Saturday, 12 May 2012

Lewisham Teaching Unions Issue Joint Letter

The Lewisham branch secretaries of the three main teaching unions, the ATL, NASUWT and NUT have issued a joint letter to Lewisham Teachers to set out the working conditions that we think they have a right to expect:

Dear Lewisham Teacher

Lewisham's three teaching unions are working hard to make sure that teachers’ working lives are the best that they can be, so that you can do the best you can for the children and young people of the borough.

We are concerned about the growing pressure under which many of you are working and your unions are determined to support you in insisting on your rights at work.

Below are some of the rights that you must expect from your employer.

Observations  - a stick to beat you with or a professional dialogue?

  • An end to no notice observations - at least five days advance notice of an observation with time set aside for  a professional dialogue about the purpose of the observation.
  • No drop-ins or learning walks that result in a judgement on your teaching.
  • No abuse of OFSTED criteria - criteria must be agreed within the professional dialogue and             constructive feedback given afterwards.
  • End excessive observations - 3’s the annual limit - and that’s a maximum not a target !
Performance Management - No direct link to Capability  
  • Focus on training and support -  not to be used as a shortcut to capability procedures
Workload  - a work life balance is your right 
  • Timetabled PPA time (10% minimum guaranteed).
  • One 1 hour meeting per week for teachers.
  • ‘Rarely Cover’ means only in genuine emergencies.
  • An end to ridiculous planning - planning should be for you and your pupils, not for anyone else.
  • No administrative or clerical tasks that do not require a teacher’s professional skills.
Consultation and  Negotiation  - prevention is better than cure
  • Regular meetings between workplace representatives and management.
  • A calendar of meetings and deadlines agreed in advance and consultation on any changes.
  • Consultation over the introduction of new initiatives - especially a time audit - 'you can't fit a quart in a pint pot'  !
If you have problems with any of these or other issues in your workplace that you cannot resolve please contact your union representative for support.

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