A letter to members from the General Secretary

NASUWT

Dear Member,
Thank you for your continuing support for the NASUWT’s industrial action strategy which, through action short of strike action and the judicious use of strike action, has been a strong defence against the relentless attacks on the profession and has secured a number of significant successes in furtherance of the trade dispute with the Secretary of State over pay, pensions and conditions of service, including workload, and job loss.

Two of the most recent, significant successes were:
• the acceptance by the Secretary of State that there will be no changes to teachers’ non-pay conditions of service, which include the length of the working year and a number of other significant contractual entitlements, including guaranteed planning, preparation and assessment (PPA) time and no cover; and
• the establishment by the Secretary of State of talks to seek to resolve the trade dispute.
Detailed talks have been taking place since March 2011. The priority issues under discussion are pay, pensions, workload and accountability, specifically the impact of inspection and job loss.
You can find out more about progress in the talks on the NASUWT’s website.
The talks are scheduled to continue for the rest of this academic year and the NASUWT is keeping developments under close review.
Performance Management/Appraisal and Pay Progression
One of the significant issues which we are seeking to address is the increasing barriers teachers are facing to pay progression, due to the changes made by the Coalition Government to the pay system and performance management/appraisal.
While continuing to press in the national discussions for changes to the pay system, in order to empower members to take control of their performance management and pay progression, the NASUWT is running a series of workshops, ‘Taking Control of your Performance Management’, the details of which are enclosed with this letter. Please make every effort to attend.
Securing your Contractual Entitlements
The NASUWT is also continuing to work to ensure that the action short of strike action instructions are embedded in all schools. When implemented fully they make a significant, positive difference to teachers’ workload, protect them from excessive observation and ensure that they are receiving their full contractual entitlements. It is important to check that the action instructions are being applied fully in your school (www.nasuwt.org.uk/IndustrialAction). If they are not, then contact the NASUWT
for advice and support.

General Election 2015 – making education a priority
All of the political parties are now focusing on the General Election 2015.
At the NASUWT Annual Conference in April, the NASUWT launched its ‘Reclaim the Promise – Vote for Education’ campaign. This campaign complements our industrial action strategy and is designed to make education a key election issue.
As part of its campaign, the NASUWT has published a series of leaflets aimed at parents, the public and politicians which we are distributing widely this term. These can be accessed on http://www.nasuwt.org.uk/ReclaimThePromise.
In furtherance of the Campaign, in the week beginning 9 June, the NASUWT will be encouraging members to lobby their MPs either in their local surgeries or by using the NASUWT advocacy online facility which gives a direct link to MPs.
Lobbying materials to support your contact and lobbying will be available at
http://www.nasuwt.org.uk/EntitlementsForAll in downloadable form online from 9 June. The purpose of the lobby is to influence party manifestos.
The NASUWT is also looking towards the Autumn term 2014 which will be a critical time in the Union’s trade dispute and the Vote for Education campaign.
By the beginning of the Autumn term, progress made during this academic year on the talks with the Coalition Government on members’ key concerns will be clear and, depending on the outcome, the time will be right, with a General Election in sight, to step up the pressure on politicians.
The TUC is already planning a mass demonstration in London on 18 October which the NASUWT will be encouraging all members, their families and friends to attend. We are also working through the TUC with other affiliated unions on co-ordinating campaigning activities in the Autumn.
Members will continue to be kept fully informed of all developments.

Thank you for your continuing support.

Best wishes.
Chris Keates (Ms)
General Secretary
NASUWT The largest teachers’ union in the UK

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