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Suffolk Division NUT

Information for Division Council Meeting (18:30 - 21:00)

Belstead Brook Hotel, Ipswich

Wednesday January 18th 2012

Latest News and Developments:

  1. Executive Report Jan 2012
  2. Executive News No 175 December 2012
  3. Executive News No 174 November 2012
  4. Pensions:The Government's latest proposals for the Teachers' Pension Scheme (TPS) are contained in a document called the "TPS heads of agreement". See the National NUT website together with an NUT briefing on the proposals.

    The NUT, in common with NASUWT, UCU and UCAC, has not "signed up" to the document.  These four unions cover around 80% of members of the TPS.   Four unions - ATL, ASCL, NAHT and Voice - have "signed up" to the document although even that is subject to the views of their members. The NUT hasn't signed up because the heads of agreement still require teachers to

    • work to 68 to get a full pension
    • pay an average of 50% more for their pension and
    • have their pension indexed by CPI instead of RPI (cutting the value of their pension by around 15%)

    As a result of our strike (together with ATL, PCS and UCU) on 30th June, and with the threat of wider action in November, the Government made concessions on 2nd November, offering

    • an 8% improvement in the Government's proposed "cost ceiling" - the amount of money it is willing to see spent on teachers' pensions; and
    • some protection to those within 10 years of retirement, and some lower and tapered protection for those between 10 and  13.5 years of retirement.

    The NUT was pleased that the Government had recognised the need to make concessions. However, as we pointed out then, every member would still be thousands of pounds out of pocket from higher contributions and CPI indexation; and the 75% of NUT members not covered by protection would still have to work longer to get a full pension.

    Didn't The Government Make Further Concessions Just Before Christmas?   No. The Government simply proposed some different ways of using the money available for teachers' pensions.  Crucially, the "cost ceiling" remained the same as on 2nd November - no more money has been found to solve the dispute.

    The accrual rate (the amount of pension earned each year) has been improved marginally to 1/57 of pay and the reduction in pension for those retiring earlier than the normal pension age has been cut slightly.  This was accompanied, however, by changes in the way your new "career average pension" is calculated - the pension you earn will no longer be indexed to earnings until you retire.  This change finances the improvements made.

    Another negative change between 2nd November and Christmas was that the Chancellor brought forward by 10 years the date for pension ages rising to 67.  This just illustrates how, in the proposed new scheme, you will never be able to be certain what your retirement age is.

    The changes to pension ages aren't scheduled to start until 2015 and we intend to use every moment to convince politicians and the general public that they are unfair. Teachers can't work to 68. The Government still hasn't carried out a valuation of the TPS, so there is no evidence that higher contributions are needed.  In any case, your increased contributions will go to the Treasury not to teachers' pensions.  The change for RPI to CPI is all about saving Government money, not about a fairer means of managing pension increases.

  5. Privatisation Updates - November, December 2011 and January 2012 a huge amount of detail on Hearth.
  6. End Child Poverty have   published a child poverty map of the UK.  The figures are broken down by parliamentary constituency, local authority and ward and paint a stark picture of a socially segregated country where the life chances of millions of children are damaged by poverty and inequality. See http://www.teachers.org.uk/node/12652

Circulars from HQ, etc

  1. 12-008-S&C - BRIEFING FOR DIVISION SECRETARIES - 2 FEBRUARY 2012
  2.  12-006-OM - YOUNG TEACHERS’ CONFERENCE: 24-26 FEBRUARY 2012
  3. 12-005-ECR - NUT HEALTH AND SAFETY WORKING GROUP: 2012-2014 Nominations invited.
  4. 12-002-RM - CONFERENCE MOTIONS 2012: ARRANGEMENT OF AGENDA - FORM 110
  5. 12-001-RM - ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2012 - TORQUAY: FRIDAY, 6 APRIL TO TUESDAY, 10 APRIL 2012: Conference arrangements
  6. 11-177-SS&EE - SCHOOL TEACHERS' PAY 2011 AND 2012: Available from Hearth:NUT Briefing on Pay Negotiations in 2011gives details of current developments in pay bargaining in 2011 in education and local government in England and Wales, NUT Briefing on Pay Issues for 2012 provides details of pay issues for 2012 including the Chancellor’s Autumn Forecast Statement in which he talked about further public sector pay restraint after the two-year pay freeze ends and the prospect of regional pay.
  7. 11-176-E&E - FORCED ACADEMY CONVERSIONS
  8. 11-175-SC - SIXTH FORM COLLEGE BALLOTS – JANUARY 2012
  9. 11-174-EE - EDUCATION REVIEW
  10. 11-172-OM - TRAINING TRAINERS PROGRAMME 2012
  11. 11-173-EE - BAHRAIN: TEACHER TRADE UNIONISTS FACE LONG JAIL TERMS – YOUR PROTESTS NEEDED
  12. 11-171-O&M - DIVISION SECRETARIES' BRIEFING 2011 - A VIRTUAL COURSE PACK
  13. 11-170-S&C - JUSTICE FOR COLUMBIA: PEACE CAMPAIGN
  14. 11-169-SSEE - ACADEMIES – CHURCH OF ENGLAND AND ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH: both Churches have 40 or so open academies in various areas and others are in the process of conversion.  Some have converted voluntarily and others have become academies under the joint control of third party sponsors.  The national bodies, the Church of England National Society and the Catholic Education Society, are both considering future national arrangements to oversee their relationships with their schools and academies and potentially act as a sponsor.  Both bodies already work in conjunction with individual diocesan boards of education.  The Union has previously had varying degrees of contact with those diocesan boards which, in turn, offer varying levels of support to their foundation and VA schools and academies.The Union is keen to ensure effective relationships between the Union locally and all diocesan boards.  The NUT’s regional and Wales offices have therefore been asked to liaise with division secretaries to discuss the establishment of such relationships.
  15. 11-168-OM - LEARNING WITH THE NUT MAGAZINE
  16. 11-165-RM - VACANCIES - NATIONAL DISCIPLINARY PANEL AND NATIONAL APPEALS COMMITTEE
  17. 11-167-S&C - STRIKE ACTION ON 30 NOVEMBER 2011 - UPDATE (3)
  18. 11-162-E&E - THE BLAIR PEACH AWARDS (BPA) 2011-2012
  19. 11-161-E&E - PFI AND ACADEMY TRANSFERS: An Amendment to the Academies Act 2010 has clarified that local authorities can make payments in relation to PFI academies.  This took effect on 15 November 2011.  A letter to Directors of Children’s Services from Andrew McCully of the DfE stated: “The amendment has clarified that local authorities can make payments in relation to PFI Academies and we hope that given this clarification, local authorities and banks will now work with the Department to progress those Academy projects which are financed by PFI. .... It does not need to be retrospective since it is a clarificatory amendment. It is not intended to change the law, which already allowed local authorities to make the PFI payments, but rather to clarify and put beyond doubt, that local authorities can make those payments.”  The financial commitments in respect of PFI could have a major impact on local authority budgets.  Divisions are asked to pursue with the Authority.
  20. 11-160-RM - ELECTION OF NATIONAL OFFICERS: 2012-2014 AND EXAMINERS OF ACCOUNTS
  21. 11-159-EE - CAMPAIGNING FOR EDUCATION - FRED AND ANNE JARVIS AWARD 2012
  22. 11-158-SC - STRIKE ACTION ON 30 NOVEMBER 2011 – UPDATE (2)
  23. 11-157-EE - WORLD AIDS DAY
  24. 11-156-S&C - HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY
  25. 11-155-S&C - CAMPAIGN AGAINST STUDENT FEES AND UNIVERSITY FUNDING CUTS
  26. 11-149-S&C - PUBLIC SECTOR PENSIONS – GOVERNMENT OFFER: HQ briefing note on 2nd Nov offer and how it impacts upon our members’ pensions at: www.teachers.org.uk/pensions.
  27. 11-147-SS&EE - PROTECTING NUT MEMBERS IN CENTRAL LOCAL AUTHORITY SERVICES (SOULBURY AND CENTRALLY EMPLOYED TEACHERS)

Assistant Secretary's Report

  1. Amberfield: Amberfield Independent school has closed for financial reasons (bankruptcy).  Regional Office is assisting members with pursuing statutory redundancy compensation and possible further claims.
  2. EOTAS: GW and/or GW attended all the EOTAS consultation meetings (the only union to do so!) and have put in two written observations to the Section 188 proposals.  We are urging the LA not to remove 1:1 tutoring (or reduce it to a very restricted number) and not to put all the eggs in the Tuition Centre basket.  We have been particularly critical of the Centres operated by 4'rce, where the Authority have handed over the care of our most disturbed and/or vulnerable children to a company which the LA admits do not "have the relevant experience and expertise to manage a teaching workforce!"  So we have a hybrid situation where the LA employees and pays its tutors to teach at these centres, but they are run by an outfit which has only previously run things like youth clubs.  Our observations therefore include the view that children should not be allocated to 4'rce centres until and unless the premises, resourcing and professional input can be at the standard we would all expect and which would be the case in an LA-operated PRU or centre.
  3. Soulbury: The much awaited Soulbury Forum meeting took place on November 22nd.  Minutes have been published.  It was agreed to set up two working parties to (1) sort out conditions of service for Soulbury Staff and (2) review the operation of SPA point awards in Suffolk. The next meeting is on Friday 20th January (this week), but the working parties have not been convened in the meantime.  We detect some reluctance for the new Soulbury management team to engage actively!
  4. GW and MG are still pursuing a "Difference" with the LA re. their refusal to implement the 2005 JNC Agreement on Industrial Injury (Teachers' Conditions of Service) in a specific case.  A meeting was held in December, with Simon White and there has been follow-up correspondence but still no resolution.  We have made some ground and SW is clear about some of the aspects where he has admitted things "could have been done better".  He agreed to drafting a LA guidance note on the Agreement, which we would be subject to our approval, and could lead to a possible resolution, or we would have the option of taking the "Difference" to the Staff Partnership Board Joint Secretaries for an "appeal".

Date of next meeting: March 7th 2012 (AGM)