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The 85th edition for ALL Plymouth Teachers May 2009

SATs—UNANIMOUS SUPPORT FOR BOYCOTT The big news from NUT conference this year was the unanimous vote for a boycott of KS1 & 2 tests, unless they are abolished by the government before next year. There was a standing ovation and plenty of cheering after the vote was taken. During the debate speaker after speaker pointed to the damaging effects of these discredited tests. Sara Tomlinson, a primary school teacher from Lambeth NUT, was cheered when she said, “The government calls us irresponsible for wanting to abolish SATs, but it is the government that is irresponsible for wanting to keep them.” We know and agree that children must be assessed, but it must be done in a way which informs teaching and learning. At the NAHT conference head teachers voted to ballot its members to boycott next year’s SATs by a majority of 94%. Together our joint action

will have an effect. Salaries Motion Conference instructed the National Executive to continue the pay campaign. The problems facing young teachers on a teacher’s starting salary was illustrated by

government attacks on public and private sector pay and pensions. We, like all public and private sector workers, should not be made to feel guilty for this crisis; neither should we pay for it.

Plymouth People Against Academies and Trust Schools

Fight Against Cuts in Education Gemma, a dance teacher from Ilfracombe Arts College. She spoke at the 24th April strike rally last year in Exeter about why she was leaving teaching. Clearly enthusiasm and creativity are not enough to pay the rent. Conference voted, almost unanimously, for the amended motion, which resolved that should the government renege on the three-year pay deal then the NUT will ballot the membership for strike action. Unity with other unions is now vital in opposing the

FACE Is your school facing cutbacks? Is the education of your pupils suffering? Do your colleagues want to take a stand? For support and advice contact FACE Christine Blower has been confirmed as our new General Secretary. Plymouth NUT nominated Christine for GS and will invite her to visit Plymouth teachers during the year—CONGRATULATIONS!

Easter Conference at Cardiff You will no doubt have seen press coverage of the annual Conference over the Easter period. Apart from the SATs and pay motions many other topics were discussed, and voted upon. Some members have expressed their opinion that in the press it looked as if we were going to strike over everything. This is of course totally untrue. Many motions do include the phrase “up to and including strike action” but obviously this is a last resort for any Union. As usual, the media picked upon and sensationalised certain motions, totally ignoring others. A full report of the Conference will be placed on the NUT national website and in the TEACHER magazine We wish to ensure that all members of the NUT are able to take part fully in all Union activities. If there is any facility we can provide, to enable you to attend meetings, or go on NUT courses etc, please contact the Secretary with your requests. Care responsibilities, disabled access — in fact anything that members see as an impediment to their attendance can be addressed. Plymouth Division: 01503 240527 Regional Office:,uk 01392 258028

Conference coverage continues next month

PENSION’S SEMINAR Future Inn Tavistock Road Wednesday 10th June from 1830 Refreshments Exclusive to NUT members


New President Rob Barratt presents Stephanie Steer with her past-President’s badge at Plymouth NUT’s AGM

Nutshells #85 May 09  

The newsletter of the Plymouth National Union of Teachers