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D AR AW ard P I on H S Le R n BE Joh EM : M ner L in NA W IO G E R

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The 79th edition for ALL Plymouth Teachers June 2008

THERE ARE NO FAILING SCHOOLS IN PLYMOUTH Ed Balls made it clear that he intends to increase the attack on failing schools. The threat of an academy or trust school to replace the local community school where fewer than 30% reach the arbitrary 5 A* to C GCSE target will do nothing for the morale of those hard working teachers and staff dedicated to improving standards in their school. A few facts on the 638 “failing” schools: ♦ 75% have been graded by OfSTED as Outstanding, Good or Satisfactory ♦ 203 (32%) had a contextual value added score of 1005 and are in the top 40% of all secondary schools ♦ 27 of the 638 are already academies… ♦ The largest number of the 638 are in LAs with a selective 11+ system

Support for community schools is the solution, not part-privatisation with trusts and academies A GOOD LOCAL SCHOOL FOR EVERY CHILD and for every community

CELEBRATION OF STEVE SINNOTT’S LIFE Page 4 PAY & WORKLOAD—the NUT’s very successful national strike made sure that teachers’ anger about our deteriorating pay hit the headlines. Teachers are now looking at further action on pay in the autumn term and also considering adding workload issues as agreed at Conference. The NASUWT passed a similar motion at their Conference— including strike action where the workload was excessive. School groups should focus on key workload targets such as the 21 tasks, meetings, PPA, cover, “management time” and planning. There are examples of teachers being directed to work additional hours without pay, lost PPA time not paid back and a plethora of issues for p/t colleagues TRIGGER?

Bank rate 5% but mortgage interest rates up…RPI 4.2% but pay only rising by 2.45% and not until September 2008! Acting General Secretary Christine Blower calls for further action on pay in the autumn as inflation continues to rise...

The NUT: We work up to a standard not down to a price

Independent of Government and not affiliated to any political party Call the Joining Hotline 0845 300 1669


UNITY—PCS, UCU & the NUT acted together on public sector pay

!

MP’s pay rise: They plan to add extra “catching up” packages to their remuneration as they feel they’ve “fallen behind.” What do you think? They’re due to vote on their own pay on 3rd July

Photographs: David Smale, Les Goldman, Martin Edmonds, Lucy Blake and Colin Eynon

April 24th 2008 at the Exeter rally held at Exeter City FC. Plymouth NUT’s banner was resurrected and had its first public outing since it was held aloft on the last teacher pay strike over 20 years ago. Rob Barrett (V/President of Plymouth NUT) at the Truro rally (bottom of page)


PUBLIC MEETINGS As none of the proposed academy and trust schools have called public meetings, it’s been left to support staff and teacher unions to explain our opposition to this semi-privatisation of our schools. Speaking at Tamerton Community Centre, Hank Roberts [far right] from Brent [a member of all three teacher unions], the NASUWT regional secretary, Phil Smith [Plymouth ATL] and Dave Clinch [Devon NUT], illustrated the sound basis for our collective concerns. Contributions from the floor came from parents, governors, UNISON reps and school staff. At The China House the ATL National President Julia Neal [top] spoke about the implications for staff and the lack of democracy and local accountability. Councillors and LA representatives were invited but did not attend. Remember, there is nothing a trust school can do that a co mmuni ty p ri mary or secondary school couldn’t do now. There is no need to change status—Plymouth already offers a great diversity of schools—changing to trusts [or academies] will cause potential chaos for school admissions and staff employment.

“Unity in action at workplace level really works” “INSET—I work 0.6—how many INSET days should I do?” Answer: 3 and only if they fall on your working days. You have to be paid to attend if not. Also applies to INSET twilights that replace whole INSET days

A MEMBER WRITES...

“Twilight lessons—can these be imposed on us? Answer: No. There would have to be some kind of payment or time off. Just refuse to do it—it’s a workload issue and they don’t form part of your contract!

“Safeguarding: My MA will end in Dec. Will I have to do the same job for less money from Jan 09?” Answer: No

From the Executive: Attention was drawn to an astonishing letter from the Schools’ Minister concerning the impact of inflation on young teachers in which he stated, “interest [on student loans] is charged in a fair and consistent way. The

Pay Campaign lobby of MPs: the Acting General Secretary with the Plymouth Div Sec outside Parliament

interest is only charged to maintain the value of the loan in real terms—so that, after adjusting for inflation, they only pay back the same amount as they borrowed. The real interest rate is zero.” This explains why an interest rate of 4.8% was applied to student loans and a pay “rise” of 2.45% was imposed on teachers—a pay cut in anyone’s language. Yet again the government used RPI for interest rates but avoids it for public sector pay


NUT members from across England and Wales met in London on 21st June to celebrate the life of Steve Sinnott. Moving eulogies from his wife Mary and children Kate and Stephen were supported by Brendan Barber [TUC], Jim Night MP [DCSF], Prof Gus John, Bill Greenshields [NUT President], Graham Clayton [Senior Solicitor] and Acting General Secretary Christine Blower. Steve’s international work was honoured by contributions from Fred van Leeuwen [Education International], Gemoraw Kassa [Ethiopian Teachers Assoc], Becky Maynard [No More Landmines] and Owain James [Global Campaign for Education]. Amidst the music from the Beatles, live music and choirs, the speeches made by Dillon Max-Grant and Jack Lewars were tremendously strong and with much humour—a future in politics or stand-up awaits both these young men! A letter from Gordon Brown MP was read by Christine—a letter that praised the work of Steve and the NUT. There is a legacy for the Union to develop, to remember Steve’s commitment to teaching and education and to continue the campaigns he cherished.

PAY TRIGGER One reason why the NUT opposes multi-year pay deals is that no one knows what inflation will be in the future. A trigger mechanism was included in the STRB report—if RPI inflation rose above 3.25% the unions and the STRB could ask Ed Balls to consider a review of teachers’ pay. As you can see from the graph above, for the last 17 months inflation has been way above 3.25% and the NUT and the other teacher unions have asked for a review.

What’s it going to be Ed? Will you honour your word? Or are you distracted by the investigation into your own household expenses?

“PPA—My HT often removes our PPA time so we can complete other tasks. Should it be paid back?” Answer: Yes, as it’s guaranteed. BTW you cannot routinely have your PPA time taken away; it’s for you to decide how to use it. See your rep or contact us

Plymouth Division: plymnut@teacher.clara.co.uk 01503 240527 Regional Office: south.west@nut.org,uk 01392 258028

Nutshells #79 Jun 08  

The newsletter of the Plymouth National Union of Teachers

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