Future of the Teaching Profession – condemning the failure to trust in the professionalism of teachers and calling for a maximum working week of 35 hours.
Domestic violence – to press the Government to fund every school to have access to a counsellor specially trained in domestic violence issues, and to support groups campaigning for more resources for women and their families experiencing domestic violence.
Anti-racism – to support local NUT associations who are involved in campaigns against racist and fascist organisations.
SEN – calls on the government to ensure that new SEN Action Programme is fully resourced and takes into account the need for a wide range of provision to meet a wide range of need.
Middle East Peace – endorses the TUC view that criticised “The British and US Governments’ unilateral decision to wage war on Iraq,” and to send a message of support to the 550 Israeli soldiers who have refused to serve in the occupied territories.
Child and Sweatshop labour – to support campaigns for workers in every country to join free trade unions, to affiliate to the national campaign No Sweat.
STOPPING THE BNP
The British National Party are targetting a number of wards in Bradford in an effort to get themselves elected to the council. Bradford TUC is coordinating the efforts to stop the BNP being successful in the wards where they are standing candidates in the June elections. If you are able to help with leafletting etc., please email: firstname.lastname@example.org phone 07951162011
Visiting Ingleborough Hall or Buckden House?
We have had a meeting with the management of the above two outdoor activity centres to discuss Health & Safety on school visits. As a result we are passing on the following advice.All teachers must comply with the centres’ requirement to attend the pre-visit meeting, even if you have already been before. The centres’ risk assessments depend on staff having walked the routes and having been made aware of the safety issues. To make the visit a success it is essential for your school to have good communications and for all staff to know exactly what is expected of them. Have a safe and enjoyable trip.
ASSAULTS ON TEACHERS
One of the results of the privatisation of the LEA in 2001 was the collapse of the system for reporting acts of violence towards teachers in schools. Education Bradford was for some time unable to get their act together - forms went missing, no-one knew who was in charge of the process, etc. Now, after considerable pressure from the Union, violence at work reporting is back on track.1.Headteachers have received copies of the new Violence at Work forms, which should be freely available.2. Heads have been urged to encourage staff to use the form to report all acts of violence against them.3. Heads have been reminded to send the completed forms, as quickly as possible, to Human Resources at Future House.We receive a copy of these forms at the union office in Bradford so that we can offer members support and gain an overall perspective of the serious problem faced by teachers.If you are unfortunate enough to be the victim of violence while at work, it is crucial that you take a few minutes to fill in the form and give it to your Head to complete. This is the only formal way of recording the incident with our employer.
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