Monday 9 May 2016

What we are striking for - collective bargaining, class size limits, reduced workload, pay progression and fixed pay scales for all schools and academies

Below are two resources being circulated from the National Union which you may find useful for building the strike ballot.

The first is a short explanation of the dispute highlighting, in particular, the demands the NUT made in the dispute letter sent to the Secretary of State last month. Below that, is a link to a new PowerPoint for meetings updated to take into account the latest developments:

Stand Up for Education: teachers stood up, parents stood up, MPs stood up… Now let’s build the ballot to keep up the pressure!!

On Friday 6 May, Nicky Morgan was forced into the third major policy climb-down in the last month. This was a result of NUT members working with allies, campaigning against the incendiary white paper proposals. While this is undoubtedly a tactical victory for the NUT and a serious setback for the Secretary of State, it is clear that her course of direction remains the same, as shown in her public remarks over the weekend.

Her announcement made no concessions on the matters about which we wrote to the Secretary of State on 21 April to declare the dispute. In that letter we demanded she provide additional funding and take other necessary steps to ensure:

  • National collective bargaining on pay and conditions in all schools and academies
  • Pending a new collective bargaining structure, for pay and all other terms and conditions to be no worse than those in the STPCD and Burgundy Book
  • A significant improvement in the conditions of employment under which teachers work, in particular a limitation on class sizes to no more than 30 in the first instance
  • Reduction in teachers workloads, in particular through limitation on marking, data handling and planning
  • Reintroduction of pay portability, the pay spine points, fixed pay scales and removal of the requirement for all pay progression to be performance related
  • A significant improvement in measures to ensure teacher retention, including security of employment.

Nicky Morgan has said nothing to resolve our dispute. Real term cuts in funding will have major effects on schools and teachers, whether academy or maintained. They will further erode terms and conditions, increase workload and impede pay progression for teachers. As more schools become academies, the coverage of the national STPCD and Burgundy Book will narrow and these protections will gradually wither away.

Therefore we remain in dispute and building for the ballot remains the most important and urgent priority. We will ballot members in all schools and academies for “discontinuous” strike action, and intend to call a one-day strike in early July and to announce an additional autumn term dates as well.

The ballot opens on Monday 23 May and will close on Wednesday 22 June. We need a big turnout and a huge YES vote.

We have updated the materials available for you to use in your member and rep meetings.

At the same time our Stand Up For Education campaign continues and we can use the momentum we have generated to press for real changes in policy direction.

Forced academisation – by other means – is still a real threat to democratic oversight of education. The Government’s plans will continue to narrow the curriculum, encouraging the consequential growth of Exam Factory culture. We will continue to work with all those who oppose the Government’s education policy.

That is why the NUT campaign to Stand Up for Education continues.

Teachers stood up. Parents stood up. MPs and councillors stood up. Even the Institute of Directors stood up and the CBI has said the way schools are measured does not make sense.

Stand up for Education:

  • Stand up for full funding
  • Stand up for the profession and QTS
  • Stand up for schools and education
Let’s keep up the pressure.

 The full updated PowerPoint can be downloaded here

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