FEBRUARY 2000 - Newsletter

DEMONSTRATE AGAINST PRP

On Saturday February 12th teachers from all over the country will demonstrate in London against Performance Related Pay.

The Teachers' Pay Review Body will have reported by that stage and we will know the worst! The demo will assemble at noon outside the University of London, Malet Street WC1, and march to Conway Hall in Red Lion Square. There will be speakers to put the case against PRP.

The demonstration is organised by School Teachers Opposed to Performance Pay and is supported by Bradford Association. We need as many teachers as possible to show the government what we think about PRP. Families welcome.

Bradford NUT is organising free transport, so if you would like to come, ring us at the office as soon as possible.

new rights to unpaid leave

SCHOOL REPS' TRAINING

There are still places left for our training days:

You have a right in law to paid time off for union training.

Please come if you can. We want to discuss with secondary Reps their school's Excellence in the Cities programmes and we need to talk to as many Reps as possible about plans of Reorganisation.
Contact the office to reserve your place.

Unpaid parental leave

The 1999 Employment Relations Act provides employees with important new rights to take unpaid leave as parents and as workers with dependants.
These rights should enhance existing conditions of service arrangements.

This applies only to children born or adopted after 15th December '99 (Cherie Booth not withstanding). To qualify for such leave, which can be taken by both parents, you must have a minimum of one year's service . The leave can be taken up to the child's 5th birthday, or 18th birthday if the child is disabled. In the case of adopted children it can be taken up to the 5th anniversary of the adoption or the 18th birthday, whichever is earlier.

A maximum of 13 weeks per child can be taken, limited to a maximum of 4 weeks per child in any one year. It has to be taken in blocks or in multiples of one week, unless the child is disabled in which case it can be taken on a daily basis.

We have an information sheet which we will send to anyone interested,

Unpaid leave for family and domestic reasons.

Again, this must be seen as an extension of existing arrangements which allow 2 days paid leave to care for family members.

The Act gives the right to unpaid time off to care for a dependent who falls ill, is injured or assaulted, or who gives birth. The right applies from the first day of employment. No specified notice time need be given and the amount of time off allowed is what is "reasonable". The employer should be informed of the reason for the time off, and of the expected length of the absence.

If you would like to take up any of these rights, we recommend that you contact the Bradford NUT Office first.

REORGANISATION UPDATE

Placing Staff

Various incentives are being offered to schools to persuade them to create new posts tailored to the skills and experience of unplaced staff.

The Authority has also agreed to explore the possibility of co-ordinating the recruitment to new posts in an exercise later this term so that unplaced staff are not faced with a continual trickle of posts.
It now looks likely that this may succeed in primary but the situation for secondary is less clear. We have not been able to get agreement for the process to be anonymous, however, which we are aware some members feel very strongly about.

The redeployment agreement says that interviews should be informal. We have raised with the Authority the fact that this has sometimes not been the case, and they have agreed to take this up with schools. Please contact us if you experience difficulties.

EMAG teachers in closing schools and temporary contract holders should be receiving a letter from the Authority this week giving them access to the Redeployment Process. EMAG teachers will have the same access to job opportunities as other unplaced teachers.

Temporary contract holders will have access to those posts that are not filled by permanent contract holders. For certain posts, particularly in Key Stage 1, there will be very few permanent unplaced teachers likely to apply, so there are some genuine opportunities. We will be writing to members on temporary contracts with more details.

Buildings and Temporary Arrangements

Your head should by now have received a copy of the draft 'contingency plans' drawn up for your school. These plans deal with where pupils will be taught if building work is not complete by September 2000, which is looking almost certain for the vast majority of schools. Even those schools in the accelerated programme have a best completion date of sometime in the Autumn term. Work on other schools is unlikely to start before July.

We are also being given a copy of these plans. Please ask your Rep to bring to our attention any problems you foresee in the draft plans so that we can raise the issues with the Authority.

Meeting for Teachers Placed in Primary
September 1999

Next Meeting for a sharing of experiences and to review problems and progress.

Tuesday 15th February
4:30pm


NUT office
22 Edmund Street
(Refreshments from 4:15)

Planning was identified as a major concern by the first meeting of this group. We convened a separate planning group in January. That group will meet again on Tuesday 8th February at the NUT office. In the last meeting primary teacher and headteacher members looked at ways of reducing the bureaucracy involved in planning. There was general agreement that no-one should have to do more than photocopy and highlight (or annotate) parts of QCA documents for long and medium term planning.

The next meeting will continue to look at reducing the workload involved in recording short term planning _ does it need to be recorded? Who for? - and at whether there is information that it would be useful to put on our website. Please join us if planning is an issue for you, or if you have a system that works well.

LEA OFSTED INSPECTION

The inspection visit starts on 28th February. The team of inspectors will question focus groups, including one for the teacher unions' negotiators, on a number of predetermined issues.

They will also visit 28 schools chosen to represent a cross section of schools in the Authority. These visits are not inspections of the schools themselves, but still caution is necessary. If the inspectors consider that they have come across a serious problem, this could be reported to OFSTED.

Only a few teachers in the schools visited will actually get to meet an Inspector. If you know that you are going to do so, we would recommend that you contact the NUT Office for advice.

CORRECTION TO LAST NEWS LETTER

We would like to make a correction to the information about teacher governors published in the last Newsletter. The facility to allow primary schools with between 100 and 299 pupils to appoint two teacher governors, instead of only one, does not apply to Foundation, Voluntary Aided or Voluntary Controlled schools.

 

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