NASUWT Islington Branch Newsletter January 2001

THE CAREER TEACHER’S ORGANISATION

www.islington.nasuwt.org.uk

 

To all Islington Teachers,

For better or worse, this month I don’t think that there will be a shortage of information to report. Some of it good, some of it bad, hopefully most of it interesting.

Branch General Meeting

Time: 4:30 - 6pm

Date: Wednesday 14th March 2001

Venue:Barnsbury Centre Offord Rd

refreshments will of course be provided

The biggest (and worst) news is that the EMAS service will cease from March 2002 for primary schools and September 2001 for secondary schools. Despite previous commitments to offer all their services for at least two years, on 5/12/00 the Education Committee decided to allow CEA to close the service. We have several concerns about the consultation process, but while the committee was advised of the arguments in favour of keeping the service, it was asked to base its decision on the responses from 14 schools, five of whom were in favour of the change. This contrasts strongly with more than 90% of Islington schools which chose to buy in to the service last year. We believe that most schools do not support this proposal and simply did not have time to trawl the 22 page document it was hidden in. Could members please ask their heads if they knew of the meeting on November 9th and whether they support the change. If they are concerned about this they should contact James Kempton, Chair of the Education Committee to ask him to revisit this decision.

URGENT NEWS UPDATE

At the London Executive meeting on Thurs 18th January it was unanimously decided to ballot on industrial action over the excessive demands put on teachers to either cover for the sickness of overworked colleagues, or fill in where due to poor pay and conditions schools have been unable to appoint. This would impact on schools where members have identified a problem and force the government to take action to remedy the real causes of the teacher recruitment, rather than allow teachers to be worked to the point of breakdown. I’ll climb down off the soapbox, now, but as there will be genuine concerns about such action, this will be top of the agenda for the 14th March meeting

The action would allow teachers to refuse any cover after the third day and force schools and LEAs to effectively manage a difficult problem.

On housing issues, councillors are keen to find ways of attracting and keeping staff. Despite repeated requests I am not getting cases reported to me of teachers in housing need. I can’t promise results, but without evidence we can’t press for changes. Examples may be from teachers in any union, but preferably teachers will have at least have visited a council office to ask for help.

The "National" union is desperate for examples of teachers being asked to carry out excessive cover duties or take extra pupils. Cases where vacancies have not been filled and/or where supply teachers could not be found, even after the third day are particularly sought.

The point is that while we as teachers keep "papering over the cracks" the government can claim there is no problem. This is an opportunity for the unions to gain concessions at a national level.

At the same meeting that the education committee agreed to axe the EMAS and learning support service, they also agreed to "fine" CEA@Islington 23,115 for failures in the following areas:

Ÿmonitoring health&safety issues

Ÿsetting up principles for school self-review

Ÿimplementing a Risk & Insurance Management Plan

ŸData Management

ŸSupport to SACRE (RE advice panel)

For the first time we have secured facility time for an NASUWT Health and Safety Officer. In addition the present temporary arrangements for the role of Islington Secretary have been made permanent.

Carrying on the move into the twenty-first century, an e-mail mailing list has been set up to circulate information. All the usual newsletters will still go out, so no-one should be missed out, but when more urgent items come up it should be easier to contact people. That and the fact that some of us find e-mail more convenient. If you have an address and have not been contaced, but would like to be, contact gregrobbins@nasuwt.net

On a similar point, the branch website is edging closer to 500 visits, but the London association site is also "officially on-line and can be visited at:

http://homepages.nasuwt.net/gregrobbins/london/index.htm

..next step is to sort out a shorter address. (Now available: www.londonnasuwt.org.uk )

There will also be a special general meeting of the London Association to agree the nominations of National Executive members for the Inner London area (district 23) The date is likely to be Thursday 8th February, but notices will be sent to all schools


IN BRIEF:

Ballot for "No Cover Action" will take place within the next few weeks.

Holloway Boys School will become co-educational from September next year.

Islington Green School will drop to six form entry from September 2002

E-mail will be used to circulate local information. If you wish to receive it contact gregrobbins@nasuwt.net

Threshold payments are due by Easter, (but still not guaranteed)

Greg Robbins


General Meeting

Wednesday 14th March 2001 4:30 -6pm

at the Barnsbury Centre, Offord Road

 

Agenda

ŸSecretary’s Report

barnsbury.GIF (4016 bytes)

ŸNo Cover Action

ŸEMAS & LSS

ŸThreshold - update

ŸHousing for teachers

ŸTime for a Limit

ŸReports from schools

ŸAOB

 

It would be useful if anyone who has detailed questions, or wishes to bring up items under AOB could let me know as soon as pos.

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