NUT / NASUWT Joint Campaign Protecting Teachers Defending Education Speakers Notes for NUT Reps NUT Ballot – Summer Term 2012 Why this campaign? Never before have our pay, our pensions, our conditions of employment and our professionalism been under such direct attack. It is not an accident: this Government is determined to break up democratically controlled public education as we know it. Attacks on pay include the pay freeze, the threat of local pay (and even longer pay freezes in many areas), more PRP and maybe even the end of national pay scales. The attacks on pensions are well known – we are already paying more and the Government wants us to work longer to get less in retirement. Workload is through the roof and the Government is trying to remove some of the few protections we have. That’s why the NUT and NASUWT have launched a strategic response, working together on a joint campaign to protect teachers and defend education. NUT and NASUWT working together The NUT and NASUWT have agreed to coordinate our campaigns to protect teachers’ pensions, pay and working conditions. This is an unprecedented joint declaration – our two unions represent 85% of teachers in England and Wales (NUT 44% and NASUWT 41%). As part of that campaign the NUT is balloting members to seek their support for action to protect pay and working conditions. The NUT has led the fight over pensions. Although our campaign has secured concessions, the pensions campaign must continue. But we must also act to protect teachers against the Government’s wider attacks on them. NUT members have told us that they believe that joint action is most effective. They understand that this Government is a tough nut to crack. Joint action has won the concessions made on pensions so far. Joint action in teaching is needed to resist these other attacks. That is why the NUT is holding this new ballot of members which will allow members to take part in strike action and non-strike sanctions on this whole range of issues of concern. What does the NASUWT and NUT campaign cover? The NUT and NASUWT have published a “joint declaration of intent” on the following areas: Workload pressures: damaging teachers’ health, threatening educational standards; Pensions: unfair contribution increases and changes to pension ages; Pay: proposals for local pay and PRP and the continuation of the pay freeze; Conditions: attacks on national terms and conditions of service, including due to the academisation of schools; and Jobs: arising from funding cuts and curriculum reforms. The NUT’s fight for teachers’ pensions will continue as a central part of the new campaign. The NUT will not accept that teachers should work until they are 68, pay 50% more for their pensions and get less in retirement. We can use our existing mandate from members to keep the pensions campaign going. The new NUT ballot will allow us to take action over those other issues as well. You can download the joint declaration and read more information about each of these issues on the NUT website at www.teachers.org.uk/protect-teachers NUT and NASUWT working together The NUT and NASUWT joint declaration was launched on 28 May. You can see and hear the two General Secretaries speaking at www.teachers.org.uk/protect-teachers The two unions have written to the Secretary of State calling for urgent discussions about the concerns of the teaching profession. We want to talk and we are willing to meet at any time. If the Government refuses to listen, we may have to ask for your support for joint industrial action by NASUWT and NUT. Joint non strike sanctions in support of our campaign will start in September. If the Government refuses to move, there may be joint strike action later in the term. What sort of non strike sanctions and strike action may be involved? Some example of possible non-strike actions might include: refusal to hand in short term planning (even Michael Gove says this is not necessary and many outstanding schools require no such handing in) refusal to attend more than one management directed meeting per week. refusal to cooperate with more than 3 observations per performance management cycle. possible target weeks where teachers do nothing except teaching and any scheduled break supervision. These sanctions will be decided and run jointly with NASUWT and full joint guidance will be issued. Both unions would offer support to school groups where head teachers are difficult about these matters. By releasing teachers from accountability tasks it will free teachers to think about teaching and learning instead of form filling. The NASUWT and NUT are prepared to take joint strike action over pensions and pay and working conditions. As ever we hope to avoid this and are seeking negotiations with Government – however the situation is very serious and we do think we have to be prepared for strike action. Any strike action would be organised jointly with NASUWT. Together we can win We have already won concessions on pensions. Teachers over 50 are protected on the existing pension scheme. The Government has increased its offer on pensions for other teachers. A pension of £10,000 under its original proposals would now be £10,800 under its new proposals. Two days of strike action on pensions has won £800 a year! But that pension would be £15,000 under the existing scheme – showing why the pensions campaign must continue. We can win more if we are united – the NUT & NASUWT together represent 85% of teachers. Vote YES in the NUT ballot Ballot papers will arrive at NUT members’ home addresses from June 25th. Vote early, and make sure your colleagues vote as well. Get your votes in before the end of term, even though ballot does not close until September. The new NUT ballot is to allow NUT members to take action including strike action and non-strike sanctions, to protect pay and working conditions. The NUT pensions ballot is still valid – the NUT’s pensions campaign continues in tandem with the new campaign and any strike action would be on both campaigns. What are our demands? Much of our excessive workload is caused by over-the-top accountability systems which in turn prevent teachers from focusing on teaching more useful and exciting lessons. This betrays a real lack of trust in teachers. No-one thinks teachers shouldn’t be accountable. But we need systems which encourage rather than demotivate and which trust teachers rather than treating us all as though we are failing. We are asking Government to provide protections and limits on workload and to start trusting teachers. We want to negotiate agreements with Government which will: provide protections on excessive workload limit inspections and observations defend the current pay arrangements (opposing school by school pay, more PRP and threats to spine points) and end the pay freeze. Some may ask whether now is the right time to widen our dispute – well, if not now, when? Pensions are under attack but so are pay and conditions. Workload and stress are shooting up. This Government is more aggressive towards teachers than any we have known. The chance of coordinating the work of the NUT and NASUWT is not one that we should pass up. NUT and NASUWT working together – we can win The pensions campaign has given the NUT more reps and more active members. Many more young teachers, female teachers and teachers from ethnic communities have become involved in their Union. Active members can visit nearby schools and help get a YES vote in other schools. Look out for other campaigning activities as well – such as the NUT demonstrations in Oxford and Sheffield on 14 July aimed at David Cameron and Nick Clegg. Our campaigning is revitalising the NUT. There is everything to fight for. Play your part by joining the campaign! Please vote YES in the ballot and persuade your colleagues to vote as soon as possible!
Pages to are hidden for
"NUT / NASUWT Joint Campaign"Please download to view full document