NASUWT Islington Association



To all Islington Teachers,

Well, first of all I have to apologise for the relative lateness of this terms newsletter and the short notice it gives for our next meeting. There are various reasons (excuses ?) that I shan’t bore you with, but I hope it’s not too late to wish everyone Happy New Year.

This term should be quite interesting from the union’s perspective. We will not know the results of the pay claim with the STRB (Schoolteachers' Review Body) until next month, including the London Weighting allowance, but last week Charles Clarke told that body that teachers should only get rises in line with inflation - pushing us further and further behind pay rates in other professions. Ken doesn’t have any more money to give us as his budget has been turned down. Apparently all our money is going into cutting our workload, but it transpires that out of the 1 billion to be spent on this, only 215 million is "new" money, so we may have some right to be sceptical. On the other hand, the unions have negotiated a new agreement with LEAs over which work will be a carried out by teachers -"Raising Standards and Tackling Workload." This has not been agreed by the NUT, though (see box panel overleaf) while the government is consulting over what role the support staff will fulfill. If we’re not happy with the way the national union leads on these issues, then apart from grilling our representatives on the national executive, we can go to conference at Easter and affect the direction the union takes.

Which brings to this years annual conference. If we avoid major industrial action over pay and London weighting, then a big issue will be the discussion on the future of all teaching unions and the question of how closely they should work together - or even merge. The motions have not been decided yet and the ballot for them has still to be carried out. Islington proposed one motion, which has been composited with a longer one. the text is squashed into a box below.

"Conference is concerned that many headteachers and other managers of educational establishments pay very little, if any regard to their duty of care towards their employees.

Conference calls on National Executive to ensure that all teachers, including those working with supply agencies, enjoy the right to a contract of employment.

Further, Conference calls on National Executive to continue to raise awareness amongst members of their rights, under health and safety legislation, particularly in regard to an employers duty of care.

Conference demands the relentless pursuit and punishment of all LEAs and other employers, including privatised companies, that ignore the rights of workers enshrined in agreed procedures and backed by employment law and human rights legislation."

N Suffolk, Islington, LBTH, Lewisham, Ken & Chelsea

At our next general meeting we will decide which motions to support and who will go, so if you have any interest, make sure you come. The full list of motions has been sent to every school. If you have something important to say, consider coming to conference, if only for the day.

"Raising Standards and Tackling Workload"

On 15th January, all the teaching unions except the NUT signed an agreement with the employers organisation NEOST which gives teachers a number of new rights. There will be leaflets arriving in schools soon, so to give the main points:

ŸThere will be a limit on cover of 38 hrs per year - but no-one should be asked to do more than they do already.

ŸA right to a core of non-contact time in the school day which cannot be used for cover or other demands - only as the teacher wishes.

ŸThere open ended clause where teachers were expected to carry out unlimited work has been replaced by one requiring a reasonable work/life balance.

ŸTeachers with extra responsibilities will get extra time during the day to fulfil these duties.

ŸThere has been clarification on when a responsible person can supervise classes (as in the case of a detention, or invigilation) or instructors can teach (as in specialists is swimming or PE) This was the point on which the NUT differed.

We are working locally with the other unions to ensure that all members receive the benefits of this agreement.

As part of the governments consultation on the role of "teaching assistants" we hope to agree a joint position on their role (including both teaching and support unions) which will allow the NUT to work with us.

I can e-mail a copy of the agreement to anyone who would like a copy (including non-members)

If any NQTs would like a little bit of extra money, there is an open day to recruit trainee teachers to Islington and anyone who can come to chat with them for a couple of hours will be paid. Contact Sarah Ryan on 7527 5787. The NQT conference will be 10am -1pm on Thursday 20th February (During term).

After the recent PISA report (Programme for International School Assessment) comparing the results of tests students have taken across the world there will be a on day conference at The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Hall, Westminster on Thursday 30th January. It is jointly organised by NASUWT and NUT and speakers include:

David Miliband, Minister for School Standards;

Andreas Schleicher of OECD;

Eamonn O’Kane, NASUWT General Secretary;

Doug McAvoy, NUT General Secretary.

Members from both unions are encouraged to attend. Contact Olwynn Gunn to confirm tickets on 0121 453 6150

General Meeting

4-5pm Wednesday 29th January 2002

Islington Green School, Prebend Street


Last minutes

Health and Safety Report

Legal liability & child contact

National Executive Report


Support staff


Secretaries Report

Everything else

Threshold/Upper Pay Spine - payments

News in Brief
uaranteed PPA - non-contact time for planning, preparation and assessment
Conference dates are 21st to 25th April in Bournemouth - free entry with membership card
Charles Clarke wants to freeze our pay, including until 2006 (except for RPI)
PISA conference on 30th January - implications and (hopefully) celebrating how well the UK did.
West Ham languishing at the bottom of the league table.
Congestion charging starts on February 17th (which is also my birthday)

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