|October 19, 2018 | 18-031E
NATIONAL EDUCATION UNION | CAMPAIGNS UPDATE
NATIONAL EDUCATION UNION
NEU CONFERENCE 2019
Letters were sent to Associations advising them of the number of delegates they are entitled to send to Conference 2019. In the interests of enabling member engagement and in line with previous practice in some associations, you should allow for delegates to be elected either at a quorate general meeting or by a ballot of the membership as long as all members were clearly given the opportunity to be nominated and have an understanding of the process for election.
From 1 January 2019 Associations will no longer exist and cannot conduct business of any kind. It is essential therefore that Conference delegations are decided before 31 December 2018, even though the deadline for informing Head Office is 15 February 2019. It will not be possible to elect Association delegates next year.
Priority Voting arrangements
Some Districts will not have had NEU AGMs by the deadline for priority voting (31 January 2019). In the first year the quorum should be agreed at the first general meeting along with the decision on officer posts. The JEC will accept rules from districts with quorum based on decisions at quorate general meetings. In the absence of a quorum decided by the districts it should be the minimum set by the JEC so 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 depending on the size of membership in the district. So, the agreed quorums for NEU Districts will be accepted for Priority Voting.
INDICATIVE ACTION BALLOT
We are putting the Government on notice – fund our schools
You will know that the Union is stepping up its campaign on school funding in the run-up to the autumn budget.
The latest pay settlement from the School Teachers Review Body (STRB) has not been fully funded, leaving our schools having to find the shortfall from ever-decreasing budgets.
We cannot allow schools to continue to be critically under-funded and this is why we and our School Cuts partners have set six tests before the 29 October budget. If the Chancellor fails these tests, the NEU will be left with no choice but to launch an indicative ballot of members in state funded schools in England to step up our action.
This will not be like previous ballots. Heads across the country – including our own leadership members – are trying to manage the impossible: delivering the best education for children with ever-decreasing funds.
This is why we are working with other sister leadership unions ASCL and NAHT in the “Hands up for Education” campaign.
We hope this joint working will mean all unions ask a question about willingness of members to take industrial action in supporting the campaign to urgently fund our schools, but we must be clear this is not guaranteed.
Indicative action ballot timetable and information for you as officers
This indicative action ballot is an exciting and vital chance for us to strengthen our union. Here is a provisional timetable:
· Ballot opens: Early November – Post Budget
This will be an electronic email for most of our members. Those without a valid email address will get postal ballots.
· Regional/Wales meetings for division and district officers: 29 October – 12 November
Your region/Wales will be inviting you to a divisional secretaries’ meeting, where we will discuss the campaign and how we can build for the best possible ballot turnout.
At the meeting you will receive a pack to help you organise briefings for your reps and information and training on the “peer to peer” texting system (see below).
· District/Division meetings of reps about the ballot: 12 November – 19 November
Along with their ATL counterparts, we would like divisions to organise a reps briefing and bring together as many reps and active members as possible to talk about the ballot.
You will be able to give reps membership lists for their schools, discuss activity which will help increase ballot turnout and equip them to undertake meetings in the workplace.
· Workplace meetings: 12 November – end of the ballot
We hope as many reps and active members will hold meetings throughout ballot period as possible, encouraging people to vote and ensuring we reach the thresholds for action (if it were a formal ballot).
In schools without reps, division and district officers, supported by staff, will try to organise meetings.
· Close of ballot: Week beginning 14 January 2019
What resources will you have?
1. Membership information for ALL members
You should have been sent access to a OneDrive folder via your neu.org.uk email address. This will contain membership information alongside rep names and details and volunteers’ information – people who want to be involved in campaigning.
This will be updated twice a week and include turnout by school during the ballot period to help plan your activities.
2. “Peer to peer “Relay service
If you attend your regional meeting, you will be trained on how to use this texting system. Organising staff will help you during the ballot process to utilise this technology.
3. Briefing materials and copies of guidance that goes into schools
We will ensure you receive copies of what is sent into schools and members in advance.
4. Updates from me and Mary
During the ballot period, we hope to video call you to hear about how the ballot is going and answer any questions you may have.
Kevin CourtneyJoint General Secretary