Good progress in STEM 6 free school talks
Following two days of well-supported strike action by teachers at STEM 6 Academy – a newly-opened Islington free school for 16-18 olds – on Wednesday and Thursday last week, NUT representatives were invited to attend a meeting with school governors and the principal on Friday afternoon.
At the meeting, we were presented with a draft union recognition agreement close to what we were seeking and a time-limited procedure for resolving issues concerning teachers terms and conditions.
On Monday, NUT members at STEM 6 agreed that the commitments given to the NUT were sufficient for them to agree to suspend three further days of strike action – called for this week – to allow negotiations to proceed today (Tuesday).
Ken Muller, Assistant Secretary of Islington NUT, said:
Today’s negotiations made significant progress towards meeting our objective of moving staff on to terms and conditions of employment comparable with those enjoyed in sixth form colleges and we are optimistic that we will be able to resolve outstanding matters of concern without further resort to industrial action.
Final agreement on the issues at STEM 6 will allow teachers and support staff at the school to focus on providing students with the high quality education to which they are entitled and – notwithstanding the NUT’s wish to see all schools becoming democratically accountable to the communities which they serve and working in cooperation rather than in competition with each other – hopefully become model for other free schools to emulate.