Monday, 4 March 2013

Lewisham AGM calls on NUT Conference to name dates for strike action

Tonight's Annual General Meeting of Lewisham NUT unanimously voted to support amendments to motions to this Easter's NUT Annual Conference inserting, amongst other proposals, a clear call for national strike action against PRP next term.

The amendments include the following paragraphs:
Conference agrees that, as part of the current campaign to oppose performance-related pay (PRP), we must make sure that publicity is produced aimed at parents and the public explaining the damage that PRP will inflict on education, and how it will further lower teacher morale, worsen the destructive culture of excessive targets and testing in our schools, and create undue pressure for both teachers and students alike. 

Conference deplores the proposed dismantling of our pay structures, particularly: 

i)       The removal of an expectation of annual pay progression along the main pay range, a feature of teachers’ pay arrangements since the 1920s;
ii)     the removal of specified pay scale points on both the Main and Upper pay ranges;
iii)   the abolition of ‘portability’ of pay points between schools with teachers paid on the Upper pay range no longer guaranteed to maintain that range on moving schools;
iv)    the threat that even the 1% pay uplift for September 2013 might only be awarded on the basis of performance;
v)     the use of Ofsted to pressurise schools into adopting performance-related pay with new subsidiary guidance suggesting that headteachers provide inspectors with “a table showing for each salary point, the number of staff, points they have moved from, and the number that met their performance management objectives”

Conference recognises that, in principle, united action across the teaching profession can strengthen our ability to oppose such challenges. However, the Union has to concretely weigh up at each stage the advantages to be won through amending our preferred strategy in order to achieve joint action as against the risks that we could be held back from pursuing a strategy which is sufficiently robust to tackle the problems and challenges we face.

Conference instructs the Executive to:
  • Announce from this Conference that, as part of our national dispute on pay, pensions and working conditions, the NUT will be calling national strike action on Wednesday 1 May and on Thursday 27 June as part of an ongoing programme of rolling and/or national strike action continuing, if required, into the autumn term and beyond. 
  • Express publicly our wish to coordinate that programme of strike action where possible with the NASUWT and other unions opposing attacks on pay, jobs, pensions and working conditions 
  • Support reps and local officers in seeking to secure pay and appraisal policies that protect teachers’ pay and working conditions as far as possible, including through taking strike action in individual schools and co-ordinated across schools, while recognising that national strike action to oppose these national attacks remains the most powerful way of defending teachers and education. 
  • Urgently put into practice a detailed organising and communications strategy including home mailings to members, materials aimed at the parents and the public, reps briefings in associations and some newspaper advertising in the run up to strike days.

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