Conference notes that despite the promises made at the time of the ‘workload agreement’, excessive workload, both in terms of overall hours and the intensity of work within those hours, is becoming worse, not better. This is in clear breach of the “commitment to secure downward pressure on excessive hours” contained in the Pay and Conditions Document.
Conference fears that the government's cuts programme, the so-called ‘standards agenda’ and further attacks such as the worsening of performance management arrangements, will all contribute to a further deterioration in levels of workload and stress.
Conference notes the motions and policies agreed at previous annual conferences recognising that alongside defending pay, pensions, opposing cuts and the expansion of Academies and Free Schools, tackling excessive teacher workload and the resulting stress must remain one of the key objectives of the union.
Conference recognises that the Union has acted on Conference policy by:
(i) drawing-up a model work-life balance policy;
(ii) highlighting key workload objectives in union publications.
(iii) developing a model contract setting out the union’s workload objectives
However, Conference recognises that the Union has to develop a far more effective strategy to make sure that these policies and objectives are implemented in practice. Conference therefore instructs the Executive to draw up an action strategy for implementation over the coming year, which should include:
a) highlighting the union’s support for school groups wishing to ballot for action where negotiation has failed to resolve workload issues;
b) seeking to coordinate ballots across schools where possible;
c) seeking to identify key workload issues which could provide the focus for wider campaigns, up to and including national ballots for both non-strike sanctions and strike action to secure concrete gains around these issues;
d) approaching other teacher unions to seek to develop a united action strategy;
e) holding regional reps briefings to energise and make effective such a workload campaign, alongside the other key campaigns being conducted by the Union.