The holidays probably now seem like a blissful blur after a return to the chalkface or whatever the IWB version is.
The biggest change would appear to be No Gove, however whilst Nicky Morgan has actually offered to meet NUT/NASUWT to discuss our dispute, just yesterday she unwittingly showed her support for schools to be run for profit, and with the privatisation agenda directly being linked to increased micro management, targets and workload, this new Secretary of State is not Gove light but another Tory ideologue.
The main issue for members this term will be pay, and we are anticipating a lot of members being denied pay progression. However, in this respect there should be no surprises and so most members should progress. The national union has produced a decent toolkit for members and reps http://www.teachers.org.uk.
Locally we have seen our branch facility time reduced in total from 8.5 days to 5 days and whilst there will be less days, between Betty, myself and Bola we should be able to cover the five days. This reduction is as a result of schools (all academies except ARK) not paying into the local pot. This does mean that whilst we locally will be able to support, advise and meet with any of our 2030 members regardless of where they work, members in non contributing schools will be represented in meetings by Regional officials instead, after full involvement of local officials up to that point. We are hoping that these schools will see sense and decide to pay back into the pot.
In terms of our campaigning strategy the union continues to campaign, politically, in communities as well as industrially. MPs (particularly labour ones) will continue to be lobbied to agree NUT friendly policies in advance of the election. Parents and communities will be informed of our stand for Education (the street stalls will continue).
In terms of our industrial response – this will be on two fronts:
We will continue to work with other unions and help build the TUC march on the 18th October and the demonstrations at the Tory conference, however with Unison out in strike in mid October we should continue to strike with our support staff.The Union is conducting another survey on this so all members who want to see us out with the TAs should make sure their voice is heard.
As for other action, the workload action is still live and members should revisit the list of tasks, time wasting/energy sapping, pointless data driven paperwork, meetings and collectively say NO as we did in many schools two years ago.
Gove did GO, but there is still lots for us to work on together. Have a good term and year
Joint NUT Secretary