Tuesday 10 May 2016

What are we Fighting FOR?

Week #3 Meeting #5

A great welcome in Milton Keynes this evening and again a fruitful discussion about building support for the ballot. In particular, Reps in Milton Keynes were a pains to point out that this can't just be a defensive struggle to protect what we have left but must be about establishing better terms and conditions for all teachers, whatever kind of school or college they teach in.

One of the key reasons for this, eloquently put forward by MK activists, is that teachers have already lost so much. With admin, cover and even PPA regulations being eroded in academies, and national agreements on pay in tatters, it is not enough to protect what we have. The fact is teachers, and the children they teach, deserve better.

We must put forward an alternative set of proposals on terms and conditions, around which the profession can mobilise. The NUT's demands in the current dispute include:

  • National collective bargaining on pay and conditions in all schools and academies
  • Pending a new collective bargaining structure, for pay and all other terms and conditions to be no worse than those in the STPCD and Burgundy Book
  • A significant improvement in the conditions of employment under which teachers work, in particular a limitation on class sizes to no more than 30 in the first instance
  • Reduction in teachers workloads, in particular through limitation on marking, data handling and planning
  • Reintroduction of pay portability, the pay spine points, fixed pay scales and removal of the requirement for all pay progression to be performance related
  • A significant improvement in measures to ensure teacher retention,  including security of employment.

  • This is something worth fighting for and we must emphasise it in conversations with members about the ballot. It is a realistic set of proposals and yet one which would make a real difference to the lives of teachers and the education of our children.

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