Now you have had the chance to see the threshold applicationprocedures for yourself, you will probably have concluded thatthe PRP proposals remain bureaucratic, potentially unfair, divisivebetween staff and likely to damage rather than improve childrenseducation.
The Performance Management scheme that is due to work alongsidethem from September is best characterized as your own annual OFSTED,with all the intimidation and bureaucracy that is the essenceof that process.
In the survey conducted by the NUT before Easter, more than98% of those responding thought that these proposals were damagingto good working relationships and to good education, and shouldbe dropped. There were also substantial majorities (of varyingsizes) for all the forms of action suggested against the scheme.
After lengthy debate the NUT Conference agreed the followingplan
Conference calls on the Government to abandon itsdivisive and damaging scheme of performance related pay/paymentby results. It urges the STRB to recommend a pay structure forall teachers from April 2001 to provide the profession with salarylevels competitive with similar graduate occupations,
including in particular
The only areas of contention were balloting on the one daystrike and the Special Conference, but these were in the end agreedby a substantial majority. Bradfords delegates supportedthe motion, because we believe that all teachers should get £2,000for the job we already do, and that the divisive and damagingeffects of Performance Related Pay and Performance Managementwill haunt us for years to come if we do not act firmly now tostop them.
We believe that members can be trusted to make their own mindsup as to which forms of action are appropriate in the ballot,as they did in the survey.
We hope that Doug McAvoy, our General Secretary, does notseek to influence your vote by wrongly characterizingus as extremists and troublemakers. We hope that he learns toput his own point of view in a more temperate manner, and thathe learns to abide as we do by majority decisions.
The NUT believes that deciding whether to apply to cross thethreshold is a matter for each individual teacher. We are seekingto protect every teachers right to do so. We are seekingto ensure that every teacher who does apply has the best possiblechance of getting the money.
The National Union has already issued advice, but we believethere are issues peculiar to Bradford that need extra local supportand advice. The situation of staff in closing schools, and ofEMAG staff, are of particular concern. We have, therefore, metwith Mike Chapman, a representative of Cambridge Education Associates,who are running the Threshold Assessment scheme. A separate sheetcarries the advice based on this discussion.
We will also be arranging meetings at which he can give specifichelp on how to fill in the forms. So it may be worth holding offyour application until these take place.
Thats the new watchword of Bradford Councils LabourGroup. Via the Telegraph and Argus, we found out that the entireEducation Directorate, in which about 60 NUT members work directly(as well as 600 other staff), was being measured up for puttingout to a private contractor. This little deal was being sortedout with the DfEE behind the backs of the staff, the unions, theparents and the electorate. A public service for more than 120years was to be no more. Control of educational decision-makingwas also to pass from the Council to a quango.
A hostile OFSTED Report on the Education Directorate is beingcooked up to justify this New Labour experiment. Unlike otherCouncils, such as Liverpool, Doncaster and Leeds, which have rightlyresisted this removal of local democratic control in such circumstances,Bradfords Council Leader is an enthusiastic advocate ofideas that were hitherto only associated with Eric Pickles inhis wilder moments.
We are told that we will be consulted, but only after the detailsof the contract have been sorted out!
We have members and services to protect and we will make surethat we do. The NUT Conference unanimously passed a motion, movedby Ian Murch from Bradford, condemning this destruction of publicservices by stealth.
The motion points out that there is no evidence that such amove - to make state education a profit making activity - wouldraise standards. Nor is there any company out there with the expertiseto do the job. The motion also pledges to protect members' jobsand conditions of service by whatever action is necessary.
The General Meeting is an opportunity to find out more, particularly in the light of the Council election results.
We have booked a very big room for our next
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