FEBRUARY 1999 - Newsletter

Pay - 3.5% is an insult
So are the Green Paper Proposals

No Jam Today

The Pay Award for this year is 3.5% for all teachers, except heads.

We are supposed to be grateful that this is so big, and that it has not been phased as in the last 4 years. In reality, we continue to fall behind average earnings - 15% below average graduate starting salaries, 42% behind after 9 years in post, even assuming a promotion.

"Don't worry, the good among you will get more next year when the Green Paper proposals come in" is David Blunkett's message.

Heads will get significantly larger rises when a new structure for them is introduced from September. One of the new duties that they will have to undertake for their money is to introduce the Green Paper proposals.

No Jam Tomorrow

The proposals in the Government's Green Paper need to be rejected unequivocally by teachers in all sectors of education. They are intended to keep basic salary levels depressed, and to make the price of any increases to the favoured few a worsening of conditions of service.

Instead of paying all teachers a fair wage we will see:

These three aspects of the Green Paper alone will cause divisionin the staff room by setting teacher against teacher.

And No Pots of Gold

We also have to remember that school budgets are not bottomless pots of gold. The fact of possessing the skills, which the Head thinks we need before s/he will carry us over the threshold, will not automatically grant us access to the riches which supposedly await us on the other side.

It will not be teachers' skills which will hold out the promise of more pay but, as at present, how much the school can afford.

The Government intends to "pump prime" the process by putting in enough earmarked money for about 20% of teachers to get these performance-based rises, but after that there are no commitments.

But More Work

Teachers will be encouraged to compete with each other to show that they have more threshold _ crossing skills than the next person, but the reality is likely to be "to those that hath, it shall be given"-i.e. don't bother applying unless you are already in a senior post.

Teachers' holidays and workload are also threatened by the Green Paper.

"We propose…a contractual duty for all teachers to keep their skills up to date."

Teachers are expected to undergo

"…a significant amount of training outside school time."

Teachers who manage to jump onto the "fast-track" will have to commit themselves to

"…a further four to six weeks contracted time a year."

So What Can We Do?

REMEMBER TO RETURN THE DfEE'S SURVEY

To help the Union to fight these proposals , it is important that we return the surveys. We recommend that the DfEE survey is first discussed at a school meeting of members and that the NUT document "A Draft Response", which was sent to all school reps last week, is referred to.

REMEMBER TO RETURN THE NUT'S OWN SURVEY

If you don't like the Green Paper proposals, the right answer to all of the questions is "strongly disagree" except the one about "high quality training".

* LOBBY THE DfEE ROADSHOW ON THE GREEN PAPER when it comes to SALT GRAMMAR SCHOOL on Monday 22nd February at 5:30pm. We will be providing placards and notifying the media.

* Consider as a school group what else you might be willing to do to oppose the proposals, and let us know. (Tel 01274 414664)

HEALTH AND SAFETY

John Race, one of the Health & Safety Reps, is taking early retirement at Easter. John has been a Safety rep for almost 5 years and has represented teachers and looked after their interests throughout this time. His expertise will be a sad loss to the Union. I would like to record my thanks to John on behalf of the Union and all the Bradford Teachers working in his group of schools, for all his hard work. Consequently, we have a vacancy of a Health & Safety Rep. Training will be given. If anyone is interested, please phone the NUT office for further details.

Miriam Murch - Health and Safety Officer

EQUAL RIGHTS

The council is issuing a leaflet,

"The Council's Commitment To Equal Rights For Its Lesbian And Gay Employees".

It was agreed that the leaflet should be distributed to all council employees as it is important that all staff should be aware of the council's policy in this area. It was written in response to concerns raised by people working directly with children, so please let us know if you have not received it in your school.
Some of the important areas covered are recruitment, complaints procedure, leave entitlement, pensions, and protection from harassment.

news from the union

Several important documents have recently gone into schools and should have been received by school reps.

If you are a rep. and you have not had them, please let us know.

ALL SCHOOLS

Help on Work-Related Stress: A Short Guide

A useful, readable document addressing what stress is, how it can manifest itself and, perhaps most importantly, what school managements can and should do in order to minimise stress amongst their employees.

School Reorganisation - Preliminary Draft Brief

This is a generic brief for primary and secondary schools about school buildings and facilities. .

If you find that the Health and Safety Procedures in the draft are not being followed it is very important that the Union office is contacted. Of particular importance are the "Special (Health and Safety) Pre-Site Meeting" and the "Co-ordination Meetings" which should have someone from the NUT office at them. These are our opportunities to ensure that the work causes as little disruption to teachers as possible. Some Heads are not aware that it is their responsibility ro issue invitations to these meetings.

POST - OFSTED SCHOOLS

NUT Membership Survey of Your Recent Ofsted Inspection

This is to collect your views on the inspection. We have already had many interesting responses. A summary of the results of the survey will be published shortly. Please let us know if you have not received it.

 

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