Lewisham NUT's AGM agreed the joint amendment that I have helped to draft for this year's NUT Conference. Let's hope that this time it isn't only passed, but acted upon!
Here are some of the main points:
Conference recognises that reducing teacher workload, vital to improve both teachers’ working conditions and children’s learning conditions, can only succeed if all of the following are achieved:
A. Limiting the duties of the teacher to those that are really necessary for teaching
B. Limiting class sizes
C. Limiting the number of hours of teaching
D. Limiting the overall number of hours of work
E. Ending the inspection and management culture that believes teaching is improved by making ever more demands on teachers in a more and more bullying way
F. Ending the Government’s fake ‘standards agenda’.
The inadequate provisions of the existing Schoolteachers’ Pay and Conditions Document do not provide such binding limits. Even these existing provisions are under threat through the increasing number of employers of teachers. For this reason it is vital that the Union returns to focusing its work on teachers’ workload and conditions of employment and on the development and implementation of the National Contract for teachers as agreed by previous Conferences.
The amendment includes these key campaigning points:
* to publicise and build our workload campaign from the start of the summer term, in preparation for a ballot for national action;
* for this preparation to include the organisation of local and regional meetings for union members to build support for the campaign and to consult on the nature of strike and non-strike action that might be taken following a successful national ballot.
* that, unless a satisfactory agreement has been concluded in line with this motion, for the union to hold a national ballot to sanction a programme of both strike and non-strike action, which would include new National Guidelines enabling members to ‘work to contract’ modelled on the ‘Beating back bureaucracy’ campaign
* to seek support from other trade unions, including through workplace joint-union committees and local trades councils, to join our campaign of national action.