The very latest NEU news : July 2018

NATIONAL EDUCATION UNION | CAMPAIGNS UPDATE | INTERNATIONAL | DATES FOR YOUR DIARY| IN THE NEWS

NATIONAL EDUCATION UNION

NEU Credential-run and Autumn Term membership offer

  • NEU members who joined us in September 2017 will be receiving their annual credentials towards the end of August.
  • ATL and NUT legacy members will receive their credentials in January 2019 when they will enter a short membership year ending 31 August 2019.
  • From 1 September 2019 all members will be rolled together and receive their 2019/20 annual credential at the end of August 2019.
  • The Autumn Term membership offer for new joiners will be 75% off the full subscription rate for their role and working hours. A new joiner must not have been a member of either section within the past 36 months. The offer is only available to those who pay by direct debit instalments.

A great deal of work is being undertaken by the Core Membership Systems project team and more information will be circulated to you all in the Autumn Term with progress.

Branch Rules
The NEU national rules require there to be local bargaining structures based on employers or groups of employers to undertake workplace trade union duties of representation and negotiation.

The rules dictate that on 1 January 2019 local branches shall be as agreed by the Joint Executive Council during the transition period and shall, as a minimum, include branches for:

a) each education authority community of schools
b) chains of education establishments – academy or otherwise – and stand-alone FE colleges for which formal structures and recognition were in place in either ATL or NUT at the date of amalgamation.

In order to comply with the rules JEC has approved the following branches to commence on 1 January 2019:

  • Branches in each local authority area for the community of publicly funded educational establishments excepting FE colleges and any institution in an employer based branch
  • Branches in each local authority area for the independent schools in that area;
  • Branches for FE colleges
  • A branch for the Girls Day School Trust
  • A branch for the Delta MAT
  • A branch for Cambridge Regional College
  • A branch for Barnet and Southgate College.

As both the education environment and the NEU membership changes it is anticipated that groups of members may wish to form additional branches. A process for this will be considered separately.

Model Branch Rules for the various employers/groups of employers have now been agreed by the JEC and are available on the website (please log in before clicking on link) here.

Lay member social media platforms
The following Executive agreement was first circulated to local officers in the spring term. Engagement and debate amongst Union members on all aspects of education/workplace policies, led by a NUT activist base, is vital to the lifeblood of the Union. It is important, however, that members are aware that the Facebook page is not a national forum and is not administered by staff. The Executive has agreed that moderators of unofficial NEU Facebook groups should include unofficial in their title and have a pinned post saying (please log into Facebook view the link):

“This is an unofficial group, which means it is moderated and run by volunteer activists and not the NEU. The NEU’s official Facebook page is www.facebook.com/nationaleducationunion. If you have a casework enquiry you should ring the AdviceLine on 020 3006 6266.”

Unofficial groups are also asked to remove NEU logos to help avoid confusion about their status.

Local officer strategy
The NUT local officer strategy is currently being reviewed by the Organising and Membership Committee with a view to providing a foundation for the strategy in the new union from January 2019. OMC is interested to hear the views of local officers on the document which may be found at https://www.teachers.org.uk/officers-resources/secretaries. Please send your comments either to your Executive member or to John Roberts in the Organising and Membership Department john.roberts@neu.org.uk

Email Safety & Security
There has been a marked increase in the number and complexity of attempts to ‘phish’ NEU email accounts and gain unauthorized access to NEU systems. Please read theinformation on spotting and avoiding phishing emails

CAMPAIGNS UPDATE

Funding

SEND parent film
On Sunday a second film focusing on cuts to SEND funding will go live on the School Cuts Facebook page and will be emailed to all School Cuts supporters. The film – which features Michelle, mum of 9-year-old Charlie, talking about their experiences – will be shared with all NEU members on Wednesday 25 July. Please share and retweet the film when it is released – School Cuts has produced some sample tweets which you can use.

Thank you for all your help in building our petition on SEND cuts: it now has more than 17,000 signatures. Please continue sharing it.

National School Cuts Parental Summit: 15 September
Soon School Cuts supporters will receive an invitation to attend a national day of campaign planning and workshops on Saturday 15 September at Hamilton House. The aim of the event is to allow parents to develop local and national campaigning plans and to cement links between the NEU and School Cuts and parent groups. As with previous national lobbies and parent events, we hope that NUT section divisions and ATL section branches will support this activity, to ensure we get the best possible turnout, by sponsoring parent activists to travel to London. If your association can help, please let us know by clicking here and telling us your division/association/name.

Model letter for head teachers
In the most recent Headway e-newsletter to school leaders, NEU (NUT section) promoted a model letter for heads. The letter, which is available by clicking here, is designed to help heads to write to parents about how cuts are affecting their school and the impact an unfunded teacher pay rise would have. Please share this among heads in your area.

PAY

STRB
Recently all teacher unions wrote to Damian Hinds regarding the delay to the STRB announcement about the pay increase for teachers in September. This week a group of NEU activists gathered outside the DfE hoping to #AskDamian #WhereIsSTRB. ASCL, NAHT and NEU have written again today to Damian Hinds.

Sadly, at time of writing, teachers and heads alike are still in limbo as the report has yet to be released. Now London NEU activists have planned for a Fair Pay for Teachers: London Mobilising meeting, to discuss the ongoing pay and funding campaigns. It will take place at Methodist Central Hall, in Westminster, on September 13, from 6pm-8pm. You can register for free.

Success in East Sussex
As you may have read in the press, NEU members in East Sussex are celebrating after a series of strikes led to a win on pay.

A dispute was declared when the local council failed to recommend the agreed union pay rise for teachers (2%) across the main scale from September 2017, instead recommending 1% in the grades between the minimum and maximum. This decision left teachers in East Sussex being paid less than colleagues in neighbouring Brighton and Hove, and in most other areas of the country.

Following successful negotiations – and strike action at schools around the county – this decision has been reversed. This means that members on the disputed part of the pay scale (M2-M6a) in more than 150 schools in the county will get a backdated pay award in September for this academic year, as well as any new pay award.

Many congratulations to the NEU officers and members in East Sussex whose resolute determination to secure the pay rise has led to this success.

Workload
As you know, as a result of the NEU’s talks with Government, the DfE is poised to launch a Workload Reduction Toolkit, for school leaders to use to discuss with staff ways to cut down on unnecessary work and free up time for teaching. While we realise it will not be a silver bullet to “solve” workload overnight, we believe the toolkit offers NEU members opportunities to work together have a constructive dialogue with their head about tasks which DfE and Ofsted say are not required. We know unnecessary paperwork around marking, planning and data blights the lives of many teachers, limiting the time they have to plan and deliver exciting lessons, so it is vital we make the most of the opportunities the toolkit affords.

We believe release of the toolkit is imminent and that heads will be encouraged to discuss the issues with their staff early in the autumn term. Please encourage reps in your area to look out for this and follow our 3 steps to reducing workload:

  1. Meet with members to discuss the toolkit, focusing on the sections which are most relevant in their school;
  2. Identify together the causes of excessive workload, using DfE/Ofsted guidance on what tasks are not required and which school leaders should not ask for;
  3. Discuss with their head teacher ways in which workload can be reduced and ask for an all-staff INSET day focusing on the toolkit.

Campaigns review
The NEU campaigns team has produced a report detailing the union’s campaigning activity this academic year: you will shortly receive your copy. Thanks to all your hard work and dedication we have achieved a lot since September and are in a strong position to realise further gains on funding, workload, assessment and pay. We all appreciate the challenges we have to win fair funding for schools, to bring down teacher workload, to reform our broken assessment system and to get a good pay rise for teachers and support staff. The overarching aim of the NEU is to shape the future of education, for the benefit of school staff and pupils alike; together, we can do this.

INTERNATIONAL

Play for Cuba – Musical Instrument Appeal  
The Cuba Solidarity Campaign, Music Fund for Cuba, and the NEU-NUT Section are collecting instruments to support music education in Cuba. Music is hugely important in Cuba, but the US blockade has limited the availability of instruments and resources. You can help by donating new and used instruments to the appeal. Find out more at here.

Resources and opportunities available from the British Rohingya Community
The British Rohingya Community (BRC), members of which spoke powerfully to Conference this year, have offered NEU-NUT Section divisions, associations and regions the opportunity to have a speaker from the BRC attend a local NEU-NUT Section meeting. In addition, the BRC has prepared a mobile photographic exhibition about the situation in Myanmar which members, divisions, associations, regions and schools are invited to display. Please contact the BRC at britishrohingya@gmail.com for more information.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

Retired Teachers’ Convention 2018, Tuesday 16 October
The annual NUT Section Retired Teachers’ Convention will take place NUT HQ in London. Divisions and Associations are encouraged to make funds available for retired members to participate. To book places and see the programme and book places click here.

IN THE NEWS

Late on Friday last, a joint union letter was sent to Damian Hinds demanding the publication of both the STRB report (delivered to him in May) and the Government’s response to it. This ratcheted up the pressure, following a steady social media campaign. You can read the letter here and my accompanying TES blog here.  It was covered in reports by Press Association, TES, the BBC, Education Executive and Education Business.

We also commented on the regulation of private tutors, in the Times (£), Metro, the Independent and BBC News.

TES held a Facebook Live event on Wednesday where education professionals, including Mary Bousted, discussed the #LetThemTeach campaign. You can watch it here.

Please note that this is the last e-bulletin that will be sent out this term – the next bulletin will be sent out on Friday 7 September. If we do need to contact you in the interim on an urgent matter, we will do so via email.

Thank you for all that you do for the Union. The Union’s continued growth and building of strength could not happen without you. Have a good summer break.

Yours sincerely

Kevin Courtney

Joint General Secretary

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