Thursday, 22 May 2014

National Executive: Joint Strike Action on July 10th

Today's NUT National Executive agreed the next steps in our Stand Up for Education campaign and our dispute with the Secretary of State for Education.

The following paper was agreed:

  • Annual conference agreed a priority motion which asked for a review of the talks with Government at the Executive cycle on 22 May.  This paper contains that report and updates on other aspects of the motion.
  • Since conference, there has been only one meeting with the whole union side and DfE.  David Laws was in attendance at this meeting.  He had clearly been required to come because of pressure from our action and the public dressing down arising from the DGS interview on Sky on 26 March.
  • There is ongoing correspondence with the DfE to establish where progress may be made.  This correspondence covers the issues previously reported.  The demands put to the DfE have been pursued by a united teachers' side, due in large part to the work of the Union.
  • The next scheduled meeting is 4 June
  • Discussions are ongoing with public sector unions.  A further meeting of the coordinating action group has been convened for 3 June at the TUC.
  • The Union is aware that Unison, UNITE, GMB are currently balloting members for action over pay.  These ballots close in the week beginning 23 June.  Thus far there is no indication from any other teacher union that they have strike action in contemplation.  The date in play for possible action this term is 10 July.
  • Other unions with extant ballots will bring reports to the 3 June meeting.
  • There is good engagement from members in the Stand Up for Education campaigns.  Stalls continue to be held on Saturdays, some also promoting the People's Assembly national demonstration on 21 June.
  • Forthcoming Education Question Times include East London this term and Bradford, Hull and Oldham in the Autumn Term.
  • Arrangements for the lobby on 10 June are in place.  Divisions and associations are encouraged to ensure that members who have agreed to attend the lobby are registered on the Union website.
  • In Wales, we are urging lobbyists to raise the Union's opposition to the Silk Commission's recommendations for devolution of teachers' pay and the necessity to improve pay and conditions for teachers across England and Wa1es.
  • To highlight the gains already achieved by the NUT strike action as follows:
Pensions 2011
Protection of pensions for those 50 years plus; 8 per cent increase in Government's offer for others - more pension in every year of retirement than lost in strike pay for the average teacher.

Strikes in 2013
Led to STRB turning down Michael Gove's proposals to de-regulate teachers' conditions and working time arrangements including holiday entitlements.

March 2014
Forced the publication  of the teacher workload diary survey and the attendance of Ministers to talks with the Union.

Recommendations:
  1. Bring an update to the Executive meeting on 19 June on the talks with government and attitudes of other unions;
  2. Make preparations to give notice for strike action on 10 July if insufficient progress has been made and in the light of discussions with other unions and inform members of this;
  3. Continue discussions with other local government / education unions in relation to ongoing campaigning and industrial action;
  4. Continue with ASOS with a view to a re-launch in September;
  5. Consult local officers and members on patterns of further strike action in the autumn term including through surveys of reps and random samples of members to be conducted after 10 July with a view to reporting to the July National Executive meeting;
  6. Urge Associations and Divisions to continue member engagement with Stand Up for Education stalls, lobbying MPs and Education Question Times; and
  7. Ensure that Regional/Wales offices work with Executive members and Divisions on:
  • the information available from the Forward Emphasis work and Survey outcomes to seek to increase participation in future campaigning and industrial action;
  • fact finding on attitudes to further industrial action in the Autumn Term and into 2015; and
  • producing a plan on the above to be reported to the July Executive.
[the sections in red were added in an amendment proposed by me and seconded by Alex Kenny from Inner London]

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