Teachers are exhausted at the end of another long year of incessant workload, stress and pressure. Too many are resigning, some with no job to go to. But, unless teachers take action together, things are only going to get worse - a lot worse.
From September, Gove wants schools to adopt DfE model policies that could fast-track teachers onto formal capability procedures and would leave us open to unlimited classroom observations.
Gove wants harsh procedures, backed up by a harsh Ofsted framework, to be used as evidence to ‘fail’ & bully even more hard-working teachers. New regulations may also force schools to tell future employers about all capability proceedings.
But the NUT is not accepting these changes. With a YES YES vote we will be able to take strike action to oppose Gove’s removal of observation limits, perhaps targeting schools who refuse to adopt policies & protocols acceptable to the NUT.
On top of a pay freeze and increased pension contributions, we face ‘pay-cuts-by-performance’. Gove wants the Review Body to recommend that appraisal judgements are used to block your pay-rise - or even to pull you back down the pay scale!
If that’s not bad enough, Michael ‘if morale’s low, you know you’re doing something right’ Wilshaw, has been lecturing Heads about demanding staff work even longer hours than we work already!
It’s vital that we deliver the strongest message we can to Gove, Wilshaw - and school managers too - that NUT members are saying ‘enough is enough’ - by voting YES - and by taking action!
This is the timetable discussed at the Executive:
1) VOTE and ask all your colleagues to vote too:
Many members will have already voted but there will be others that will have left the ballot paper with other ‘things to do’ once term has ended.
It’s not too late to vote! Ballot papers can still be returned right through the summer holidays. If a ballot paper hasn't arrived at your home address - or you can’t find it - ring the NUT ballot hotline on 020 7380 6300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2) Look out for instructions and the ballot result:
The NUT Executive will meet to be told the ballot result on Friday 7 September and, with a YES YES vote confirmed, notice will then officially be given to employers for the start of our action programme.
The July Executive had a detailed discussion about what the proposed ‘action short of strike action’ will include - plans which are also being discussed with the NASUWT. Plans for strike action over observation limits and national action over pay, pensions and workload were also discussed - and I hope definite dates for action can be set soon.
3) Hold a school meeting in September
Have a meeting date ready so that members can meet to discuss implementing the action, and also to recruit and welcome new members of staff too.
4) Get ready for joint strike action too:
The TUC Congress will be meeting in Brighton in September. The NUT, alongside other unions, will be calling on unions to co-ordinate action against attacks on pay and pensions and to build for a mass turnout at the TUC demo on October 20th.
A Lobby of the TUC is being held on Sunday 9 September at 1pm by the National Shop Stewards Network with Bob Crow and Mark Serwotka speaking. Transport will be being organised from London. (see details on www.shopstewards.net).
While still fighting the serious threats to the Teachers’ Pensions Scheme which covers most NUT members, the July NUT Executive also voted to reject the proposed agreement over the Local Government Pensions Scheme – which includes some NUT members – as it fundamentally still means most will ‘work longer, pay more and get less’.
Enjoy your summer break when you get to it - recharge those batteries - vote YES for action - and let's come back ready for joint national action to defend teachers, education and all our public services !