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Suffolk Division NUT

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

Belstead Brook Hotel, Ipswich

Wednesday September 21st 2011

Latest News and Developments:

  1. Circular to Suffolk Schools re. Pensions Campaign, Sept 2011. - page 2.
  2. Latest proposals from Government to make teachers pay more for a smaller pension
  3. Text of letter to the Editors of EADT and EDP re. closure of Middle Schools in Lowestoft and Haverhill.
  4. NUT Response to proposal to close St Louis Middle School, Bury St Edmunds.
  5. Circular giving latest developments in SOR (Phase 1 schools close in August 2011).  FAXmerged to Middle School Reps, 11/12th July.
  6. SOR: Safeguarding of Leadership Posts. At last the LA has been forced to admit that those on Leadership Posts affected by the closure of Middle Schools will have their salary safeguarded for 3 years if all they can find for alternative work is a main scale classroom teacher post with no allowance.  Circular to Reps in Middle Schools.
  7. Suffolk's latest Vacancy Management and Redeployment Process Document for MS Closures is now available on this website.  (March 2011)
  8. Message from Tony Dooley, Disability Officer, re. the new Executive Post for a Disabled Members "constituency".
  9. Disabled members urged to "Register" with their Local Association.
  10. Suffolk NUT supports St Louis Middle School march to West Suffolk House, 20th June against closure.  Objection to the formal notice is in preparation.
  11. Travel Expenses for centrally employed (including Soulbury Staff): Suffolk CC has conceded and returned to the previous "lesser than" rule. Details.
  12. Travel Expenses, including the Teachers' rate, has increased to 45p per mile w.e.f. April 1st 2011.
  13. The Union discovered that those teachers appointed to Children Centres and now being made redundant, had not received their annual pay reviews.  We are now seeking assurances that this will be corrected and the appropriate adjustments made, with arrears where appropriate.
  14. NUT lodged a dispute against SCC for unilaterally removing the 3-year salary safeguarding of centrally employed staff when forced to take a lower grade post due to redundancy, etc. w.e.f. 1/4/11.  SCC stopped implementation but is now consulting with a view to seeking an agreement with all the unions recognised for LG conditions (NUT, AEP, ASPECT and UNISON).

Circulars from HQ, etc: 

  1. Executive News July 2011
  2. Executive News June 2011
  3. 11-123-S&C - PENSIONS UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 2011:  Following the unanimity of public sector unions at the TUC Conference, NUT Executive has agreed to:
      • Plan for the further day of strike action involving as many unions as possible on 30 Nov
      • Encourage all divisions to seek joint working over the lobby of Parliament and the joint petition – aiming to get every school to return the petition and as many schools as possible to send a lobbyist
      • Encourage members to attend the TUC-convened lobbies of the Lib Dem Party and Tory Party Conferences
      • Consider the scope of ‘targeted action’ by region or groups of divisions subsequent to the further one day action in November
      • Begin arrangements to ballot members in the LGPS (Soulbury) on a timescale that would permit co-ordinated action with other public sector unions
      • Build the campaign and understanding of the repercussions of the Government’s proposals and expose the claims on ‘un-affordability’; including a joint PCS, NUT and UCU pamphlet on the affordability of pensions; and publication of exemplars illustrating the impact of the proposals, eg. the disproportionate effect on part-time teachers.
  4. 11-122-OM - 2011/12  AWARDS:  NUT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE YEAR AND NUT OFFICER OF THE YEAR
  5. 11-121-SSEE - ACADEMIES : TUC MODEL AGREEMENT – GUIDANCE NOTE AND KEY PRINCIPLES: The TUC has issued a new guidance note which supplements the TUC model agreement on trade union recognition and procedural machinery. 
  6. 11-120-ECR - REMOVING THE DEFAULT RETIREMENT AGE: Detailed advice from HQ. re. the changes and effect on members.
  7. 11-119-SC - TUC MARCHES AND RALLIES – PARTY CONFERENCES 2011
  8. 11-118-OM - LOCAL TRAINING MODULES FOR NEW MEMBERS
  9. 11-117-SSEE - 2011 SCHOOL TEACHERS’ PAY AND CONDITIONS DOCUMENT:  DfE will not be printing and providing free copies to schools this yr.  NUT will send one printed copy to divisions and associations when available.  No increases to qualified teachers’ pay for 2011 given the Government’s two-year public sector pay freeze covering 2011 and 2012 and the absence of a remit from the Secretary of State to the STRB.  The main changes are:

    Governing bodies are now required to ensure that the process of determining head teachers’ pay is both fair and transparent and they have oversight of all the contractual arrangements and income streams applying to the head teacher.  Determination of a head teacher’s pay range (Individual School Range or ISR) is now solely by reference to responsibilities.  Where the head teacher is responsible for only one school, the calculation of the school group is based on the pupil units for that school.  Where a head teacher is responsible and accountable for more than one school on a permanent basis (i.e., where schools are part of a hard federation with a single governing body), the calculation of the school group is based on the total number of pupil units across all the schools involved, under provisions introduced in the 2010 STPCD.  In both cases, the governing body then determines a seven point ISR within the limits in the STPCD for that school group.  Matters such as recruitment and retention issues, temporary responsibility for more than one school or payment for services supporting other head teachers and schools are now to be rewarded by separate discretionary payments.  The previous provision allowing the ISR to be set up to two school groups higher where a school is in difficulties or where there are recruitment or retention concerns has been removed. The new limits of 25 per cent which replaces it also applies to head teachers in school groups 7 and 8 for whom no upper limit previously existed.  The 25 per cent limit can, however, be exceeded in the circumstances set out above; and that the provisions apply only to decisions made from 1 September 20011 onwards.

    Queen’s Jubilee: As a result of the extra Bank Holiday to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, for the academic year 2011-12, teachers must be available to work for 194 days (1258.5 hours of directed time) rather than 195 days.

  10. 11-116-ECR - HSE HEALTH AND SAFETY CHECKLIST FOR CLASSROOMS: As part of the Lord Young health and safety review, the HSE was tasked with producing a simple on-line risk assessment tool for classrooms.  Following input from the NUT, the HSE was persuaded that risk assessment is a whole-school process and does not lend itself to an individual classroom approach.  With NUT assistance, the HSE then adapted its tool into a checklist for classrooms. The checklist was formally launched on 31 August 2011.  It is available from http://www.hse.gov.uk/risk/classroom-checklist.htm and can be used by teaching and support staff, including health and safety representatives, to highlight deficiencies in individual classrooms.  The HSE points out that the findings from completed checklists will “provide a useful resource to the senior management team for the completion of whole-school risk assessments.
  11. 11-115-OM - NUT HEALTH AND SAFETY ADVISERS’ BRIEFING COURSE:21-23 NOVEMBER 2011 (Amended Link to Application Form)
  12. 11-114-S&C - PENSIONS CAMPAIGN: NATIONAL PETITION, MASS LOBBY AND FURTHER INDUSTRIAL ACTION: announcing launch of the petition and mass lobby of Parliament on Wednesday, 26 October.  
  13. 11-113-SSEE - PENSIONS UPDATE – AUTUMN TERM 2011: The Union, along with the other teachers’ associations, has entered into preliminary discussions with the D fE on planned changes to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. The Government also plans that future pension rights could only be taken in full at the individual’s state pension age, and that the current final salary scheme is replaced by a ‘career average’ scheme based on salary over a whole career.  The Government have devised a draft ‘reference scheme’ with their proposals.
  14. 11-112-OM - NUT HEALTH AND SAFETY ADVISERS’ BRIEFING COURSE: from Mon 21 Nov to Wed 23 Nov 2011, at Stoke Rochford Hall.   Open to all NUT H&S advisers and to division and association secretaries who undertake advisory work in this area in the absence of elected advisers.
  15. 11-111-ECR - REVOCATION OF THE ‘CHANGING OF SCHOOL SESSION TIMES (ENGLAND) REGULATIONS 1999’: w.e.f. 1/9/11, the steps that community and voluntary controlled schools in England need to take in order to change session times no longer apply. Schools can now change their start and end times without consultation or notice.  The DfE says this is ‘a permissive measure’ and that it will not be encouraging schools to make changes to session times. The NUT argues this is yet another example of the Government taking action under its anti-red tape banner to remove measures which actually assist in the orderly and efficient running of schools.  We continue to press for consultation and periods of notice, as per the revoked Regulations, in the interests of staff but also of parents who may be juggling work and childcare. Information and links on the Suffolk NUT Website has been annotated to take account of the change of regulation.
  16. 11-110-ECR - PLANNING FOR SCHOOLS DEVELOPMENT – GOVERNMENT CLIMB-DOWN: In an attempt to support the development of free schools, the Department for Communities and Local Government consulted late last year on whether certain types of premises, or any kind of premises, should be able to convert to school use without the need to obtain planning permission. The NUT argued forcefully that:
  17. 11-109-EE - THE ANTHONY WALKER MEMORIAL LECTURE – REMINDER: The fifth Anthony Walker Memorial Lecture will take place at the Council House in Bristol on Friday, 21 October 2011 at 5pm.
  18. 11-108-ECR - AGENCY WORKER REGULATIONS – NEGOTIATING GUIDE: new Agency Workers Regulations come into effect in October 2010.  Compliance with the Regulations will impose administrative burdens on schools that choose to use agency workers.  This information may be used to argue that any previous benefit in out-sourcing supply teacher arrangements is now negligible.  The main rights provided in the Regulations are that, from day one of an assignment, schools must provide equal access to facilities and employment opportunities and, that after an agency teacher has been in post for 12 weeks, they should be entitled to the same ‘basic’ pay and conditions as if they had been directly employed by the school or authority.
  19. 11-107-ECR - WORKLOAD CAMPAIGN – CLASSROOM OBSERVATION: A poster and postcard will be sent to all schools, highlighting the need to agree school protocols on classroom observations, particularly in light of the Government’s declared intention to remove all statutory limits on observation.  Members are urged to seek adoption of the NUT’s model protocol for classroom observation which includes the following features:

    •        a limit of three hours’ observation, spread over a maximum of three occasions, for any purpose, including drop-ins and learning walks;

    •        observations to be used for multiple purposes;

    •        consultation to take place on the annual pattern; and

    •        observation to be undertaken solely by qualified teachers.

    The NUT guidance on classroom observation, which includes the model protocol, is available at www.teachers.org.uk/workload.  It has been revised to make clear that NUT policy is that the maximum acceptable number of observations of any sort, including ‘drop-ins’ and ‘learning walks’ is three per year, each up to an hour in length.  The guidance also clarifies that, although the DfE has consulted on plans to remove all barriers to classroom observation, such changes, if introduced, will not come into force until September 2012.  If/when this happens, it is vital that schools have agreed policies in place to protect members from excessive observation.  This advice to members will also be included in an article in the September/October issue of The Teacher.

  20. PRIVATISATION UPDATE NO.12 JULY 2011: The Latest News and Information on Academies, Free Schools and Privatisation Issues from the NUT's Privatisation In Education Unit is now available on Hearth

  21. 11-106-OM - LEARNING REPRESENTATIVES’ FORUM 2011: at HH, Tues, 29 Nov.
  22. 11-105-OM - YOUNG TEACHERS’ CONFERENCE: FRI, 24 TO SUN 26 FEB 2012
  23. 11-104-OM - DIVISION SECRETARIES' BRIEFING: WED 12 TO FRIDAY 14 OCT 2011 and NEW SECRETARIES' COURSE: MON 10 TO WED 12 OCT 2011.
  24. 11-102-RM - HAMILTON HOUSE MEETINGS ROOMS.
  25. 11-101-SSEE - PROPOSED TEACHERS' PENSIONS SCHEME CONTRIBUTION INCREASE FOR 2012-13: The DfE has issued a "consultation document" on its proposed employee contribution increase from April 2012:

    Lower Salary

    Higher
    Salary

    Contribution Rate
    in 2012-13

    Increase (against 6.4%)

    Membership

    % of membership

     

    14,999

    6.4%

    0%

    1,400

    0.2%

    15,000

    25,999

    7.0%

    0.6%

    116,000

    17.1%

    26,000

    31,999

    7.3%

    0.9%

    117,000

    17.2%

    32,000

    39,999

    7.6%

    1.2%

    271,000

    39.6%

    40,000

    74,999

    8.0%

    1.6%

    172,000

    25.2%

    75,000

    111,999

    8.4%

    2.0%

    4,000

    0.6%

    112,000

     

    8.8%

    2.4%

    600

    0.1%

    A teacher would pay the same contribution rate on their whole salary.  The contribution tier into which teachers fall will be determined by their full-time equivalent salary.  A part-time teacher working a 0.5 fraction and earning £18,000 would therefore pay a 7.6 per cent contribution rate.  The NUT is of course opposing this proposal and calling for a proper up-dated evaluation of the teachers' pension scheme, as we believe that no such extra contributions are required.
  26. 11-099-SC - TUC RESOURCES - FACILITIES TIME AND BARGAINING TO ORGANISE: some useful materials and resources produced by the TUC which you may find useful in countering the current media stories.  The first is a document The Truth About Facilities Time for Trade Union Representatives, plus a suite of documents on ‘bargaining to organise’ which is available on the TUC website.
  27. 11-098-ECR - EDUCATIONAL VISITS - RECENT DEVELOPMENTS: An 8 page document (Health and Safety: Department for Education Advice on Legal Duties and Powers for Local Authorities, Head Teachers, Staff and Governing Bodies) has now replaced the previous advice Health and Safety of Pupils on Educational Visits (HASPEV) and Health and Safety: Responsibilities and Powers.  The NUT believes the new document is oversimplified and could promote a false sense of security, avoiding proper precautions.  With governing body agreement, there is no reason why the former guidance should not continue to be referred to, if this supports the organisation of school trips, and particularly if there is no similar local authority guidance document. One element of the new guidance is a single consent form for school trips, which is available at http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/doc/d/dfe%20consent%20form.doc.   This is a ‘one-off’ consent form which schools can ask parents to sign when a child enrols at school, which will cover that child’s participation on any school trip throughout their time at the school.  Parents must still be told in advance of each activity and be given the opportunity to withdraw their child from any particular visit or activity, so it is difficult to see how the form will reduce paperwork for schools.  Schools do not have to use the form.  Some parents may, understandably, object to such an arrangement which will create additional workload and bureaucracy in schools. Alongside the DfE guidance, the HSE has published a ‘high level statement’ called ‘School Trips and Outdoor Learning Activities’, available at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/services/education/school-trips.pdf.  The NUT was consulted on this document and is, therefore, able to recommend it. It gives clear messages about the benefits of school visits, explains the need to focus on managing real risks and emphasises that fear of prosecution has been over-played.  The HSE position is that, if things do go wrong during a trip, provided that sensible and proportionate steps have been taken, it is highly unlikely that a prosecution would be brought.
  28. 11-097-E&E - EAST AFRICA CRISIS APPEAL.
  29. 11-094-SS&EE - SCHOOL TEACHERS' PAY: STRB 20TH REPORT:  published 9 May 2011. The remit from the Secretary of State directed the STRB to give consideration to pay for teachers earning £21,000 or less; and whether there should be a limit on the value of the discretions that could be applied to head teachers’ pay.
    School Teachers’ Pay The STRB did not make any recommendations in respect of qualified school teachers’ pay for 2011, given the context of a two-year public sector pay freeze covering 2011 and 2012 and the absence of a specific remit from the Secretary of State.
    Unqualified School Teachers’ Pay The STRB recommended that a non-consolidated payment of £250 should be made in both years to all full-time teachers on points 1-3 of the Unqualified Teachers’ Pay Scale.  It also recommended that the £250 pay be pro-rated according to working hours for part-time teachers on points 1-3 of the Unqualified Teachers’ Pay Scale.
    Leadership Group Teachers’ Pay

    The STRB made the following recommendations:

    • There should be an overall limit on the discretions
    • There should be a ‘base’ Individual School Range (ISR) for a head teacher clearly defined in the STPCD and it should be the normal expectation that the pay covers the head teacher’s full role.
    • Any discretions above ‘base’ ISR should be used only when clearly justified and the total of all discretions should not exceed the limit of 25 per cent above the individual’s point on their ‘base’ ISR in any given year
    • Governing bodies should ensure they have oversight of all the contractual arrangements and income streams applying to the head teacher.
    • It should be wholly exceptional to exceed the limit of 25 per cent above ‘base’ ISR, but where it is necessary to consider an exception a business case must be presented to the full governing body, which must seek external independent advice in reaching its decision.
    • further recommendations in respect of re-drafting provisions in the STPCD to give effect to its recommendations, appropriate arrangements to monitor the use of exceptions to the limit on discretions and for consideration to be given to how the recommendations might be implemented by governing bodies.
       
    The NUT believes that all teachers, irrespective of their status in the school, should be paid fairly and properly.  The Union has made it very clear that it strongly opposes the Government’s two-year public sector pay freeze.  The situation is clearly becoming ever more urgent in view of inflation and of pay increases elsewhere.  The pay freeze will result in a significant real cut in the value of teachers’ pay as the cost of living is going up as pay levels are frozen.  The Union argues that it is wrong that the Government is freezing teachers’ pay and only giving the very lowest paid a £250 one-off payment rather than a proper pay rise.
  30. 11-093-SS&EE - REVISED TPS ACTUARIAL REDUCTION FACTORS FROM 1ST JULY 2011: The DfE has issued revised actuarial reduction factors for the Teachers’ Pension Scheme w.e.f. 1 July 2011 for ARB pensions payable on or after this date. The effect of the new factors is marginally favourable to members.  The reduction in pension (and lump sum if applicable) will be marginally lower compared to the existing actuarial reduction factor.   The likely reason for the improved actuarial reduction factors is the switch from RPI to CPI indexation.  The change therefore reflects the reduction in long-term pension income in retirement caused by that switch (which the Union of course continues to oppose).  This change in ARB factors is not retrospective in effect. The new actuarial reduction factors can be found on Hearth.
  31. 11-090-S&C - DAILY MAIL ARTICLE - GENERAL SECRETARY SALARY: June 23rd article in Daily Mail contains several inaccuracies and misunderstandings about the salary paid to the General Secretary.  The purpose of the Daily Mail article is clearly to seek to undermine the strike.  The Union’s response is quoted in the article – but despite the misleading way the story is covered, we will not seek any further coverage.   The General Secretary is paid on a pay spine on a par with a secondary head teacher.  This is negotiated with the Executive alongside all pay grades in the Union; the pay spine consists of four increments which are payable annually. The annual cost of living increase for all staff in the Union is linked to the teachers’ pay increases; so last year this was 2.3%. 

Assistant Secretary's Report

  1. The dispute lodged by the NUT on behalf of Soulbury members, with the support of ASPECT and AEP, has led to the LA withdrawing, at least for the time being, its unilateral imposition of new travel rules, which entailed subtracting the home to work commute mileage for all business journeys.  This has now reverted to the previous conditions:

    Mileage claims should be based on the lesser of the following:

    1. the mileage actually travelled on official duties, or
    2. the mileage that would have been incurred if the journey had started and/or ended at the employees work base."
    The NUT and ASPECT have again requested another meeting of the Soulbury forum to sort out remaining problems of decisions about travel bases, where there appears to be little or no consistency.
  2. 3 new centres have opened,one in each of BSE, Ipswich and Lowestoft, as extra EOTAS provision, run by private/voluntary organisations (4'rce, Cfbt and NACRO). These organisations are responsible for finding premises and for employing permanent staff.  It has emerged that some LA EOTAS tutors are also being asked to work in these centres, but remain on SCC terms and conditions.
  3. The TOs attended a briefing by the LA re. Implications of Academy conversions on the funding and staffing levels in the Suffolk Behaviour Support Staff. Staff concerned have now been circulated with information.  Because BSS funding is part of the Local Authority Central Spend Equivalent Grant (which has to be handed over to Academies), the LA needs to pay £230,000 to Academies.  Ironically, BSS central funding was only applied to primary age pupils, so in fact the Secondary Academies are getting central funding which they never had before, at the expense of remaining maintained Primary schools.  The BSS is delivered via PRUs, whose funding is not part of the LACSEG, but there was some cross-over of resourcing, etc.  At the present time, Academies are not buying into the LA BS Service and so cuts are required this financial year.
  4. Plans are also underway for a reorganisation of EOTAS, now that the whole county comes under one Manager.  There is an anticipation that EOTAS pupil numbers will grow, not least because Academies in 2009-2010 actually permanently excluded 4 times as many pupils as maintained schools.
  5. HR have confirmed that those receiving redundancy payments on August 31st are allowed to take casual work (supply or EOTAS tutors) immediately, provided that no offer of employment is made prior to Sept 1st.
  6. Early Years: MG took up the case of several teachers in Children's Centres who were told that they could not have UPS progression because they were centrally employed.  As a result, 3 teachers have had their UPS progression confirmed, with back pay, and two are awaiting the decision on UPS1. Where these teachers have retired, they will receive larger redundancy payments and higher pensions.
  7. The NUT lodged a "Difference" (a kind of formal dispute) agains the LA for refusing to implement the 2005 JNC Agreement on Industrial Injury.  Although the individual case was subject to a Compromise agreement, the CYP Directorate has failed to respond appropriately to the Difference and is not taking the case to the appropriate next stage for resolution.  This is a serious matter - it means that the LA can make a deduction in pay, on any spurious grounds, just before a compromise is signed, and claim that the employee has no legitimate claim thereafter, because a compromise is "full and final settlement".   MG intends to pursue.

Date of next meeting: November 9th 2011 Ipswich

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