Suffolk Division NUT
Information for Division Council Meeting on Wednesday January 16th 2013
Venue: Belstead Brook Hotel 18:30 for 19:00
Circulars and Information From HQ
- 13-004-SSEE - PENSIONS – SPRING TERM 2013 UPDATE:
- Pensions Campaign
- Planned Teachers’ Pension Contribution Increase April 2013
- Pension Increase 2013
- Valuation of Teachers’ Pension Scheme
- TPS Discussion Group
- Public Service Pensions Bill
- Annual Allowance
- 13-002-RM - ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2013 – LIVERPOOL : FRIDAY, 29 MARCH TO TUESDAY, 2 APRIL 2013 - initial arrangements, including creche.
- 13-001-RM - CONFERENCE MOTIONS 2013: ARRANGEMENT OF AGENDA – FORM 110 (to Local Associations)
- 12-232-RM - SENIOR SUPPORT OFFICER AND DIVISION SUPPORT OFFICER: applications invited to 3 posts at HQ.
- 12-231-RM - HEAD OF EDUCATION AND EQUALITIES: applications invited
- 12-230-OM - YOUNG TEACHERS' CONFERENCE: 7-9 JUNE 2013
- 12-229-ECR - WATERING DOWN OF REGULATIONS GOVERNING SCHOOL PREMISES IN ENGLAND: CLARIFICATION:
(see 222-12 below) Academies and free schools are not covered by the School Premises (England) Regulations 2012. This was due to change in January 2013, but as of December 2012, there has been no DfE announcement. Currently, academies are covered by the Education (Independent School Standards) (England) Regulations) 2003, which, on the subject of toilet provision, state only that there must be “sufficient washrooms for staff and pupils, including facilities for pupils with special needs, taking account of the Education (School Premises) Regulations 1999”, which, of course, are no longer in force.
- 12-228-S&C - DIVISION VOTE AT THE EXECUTIVE MEETING: THURSDAY, 13 DECEMBER 2012:
details of the recorded vote in the Executive re. the Union’s response to the Government’s acceptance of the STRB recommendations.
- 12-227-S&C - BRIEFING FOR DIVISION SECRETARIES - SPRING TERM 2013:
The briefing for local officers in England will take place at Hamilton House on Friday, 1 February 2013
- 12-226-EE - HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY: The Union, along with the Holocaust Educational Trust will be holding an event on Tuesday, 29 January 2013 from 5.00pm to 7.00 pm, at NUT Headquarters with the them of Communities Together: Build a Bridge, to honour those communities which were destroyed in the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur, as well as the atrocities in Armenia.
- 12-225-SC - MICHAEL GOVE’S LETTER TO SCHOOLS RE NUT/NASUWT ACTION: Press release from HQ.
- 12-224-OM - LEARNING WITH THE NUT COURSE GUIDE 2012/13: the Learning with the NUT Course Guide will be re-sent to all schools in the January mailing. The Course Guide includes information on CPD and national training opportunities for NUT members, other teachers, NUT representatives and local officers.
- 12-223-SSEE - TRADE UNION RECOGNITION IN ACADEMIES: TUC GUIDELINES:
TUC’s guidance note on trade union recognition in academies, which accompanies the TUC model agreement for academies, has been reissued. It now includes a statement of support from NAHT in addition to the endorsement of the TUC affiliated education unions (ATL, NASUWT, NUT and support staff unions GMB, Unison and Unite).
- 222-12-ECR - WATERING DOWN OF REGULATIONS GOVERNING SCHOOL PREMISES IN ENGLAND:
Most significant changes made by the School Premises (England) Regulations 2012 replacing the Education (School Premises) Regulations 1999 are:
- Removal of the regulation specifying that staff toilets must be separate from pupil toilets – with just guidance setting out that they should be separate ‘except where they are designed for use by those who are disabled’. There are many arguments against sharing facilities ranging from child protection issues to time constraints, the possibility of teachers facing allegations of abuse and problems over security of locks. NUT policy is that pupils and staff should never have to share facilities, even where they are designed for use by those who are disabled and that the guidance stating that facilities ‘should’ be separate must be followed.
- No requirement for a room in which staff can gather ‘for work and social purposes’. There is still a requirement under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 for rest facilities and facilities to eat meals but this does not necessarily equate with a staff room. Taking away the opportunity for staff to get together informally will be seen by some school leaders as a way of isolating staff and preventing discussion about working conditions;
- No requirement for a head teacher room.
- No minimum ratios of toilets to pupils based on age. Reducing the number of pupil toilets could lead to over-crowding, with consequences for discipline as well as hygiene.
- Suitable changing accommodation only required from Year 7 instead of Year 6.
- Removal of minimum temperature requirements for classrooms (18°C), sick rooms (21°C) and gymnasia (15°C). The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 are now the only source of regulations governing temperature, specifying a minimum temperature of 16°C for workrooms and 13°C where the work involves severe physical effort. 18°C has been the minimum temperature for classrooms since the Education (School Premises) Regulations were introduced in 1981.
- 12-221-EE - ACADEMY BROKERS AND THE GOVERNMENT’S ACADEMY AGENDA: DoE has employed LA and academy sponsor ‘brokers’ whose role is to visit schools and local authorities in targeted areas to ‘persuade’ them to apply for academy status for their school. The NUT has had reports of head teachers and governors being called to meetings with these brokers in which brokers have, in some instances, behaved in an intimidating and coercive fashion. NUT has sent a letter to NUT primary head teacher members seeking to assure them of the Union’s support, should they find themselves in this situation and to advise them of both their own and their school’s legal position.
- 12-220-S&C - STRATFORD SCHOOL, NEWHAM: following the launch of the joint NUT/NASUWT action short of strike action, it became necessary to escalate to strike action at Stratford School in Newham where members were threatened with salary deductions if they continued the industrial action. In response, members have taken nine days’ strike action at the school. At talks facilitated at ACAS, an interim agreement was reached. As a result, the Union has suspended further strike action and will be reintroducing the action short of strike action measures and the school has committed to not making or threatening deductions whilst talks continue on outstanding issues.
- 12-219-ECR - MOVING FORWARD WITH APPRAISAL:
an NUT Survey on appraisal procedures
- in over two thirds of local authorities changes have already been brought in, leaving a third where negotiations are either on-going or where they have not yet started;
- where changes have been made to appraisal arrangements, in just over three quarters of divisions it was reported that a model other than the DfE, the NUT/ATL/NAHT or NASUWT models had been adopted;
- in two-thirds of authorities, however, the ‘different’ model most resembled the joint NUT/ATL/NAHT model. In just under 15 per cent of the divisions surveyed, the joint union model had been adopted in its entirety by the local authority, compared to less than 10 per cent adopting the DfE model;
- very few divisions – just under 10 per cent of those surveyed – had succeeded in securing adoption of the NUT Observation Protocol (now superseded by the joint NUT/NASUWT Observation Protocol).
- 12-218-EE - LIFT THE BLOCKADE OF GAZA: urges associations and divisions to take action to help lift the blockade of Gaza for good by going to: http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-21707-f0.cfm and sign the petition calling on the UK Government to use its influence.
- 12-217-EE - THE BLAIR PEACH AWARD (BPA)
- 12-216-EE - CAMPAIGNING FOR EDUCATION - FRED AND ANNE JARVIS AWARD 2013
- 12-215-EE - TURKEY: STOP THE JUDICIAL HARASSMENT AGAINST UNIONISTS
- 12-214-EE - CUBA SOLIDARITY HURRICANE APPEAL
- 12-213-OM - NATIONAL TRAINING COURSES FOR LOCAL OFFICERS: SPRING AND SUMMER TERM 2013: See Graham for details.
- 12-212-OM - INVITATION TO A ROUNDTABLE ON WOMEN IN THE NUT:
event on women’s participation in the NUT has been organised for Saturday, 2 February 2013 at Hamilton House.
- 12-211-E&E - MEDICAL AID FOR PALESTINIANS:
As urgent calls continue to come in for additional medical supplies from MAP teams working inside Gaza, an emergency appeal to respond to the crisis has been launched. MAP needs to raise £100,000 immediately to make sure all hospitals have the necessary medicines and medical supplies to treat casualties. (West Suffolk NUT Association sent £200 to MAP in December)
- 12-210-S&C - THE LEVESON PRESS ENQUIRY;
the NUJ is asking for support in lobbying MPs to counter the growing pressures from newspaper owners against any moves for serious reform.
- 12-207-ECR - HEALTH AND SAFETY ADVISER' BULLETIN NO.32
also at www.teachers.org.uk/health-and-safety-advisers/bulletins
- NUT opposes changes to liability laws
- Unions press for schools asbestos audit
- BBC Wales report into asbestos exposure at Cymcarn High School
- Asbestos - findings of Committee on Carcinogenicity (COC)
- Asbestos liability in academies – Campaigning Against Academies
- E-learning asbestos management guidance
- Australian asbestos eradication plan
- New safety minister to replace Chris Grayling
- HSE chair re-appointed for second term
- School worker suffers bromine poisoning
- Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge – a reminder
- Labour Research Department (LRD)
- Health and Safety Information
- Teachers express anger at calls to ‘work harder’
- HSE starts to bill law breakers
- Who is the employer in different types of schools?
- 40@40: health and safety stories from the front line
- Recent NUT health and safety circulars
- NUT health and safety representatives’ training course
- 12-205-ECR - ACTION SHORT OF STRIKE ACTION - HOW TO MAKE IT A SUCCESS
- 12-206-OM - LEARNING WITH THE NUT MAGAZINE 2012/13:
reports on the four areas of NUT training: national training programme; continuing professional development; ICT skills for teachers; and NUT learning representatives. Copy sent to schools and new teachers in their second year of teaching.
Report from MG, EOTAS and Soulbury Caseworker:
- EOTAS: The LA has agreed to undertake an "Interim Review" of the restructuring which has proved so problematical since introduced, without proper planning or policies, in September. The NUT is represented on the Steering Panel and will be interviewed as part of the process which will be examining both what went wrong and what is needed to put things right. EOTAS staff who are not interviewed are asked to send their observations and ideas to a special mailbox: EOTASReview@suffolknut.org.uk . Evidence and the contents of e-mails will be collated in confidence by two HR officers, who will then report the findings first to the Panel, then to a conference of all EOTAS staff due to take place in March. At the moment, the Union is still awaiting draft copies of the amended contracts (those sent out in September were flawed), an EOTAS Pay Policy (which has not been up-dated to take account of the re-structure) and a Performance Management/Appraisal policy (meaning that PM for the 2012-2013 cycle has not yet started!). The LA has still failed to find premises for the two W Area Group tuition centres which opened in September in the W Area, in temporary accommodation at Belle Vue, Sudbury. The policy was that these group would have to be in Bury St Edmunds, but they are now looking at premises in Stowmarket.
- 4'rce: Further reports of concerns about conditions and decision making in 4'rce Centres are coming in. The Union asked the LA for written details of "who is responsible for what" in Centres managed by 4'rce but where the teaching and most support staff are employed by the Authority. There is much uncertainty over who makes decisions about discipline, admissions, and budget. We have been waiting three months now for a response.
Several staff in the Sensory/Communications Service left at Christmas or are leaving shortly.
The LA agreed to keep to Soulbury pay and conditions to recruit replacements for the Advisory Teachers who were leaving. They reported "a good field", but in the event, they had great difficulty appointing because the applicants, being teachers of the VI or HI, did not want to go onto Soulbury pay, come out of the Teachers' Pension Scheme, and lose the school holiday entitlement. The LA therefore sought the Union's agreement to appointing to School Teachers Pay and Conditions, while keeping those who had already transferred, at LA insistence, to Soulbury with protection of pension and holiday entitlement, on Soulbury pay (to their advantage). We reminded the LA that we had warned them of this problem when they had insisted that these Advisory Teachers (along with SEN ATs) were transferred to Soulbury. They now want to go back to paying them as teachers. We have said we are happy with that, have reported back to the members concerned, but want to have further discussions about the appropriate rate of pay. We are suggesting that they could go back to Advanced Skills Teacher scales, but they want to appoint to main scale with SEN payments at either the minimum or, for those with extra VI/HI qualifications, at the maximum SEN allowed. There is also going to be a review of this service, looking in particular at coverage and serving individual pupil needs across the county.
Report from "Webmaster":
- The Suffolk NUT website has been "migrated" to a new host provider, PLC-UK. Apart from some down time last week and weekend, users should not see much difference. However, it will take some time to check all the links to ensure that there are no errors.
- The change was required because MG ended the previous ISP arrangement so that it could be independent of his new personal phone and broadband package. This will enable the Division to pay directly for its website which is independent of any individual broadband package. The cost of the website for 12 months is £88.66 (renewable annually) plus a one-off transfer out fee from Madasafish of £25.54.
- The package retains the www.suffolknut.org.uk URL for our website (the name is registered to Suffolk NUT) and the @suffolknut.org.uk e-mail address.
- We can have up to 50 e-mail accounts such as email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. These have to be set up by MG on web mail but can then be used with a personal password to receive and send union e-mails on individuals' computers, using Outlook or any other mail programme.
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