Please read this important message from one of our National Executive members

July 2013
Colleagues I hope that you have a well deserved and enjoyable summer break. This has been a difficult year and to be quite honest all I can promise you is a more difficult one next year.
It may seem a little melodramatic to say that we are fighting for the survival of our profession, against a Government that is intent on the wholesale destruction of the state sector and its workforce, but unfortunately that is what is increasingly evident.
School pay policies – these are currently being put in place. The school has to consult with staff regarding the draft policy prior to taking it to the Governors. The Head must inform the Governors if there is a failure to agree or there are unresolved points for staff/unions. The NASUWT have sent a copy of the Joint NASUWT/NUT checklist into schools. In discussing the Pay Policy you should make reference to our documents. Copies of it and a draft Pay Policy with guidance are available online (NASUWT website). Heads may have been misinformed that the content of the Pay policy will be an issue for Ofsted – this is untrue. They may also have been misled by an appallingly inaccurate and provocative letter from the Secretary of State alleging that adopting the Joint NASUWT/NUT policy is illegal – utter tosh! In his response to the NASUWT letter, threatening a legal challenge, Michael Gove said “I feel I must also make it quite clear that nowhere has my Department stated that its model policy must be adopted – it was put forward, along with our Departmental advice, to provide some assistance to schools. Schools are entirely free to adopt it or not, depending on what best suits their needs”.
To indicate how damaging the policy may be – the version being pushed by Gove and the NAHT does NOT include pay portability – what this will mean in practice is that there will be no guarantee that teachers moving between school s will be paid the rate they are entitled to – they will start again at the bottom.
THE RIGHT TO CHRONOLOGICAL PROGRESSION THROUGH ACCUMULATED SERVICE IS REMOVED.
Where a pay Policy that is adopted by a school is at odds with the Joint NASUWT/NUT checklist we will escalate action up to and including strike action. We will pursue discrimination claims arising from a flawed Pay policy – the highest awards in 2011 for discrimination in employment were £230995 (Sex), £382132 (Disability) and £933115 (Race).
The cumulative impact of no pay rise for three years, an increase of up to 2.4% in the pension contribution and inflation 3.3% 2010, 4.5% 2011, 2.8% 2012 means that you may already have been subject to a pay cut approximating 12% . You could be working for 23 days for free.
Now for the really bad news……
The submissions for the STRB (Schoolteachers Pay Review Body) report include the following:
ATL are suggesting an end for TLRs. Having already let down the profession in their pensions capitulation this should perhaps come as no surprise.
I would like to report that it gets better, but ……
It saddens me to report that the NAHT submission demonstrates an utter contempt for classroom practitioners by seeking the complete corruption of your contractual entitlements. The NAHT leadership are happy to campaign for the removal of the statutory elements designed to make you more effective in the classroom and to allow you concentrate on delivering a world class education service to our deserving youngsters. They are prepared to trade these for more power to direct and exercise patronage. I would be surprised if rank and file NAHT members are aware of what is being done in their name. Together with the submission sponsored by the DFE what we now face is unprecedented. Their savage attack and contempt for the workforce beggars belief.
UNDER THREAT – No Cover, PPA time, the non teaching ‘tasks’ such as bulk copying – displays – collecting money
UNDER THREAT – 195 days/ 1265 hours working limits – lifting the working limits
UNDER THREAT – Midday breaks – teachers directed to lunch duties
UNDER THREAT – School breaks/holidays – these could become a chaotic free for all
UNDER THREAT – All allowances – SEN, TLRs, UPS
UNDER THREAT – Salary safeguarding
UNDER THREAT – Your contract of employment
UNDER THREAT – Limits on monitoring
Use it or lose it has to be the message for teachers. Colleagues who have continued to be bullied into doing contractually banned tasks are endangering the profession for us all.
We can no longer ignore the fact that there is an agenda of prejudice and political dogma aimed at the total destruction of state education, the wellbeing of the workforce, the Dickensian vision of people in their places is a reality.
This is no longer about conditions of service it is about CONDITIONS OF SERVITUDE!
STRIKE ACTION
As you will realise the two largest teacher unions, the NASUWT and the NUT, representing nine out of ten teachers, have confirmed the next phase of their jointly coordinated campaign to Protect Teachers and Defend Education.
Following the continued refusal of the Secretary of State to genuinely engage with the NASUWT and the NUT to seek to resolve our trade disputes with him, plans are in place for the next stage of industrial action which will include:
• continuation of the current action short of strike action instructions;
• further national rallies in September;
• a second phase of rolling national strike action in the week beginning 30 September;
• a third phase of rolling national strike action in the week beginning 14 October; and
• a one-day, all-out national strike before the end of the Autumn term.
This follows on from the day of strike action taken on 27 June in the North West of England which resulted in the overwhelming majority of schools being closed or partially closed.
The huge support for the strike is a clear indication that the teaching profession has had enough. Faced with an Education Secretary who refuses to listen, teachers have no option but to continue with their action to defend their profession.
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:
“The Secretary of State needs to take seriously the very deep concerns and anger of teachers and school leaders.
“The relentless attack on the teaching profession is damaging the morale of teachers and undermining the education of pupils.
“The Secretary of State has the opportunity to avoid further national strike action by demonstrating that he is willing to engage seriously on the issues that we have put to him.
In the week commencing 30 September, members will take part in strike action in the Eastern, East Midlands, West Midlands, Yorkshire and Humberside regions and in Wales (regions to be confirmed).
Prepare for action.
Mike Grant
NASUWT National Executive Member

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