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Suffolk Division NUT

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

Belstead Brook Hotel, Ipswich

Wednesday May 11th 2011

1a) Executive News February 2011 

1b) Executive News No 169 March 2011

2)  Pensions Campaign: Christine Blower writes: Although Lord Hutton accepts that our pensions aren't "gold plated", he still swallows the Government lie that they are "unaffordable". His report will inevitably be used to drive down our pensions.:

Teachers must be ready to stand together to defend our pensions as we did in 2005-2006.  Please make sure that you fill in the NUT survey on pensions here as soon as possible, even if you completed our January 2011 survey. Let's all stand together to defend our pensions. Please also march on 26 March to defend our pensions and defend education.

Circulars from HQ, etc: 

  1. 11-056-SS&EE - ACADEMIES - INFORMATION AND MATERIALS ON FUNDING: new and revised funding information on academies on Hearth at campaigns/priority campaigns/academies.

  2. 11-057-S&C - RESOURCE CENTRE: replaces the forum facility formerly on Hearth, available to local officers to share and discuss information on campaigns and policy between themselves.  All local officers able to view and comment but only division/association secretaries can upload
  3. 11-055-OM - YOUNG TEACHERS’ CONFERENCE: 10-12 JUNE 201. BSE Assoc is sponsoring one attendee.  Any more?
  4. 11-054-SC - PENSION BALLOT – BULLETIN ONE: posted separately on our website.
  5. 11-053-E&E - NEW JOINT EDUCATION MATERIALS: to support the campaign against academy conversion.  All the TUC affiliated education unions are jointly campaigning to keep schools in the local authority family and have agreed a package of materials to aid members, representatives and concerned parents/carers in campaigning against academy status.  These materials include:

    •        a letter to members;
    •        a letter to parents;
    •        a set of FAQs for parents;
    •        a parent/carer petition to the chair of governors;
    •        a letter for school representatives to send to governors; and
    •        a model resolution opposing academy conversion for school governing bodies.

  6. 11-052-EC&R - AGENCY WORKER REGULATIONS:  (Click here to read full circular) The NUT broadly welcomes the UK implementation of the EU Agency Worker Directive, whilst being concerned that the benefit for our members who work as agency supply teachers will be limited.  However, the Government is still in the process of consulting on its formal published guidance and it is not currently clear how some of the provisions will be implemented in practice.  In particular, the 12 week qualifying rule is likely to be an area of contention, as are the complex ‘anti-avoidance’ provisions.  The Government is also currently consulting on a specific guidance for ‘supply teachers’ and we anticipate that we will be circulating an updated version of the NUT guidance when this is finalised.
  7. 11-051-E&E - REMINDER: NUT DISABLED TEACHERS' CONFERENCE 2011
  8. 11-050-SS&EE - PAY UPDATE: The Government has confirmed its intention to impose a pay freeze for qualified teachers in 2011 and 2012.  With RPI at its highest for twenty years and expected to stay above 4 per cent throughout 2011 and planned increases in pension contributions in April 2012, teachers face a significant real terms pay cut of more than 10 per cent over the next two years.  The Government did, however, consult the STRB on the issue of pay for unqualified teachers earning less than £21,000 in accordance with the exemption of such workers from its pay freeze policy.  The Government has accepted the STRB’s recommendation for a non-consolidated payment of £250 in 2011 and 2012, as opposed to an increase consolidated into pay scales. As the joint submission from the six teacher unions to the STRB made clear, a non-consolidated payment is not the same as a pay increase and the promise to exempt low paid workers from the pay freeze has been broken.
  9. 11-049-SC - PREPARATION FOR INDUSTRIAL ACTION BALLOTING (2)
  10. 11-048-SC - EVEREST BASE CAMP CHARITY CHALLENGE IN MEMORY OF PHILIPPA HOLMES
  11. 11-047-S&C - NUT POLITICAL FUND - GRANT APPLICATION PROCESS FOR LOCAL ELECTION ACTIVITIES
  12. 11-046-E&E - NATIONAL EDUCATION CONFERENCE: 9-10 JULY 2011
  13. 11-043-S&C - TIMES EDUCATIONAL SUPPLEMENT - FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST: the TES is making a similar FoI request for information concerning the cost of union facility time.
  14. 11-044-S&C - PREPARATION FOR INDUSTRIAL ACTION BALLOTING
  15. 11-042-ECR - NUT MODEL DISABILITY LEAVE PROCEDURE: Suffolk NUT has already lodged a disability leave policy with Partnership Board but it is simply being sidelined / ignored.  This policy is being recommended by HQ to be adopted by individual governing bodies.
  16. 11-041-RM - DECLARATION OF EXECUTIVE BY-ELECTION DISTRICT 5
  17. 11-040-O&M - LOCAL TRAINING MODULES AND RESOURCES
  18. 11-038-EE - JAPAN EARTHQUAKE AND TSUNAMI: EDUCATION INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY FUND APPEAL
  19. 11-037-SS&EE - PENSION INCREASE PAYABLE WITH EFFECT FROM 11 APRIL 2011: Pensioners whose pensions were last increased on 6 April 2009 and those pensioners whose pensions began on or before 26 April 2010 will receive an increase of 3.1 per cent, in line with the increase in the Consumer Prices Index.  This is a smaller increase than the 4.6 per cent which would have been paid had the indexation link to the Retail Prices Index still been in operation.  The effect will be that a pensioner on a £10,000 pension, for example, will receive an increase of £310 rather than £460 and consequently will lose £150 this year.  The losses will be compounded in future years.Those pensioners who have retired since 27 April 2010 will receive a proportionate increase.
  20. 11-039-SC - ROLE AND POSITION OF NUT STAFF AT THE EMBANKMENT: March 26th: Directions and information.

Assistant Secretary's Report
  1. Healthy Schools: the NUT's representations to retain at least one coordinating post, integrating Public Health and Education in the new combined CYP (so-called Integrated) Services were completely ignored.  No one owns up to managing the Healthy Schools programme which was a joint SCC/NHS project, with most of the funding coming from the NHS.  In the event, SCC cut the programme and announced all the team were to be redundant, without actually consulting the NHS partners.  These include the Waveney NHS Trust, which is continuing its HS programme in Norfolk but is presumably going to stop serving schools in N Suffolk.  MG took a redundancy appeal pointing out that the LA and NHS still had a duty to ensure the work covered by this team still takes place (including work on drug education, teenage pregnancy, child obesity and children's mental health.  These are all clear priorities but the central services coordinating and advising schools, etc. has now been removed. However, the appeal was turned down, of course. basically on the grounds that the decision had been made to save money.
  2. In the course of the above appeal, it was discovered that some Soulbury staff were given Single Status notificiation periods for redundancy, instead of the standard 12 weeks' notice required under Soulbury conditions.  This may have included people who had already been made redundant.  MG circulated those who were most likely to be affected.  HR says they are putting it right.
  3. Early Years Teams: despite assurances that there were sufficient posts in the new EY Consultancy structure for all the current team, some of the EY teams have not been successful in securing (basically their own) posts, despite these posts being down-graded from Soulbury (with QTS) to Single Status, on a reduced substantive salary.  MG is challenging this situation.  HR has refused to follow the normal procedure experience elsewhere (such as with the ISIS reorganisation) of having HR representatives together with Union Reps at formal redundancy meetings.  This has led to a lot of confusion, and errors on management's part.  The Union protested to Simon White, but nothing has changed.
  4. Children Centre Teachers: the decision to make them all redundant has been taken, but as they had gone past the February 28th deadline for notification, they have had to be kept on payroll until August 31st (another HR error).   This is helpful, of couse, to them.  They have been allowed to apply for posts in the Early Years Teams, but as in (3) above, this is now in turmoil.  MG held talks with AM and a finance officer in March to point out that it would be no more costly to keep the teams as they are now and gradually move to a new structure, as is happening with SEN and Sensory teams.  This was rejected of course, but what has now happened shows how sensible that was.   At the same time, AM admitted that these teachers would not be employed at the Children's Centres after Easter and she did not know what they would be asked to do!  Term is now a couple of weeks old and we have still not heard anything from AM.
  5. MG has requested the official notes taken at two hearings.  These must be made available under the DPA.  HR is just ignoring these requests.  So the members will have to put in a formal DPA subject access request to get them.  In one of these cases, the Chair of the Panel has complained to RO that MG was too rigorous in presenting the members' case and she made various allegations against MG.  MG wishes to have a copy of the record of the meeting to disprove the Chair's allegations.
  6. MG prepared a Dispute with SCC, which GW has lodged, concerning unilateral alterations to Soulbury Conditions of service (because these were subsumed into the unilateraly changes of Conditions announced by Sally Marlow in January, by circular to staff, without any consultation with any of the unions, and without even notification to the NUT).  These affect future redundancy situations by reducing the Safeguarded Salary protection from 3 to 1 year, amongst other changes.
  7. More evidence has arisen of the LA/HR reneging on the 2005 Industrial Injury Agreement and refusing to make an initial assessment, or to call in the ad hoc Panel to make a recommendation if OH is not able to decide.  This might have to be a second dispute with the LA.
  8. Circulars and local details of the Pensions Campaign are posted on a new webpage on our site. 

Date of next meeting:June 22nd 2011 Ipswich

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