The premier union for teachers in England and Wales.

Eastern Region NEWS, Summer 2017

 Eastern region news SUMMER term 2017

GENERAL ELECTION (GE) CAMPAIGN

The NUT’s Funding Campaign has metamorphosed seamlessly into the GE2017 Campaign. The success of our work on funding is demonstrated by the fact that there has been continual media coverage since the launch of www.schoolcuts.org.uk and education is the third most significant issue for the electorate behind Brexit and the NHS.

We are currently collecting information from divisions and associations about the exciting and imaginative activities we know have already been organised, but if you have not yet planned something, please consider:

  • using the local data available at bit.ly/school_cuts_data_2017 to make the constituency level estimates of school cuts an election issue
  • organising local events such as street stalls, city centre open air meetings (big school assemblies, but only if you have the support of local primary head teachers) that engage the public and attract local media coverage
  • encourage members and the public to use the new facility on schoolcuts.org.uk to email candidates in their constituencies
  • collect pledges from candidates to defend funding and stop selection
  • ensure that at least one NUT member attends all hustings in your area to ask questions on education and distribute NUT leaflets
  • report the local work to generate national news coverage

 

Further guidance and resources for the GE17 campaign are available at www.teachers.org.uk/officers-resources/secretaries.

 

NUT and ATL AMALGAMATION

There is a good deal for all of us to get our heads around in the lead up to the amalgamation in order to make sure that everything goes smoothly. To assist with this there is a helpful FAQ document for officers and reps on the website under ‘officer resources’ in the Professional Unity section, so please have a look…..

Local Structures during transition period 1/9/17 – 1/1/19

Detailed information about this can be found in section 4 of the transitional rules in the Professional Unity section of the website at https://www.teachers.org.uk/members-reps/your-union/professional-unity. This includes a requirement for there to be regular meetings at least termly between relevant NUT and ATL local officers at division level to promote strong working relationships leading to the new union structures coming into force after the transition. The remit is to co-ordinate all matters that affect the interests of members of both Sections, including:

i.) Negotiations with employers which at the amalgamation date recognised both ATL and NUT;

ii.) Member support and representation;

iii.) External relations;

iv.) Allocation of facility time

v.) Member engagement;

vi.) Preparing proposals for post-transition local structures that will be subject to the terms of the new rules that will be implemented in accordance with general rule 6.3i and also subject to ratification by the Joint Executive Council prior to the end of the transition period and;

vii.) Any other matters they so determine themselves and consistent with both the general and the Sectional rules;

viii.) Any other matters referred to them by the Joint Executive Council during the transition period.

Joint NUT/ATL Division Secretaries’ Briefing

There will be a joint DSB on Friday 30 June – Saturday 1 July in Birmingham to include sessions on:

  • Joint Campaigning
  • Recruitment priorities and activities for September 2017
  • Planning for local joint officer meetings
  • Member engagement, support and representation
  • Action planning for joint rep briefings
  • Pay and Conditions
  • Local joint officer meetings scope, mechanics, protocol and facilities times

It is therefore vital that every division sends a representative, even if the division secretary is not able to attend. Further details are available on the officer training section of the website https://www.teachers.org.uk/learning/course/211 .

ORGANISING FORUMS

The first meetings of the nine national organising forums (NOFs) took place last term and reports from the Regional representatives are awaited. The primary function of the forums is to promote the involvement of members from the various groups, and it is therefore likely that forum members will wish to make contact with local officers, as well as members in their constituency groups in order to facilitate this.

NOFs do not themselves have budgets for supporting activities proposed by NOF members, and neither do regional offices.  All such support must be sought via regional councils or at local level.  NOF members have the right to propose activities, but it will be for divisions, associations or regional councils to decide whether to support or fund proposals.

EASTERN REGION YOUNG TEACHERS WEEKEND 2017

27 delegates attended this years’ event during the weekend of 22/23 April and came from a range of Divisions across the Region. The majority of the conference was led and delivered by our young teacher activists, with each member of the steering group taking turns to chair the various sessions.

Sessions included a warm welcome and interactive plenary on priority campaigns from Kiri Tunks, Senior Vice-President. Alice Fonda-Marsland gave an inspiring talk on her experiences as part of the Union’s delegation to Palestine, which led to many delegates asking how they can get involved and raised awareness of the NUT’s international work.

EqualiTeach ran a workshop on ‘Tackling Casual Racism and Islamophobia’ and provided some very useful resources to support members in challenging this in the classroom. On the Sunday delegates discussed both the funding and workload campaigns and how to raise awareness of these issues in the run up to the General Election.

We finished the weekend by considering what lessons could be learnt from teachers in Finland, and whilst they may not have the perfect system, there are elements that we may wish to incorporate into our education system.

A quarter of the participants were workplace reps and have attended before, with the remainder experiencing their first Eastern Young Teachers’ Weekend. There was a very positive atmosphere with many keen to be involved in their local areas. Details of those attending have already been sent out to associations, so please do get in touch with them and welcome them into local activity.

EASTERN REGION BLACK TEACHERS’ WEEKEND 2017

The first Eastern Black Teachers’ weekend will take place on Friday 6 – Saturday 7 October 2017 at the Cambridge Belfry Hotel in Cambourne, starting with dinner on Friday night and finishing around 5pm on the Saturday. The programme is currently being finalised by the steering group, after which invitations will be sent out – watch this space as we expect there to be considerable demand for places, which will be offered on a first come, first served basis.

REGIONAL OFFICE STAFFING

We are very pleased to welcome Matthew Fulton to the additional permanent post of Regional Organiser. Matthew joins Sarah Barcock-Wood (formerly Anderson) in this role to increase the pressure on academies to contribute to local facilities pots. In the first instance Matthew is working in Hertfordshire, to persuade head teachers to pay in and also increasing our capacity to handle casework at academy level by recruiting reps and ensuring that they are released for training.

BURSTON

On April 1st 1914 teachers and NUT members Tom and Annie Higdon were dismissed from their posts in the rural village of Burston, near Diss in Norfolk and so began the ‘longest strike in history’. On that day the children marched around the village with cards hanging from their necks demanding that “We Want Our Teachers Back”.

The strike is celebrated every year with a rally and march around the village on the first Sunday in September. This is an important event in the trade union calendar and the only one that takes place in the Eastern Region. This year it will be held on Sunday 3 September and will provide the first opportunity to celebrate the birth of the National Education Union and to promote our new union to our sisters and brothers in the movement at the NEU stall. It would be great to welcome as many of our members as possible, particularly as Christine Blower will be one of the speakers. Please promote the event amongst members and activists.

Dates for the Summer Term

Caseworkers’ surgery                     Elm House                              Wed 7 June 10:30

Regional Exec                                  Elm House                              Wed 7 June 13:30

Negotiating skills for reps             Cambridge Belfry hotel          Tue 13 June 09:45

Foundation reps training               Cambridge Belfry hotel          13 – 15 June

Essex Pride                                       Central Park, Chelmsford      Sat 24 June

Joint NUT/ATL DSB                        Birmingham                            30 June – 1 July

Advanced reps training                  Cambridge Belfry hotel          4 – 6 July

Regional reps’ briefing                   Cambridge Belfry hotel          Wed 12 July

Next Meeting is in Thursday 30th November, 7pm All welcome