Within a few days of the election result, the new Government had already announced new ways it will attack teachers and education. Two stand out. First they intend to restrict our right to take action by making all strikes illegal unless 50% plus one of the entire membership vote yes to action. Second, they plan a huge extension of the free school and academy programmes, giving more power to Multi Academy Trusts and restricting your right to individual or collective trade union representation. Effectively, they are planning the privatisation of the entire state education system, minus, for now, the profit motive
These developments could have been predicted before the election, if more people had factored in the possibility that the Tories would win an overall majority.
For teachers and others this could spell further serious deterioration in our pay and conditions. And it’s not as if the current situation in schools is a bed of roses.
Levels of workplace induced stress have resulted in record numbers of teachers leaving the profession, with the current figure at more than 4,000 a month. This is an unsustainable situation that derives from failed policies that have damaged the education service and teacher morale. We have to stop this exodus. It is hard to see how this can be done unless we step up the action part of our campaigning, and make clear to the Government that we will not accept a continuation of the attacks of recent years or any trade union laws that restrict our right to defend ourselves.
Despite these imminent threats the Union at present has no preparations in place for a national response to defend national pay and conditions. However, the Union has published pay scales to help teachers at local level ensure they progress incrementally between what is now only a minimum and maximum point on the various pay ranges.
However, we need more than just plant based bargaining to protect teachers and education. We need a national focus for our campaigns to protect nationally determined pay and conditions. The alternative, as has been seen in the Further Education sector is serious erosion of pay, more insecure contracts and ever increasing demands on our time at work.
The Union is calling on members to write to their MPs urging opposition to the proposed Education and Adoption bill which will allow the forced academisation of many more schools based on floor targets that will be impossible for many schools to achieve on a year in, year out basis. This approach is fine in and of itself but the Union will also have to consider national action in the extremely likely event that the Government ignores our reasonable demands.
Liam Conway, Secretary, Notts NUT
Advice, News and Links
Wot - no pay scales?
The government has published no pay scales following the publication of the School Teachers Pay Review Document. It is now possible for teachers on the Main Pay Range, Upper Pay Range, Leadership Spine or any other scale to be paid between a minimum and a maximum point.
Nevertheless, the NUT has published pay scales in collaboration with the ATL, NAHT and other professional bodies. We urge you to get agreement in your school to use these scales so that your pay is protected. Click HERE for full details of the pay ranges.