School Teachers’ Review Body rejects Gove’s attack on conditions

Dear comrades,

The STRB report was published today and they have rejected all the changes that Gove asked for to teachers’ working time and conditions of service.

Gove asked for the following statutory limits to be removed:

● 1265 directed hours a year;

● 195 working days a year;

● the protection of planning, preparation and assessment (PPA) time;

● rarely cover;

● ban on lunch time supervision;

● ban on administrative tasks.

Incredibly the STRB turned him down on just about everything. They only thing they agreed to was to remove the list of 21 tasks but the principle that teachers shouldn’t be doing admin tasks remains.

This is in stark contrast to last year. Last year the STRB gave Gove everything he asked for on PRP, the only concession was a 12 month delay on implementation.

The NUT’s position is that whilst it is welcome that teachers’ conditions haven’t been made even worse, the issues that provoked our strike remain unresolved, in particular, the lifting of teachers retirement age to 69 (for under 34s) and PRP.

If you use twitter or facebook, then please spare some time to carry the NUT’s argument. It is likely, but far from certain, that the NASUWT will announce tomorrow that they are going into talks with Gove and so don’t think a strike is appropriate. Please don’t attack the NASUWT as this will be counter productive and reflect badly on the NUT.

The best arguments for our strike on March 26th are that:

● the reasons for our strike remain unresolved. It is not good for education or fair on teachers to expect them to work to 69. PRP has yet to come in and it will erode pay and conditions in the long term.

● Gove is weak – he is costing the Tories votes, the LibDems keep attacking him and now the STRB has ignored him;

● he still hasn’t agreed to talk about the substance of our dispute. In October, he promised talks and then reneged when the strike was postponed.

It is important to remember that the STRB report is not evidence of Gove having a change of heart, rather it is proof of how isolated he is.

Also the STRB were meeting in October when we had those two magnificent strikes, the consequence of making the working day longer or holidays shorter will have been abundantly clear to the STRB.

This is a great victory and shows what trade unions are capable of, now we must press for more.

In solidarity,

Alex Kenny

Read NUT EduFacts
EduFacts – http://www.teachers.org.uk/edufacts – aims to challenge government and media rhetoric by presenting the facts about what’s going on in our schools, our education system and in the teaching profession.

Phone: 020 7364 5791
e-mail: alex@elta.demon.co.uk

Follow the NUT on Twitter @NUTonline

Visit the NUT website: http://www.teachers.org.uk

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