Motions passed at General Meetings and AGM - NEU


General Meeting 19th May 2022

posted 8 Jun 2022, 03:10 by NEU Secretary

1.      Minutes of Previous Meeting of 9th March 2022 – Agreed and there were no matters arising

2.      Nomination for vacant Inner London National Executive seat 

Meeting agreed to nominate Carly Slingsby 


    3.      Motions submitted by Members

 

A)     Motion on Care4Calais - Agreed with none against

 Islington NEU recognises the fantastic work done by NEU members visiting Calais to support Care4Calais with distributions and warehouse work.

We note the report from Human Rights Watch, “Enforced Misery:The Degrading Treatment of Migrant Children and Adults in Northern France” which documents repeated mass eviction operations, near-daily police harassment, and restrictions on provision of and access to humanitarian assistance.

The authorities carry out these abusive practices with the primary purposes of forcing people to move elsewhere, without resolving their migration status or lack of housing

Care4Calais are currently distributing 485 food parcels per week at a cost of £15 per parcel. This is a cost of £7275 per week or £378,300 per year.

Islington NEU agrees to:

i)        Donate £500 to Care4Calais

ii)      Encourage members to take part in /organise a delegation from the district to Calais

iii)    Continue to show solidarity with refugees wherever possible and commit to raising refugee issues in schools.


B)     We Demand Better - Agreed unanimously

           

Islington NEU welcomes our union’s recent national conference decision to prepare members for an indicative ballot on continuing and deepening real pay cuts as an ongoing result of austerity, inequitable tax increases and rocketing inflation.

We also welcome the WE DEMAND BETTER demonstration called by the TUC and supported by other unions, including the NEU on Saturday 18th June and endorse the TUC statement backing the demonstration that: “Working people have had enough. Everything’s going up but our wages. Join the trade union movement in London to tell this government: we DEMAND better!

We agree:

1.       That building for this march and the following pay ballot should be a key priority for Islington NEU, its officers and school reps.

2.       To encourage school NEU groups to hold meetings in the coming weeks to mobilise for the demonstration and start preparing for the pay ballot in the autumn term, and to send an officer or Committee member to attend the meeting, where possible, to outline the issues behind them. Decisions by school groups to attend the demonstration together, possibly with their own banner, marching behind the Islington one will be very welcome.

3.       To place a bulk order of flyers, posters and sticker for the demonstration and distribute them to schools as a matter of urgency.

4.       To organise a street stall on Sat 21st May at the Angel - as part of a London-wide initiative - to hand out leaflets and to petition in support of the march and the campaign. We welcome the decision at April’s Islington Trades Union Council meeting to encourage members of other trade unions in the borough to join the vent with their own publicity materials.

5.       To support and encourage members to attend an Islington or North London mobilising meeting for the 18 June demonstration should one be organised - as discussed by Islington Trades Union Council at its recent meeting.

6.       To organise, when appropriate, a borough rep meeting to promote the We Demand Better union campaign and the ensuing strike ballot.

7.       That building for the demonstration and next term’s pay ballot need cannot just be left to Islington NEU officers but that we should seek to involve as many reps and members as possible.

 

 

 

 

C)      No More Exclusions - practical action!

 Amendment Passed and then Amended Motion Agreed with none against

 Amended Motion


This union branch notes:

1. That we have previously passed a number of motions committing to working to end school exclusions in Islington Schools, and also to supporting the work of No More Exclusions (NME), a Black-led anti-racist organisation working to build an abolitionist grassroots movement in education.

2. NME has published a new guide to abolishing school exclusion in the education system: “‘What about the other 29?’ and other FAQs: demystifying abolition in the UK education system” (Jan 2022).

3. NME is also carrying out a programme of monthly community stalls in areas of high exclusions around London. The Islington stall took place in March.

4. Indications are that an unequal access to resources, and the impact of increased poverty and isolation  during the pandemic have put pressures on vulnerable children putting them at greater risk of exclusion.

5. Whilst we recognize the work carried out by NME in highlighting problems surrounding exclusions we do not fully endorse their manifesto that calls for the abolition of all PRU’s, Special Schools, Alternative Provisions and their further calls for the abolition of all managed moves.

 

This union branch resolves:

To continue to work with Islington Councillors and Council Officers with an aim to:

(i)                  Reduce and ultimately end exclusions in islington

(ii)                To ensure that managed moves only take place where properly resourced provision is in place

(iii)              To stop the use of privately run alternative provision

(iv)              For better funding for inclusive education within schools

 

We further call on the national union to publish guidelines on exclusions and off rolling which focus on the need to include students in the education system and to keep students and staff safe.


D) No school-based police officers

Due to time constraints this motion will be carried over to the next meeting


Annual General Meeting 19th May 2022

posted 8 Jun 2022, 03:04 by NEU Secretary

1 Terry Sullivan was installed as new President 
 

2.     Minutes of Previous AGM 24th March 2021 – Agreed and there were no matters Arising
 
 3. Islington Officer Elections
Tony Buttifint – Secretary (District and State Branch)/ Treasurer
Pippa Dowswell – Assistant Secretary/ Health & Safety Officer
Lee Laudat Scott – Support Staff Officer
Ken Muller – Press and Publicity
Dave Rosenberg – International Solidarity
 
4.     Rule Changes : None submitted
 
5.     Accounts – Agreed
 
6.     2022/23 Local Subscription Fee – Agreed that this should remains at 5% of the National Fee

General Meeting - 9th March 2022

posted 10 Mar 2022, 04:23 by NEU Secretary

1. Motion on solidarity with UCU universities strike

Islington NEU declares its full support for and solidarity with members of the UCU currently taking ongoing strike action over pensions, pay, workloads, casualisation and equalities.

We congratulate, especially, our UCU sisters and brothers at City University for standing together and continuing their action in the face of management attempts to intimidate them and members of UNISON at the university who walked out in solidarity with their UCU colleagues.

We recognise:

1. That university workers are now at the forefront of the fight against Tory government attempts to make working people pay for a crisis they were not responsible for creating.

2. That UCU strikers are receiving minimal strike pay and need the support of other trade unionists to sustain their action.

We agree:

1. To donate £500 to the City Uni UCU strike hardship fund.

2. To support as far as we can picketing at City University and future rallies and demonstrations organised by UCU.

3. To encourage school groups to invite UCU speakers to their meetings to speak about their action and to hold collections for their hardship fund.


2. Motion on Ukraine

Islington NEU fully endorses the motion passed at the NEU Executive (reproduced below) and agrees to make a donation of £1000 to the Education International Solidarity Appeal.

NEU extends solidarity with the people of Ukraine
When diplomacy fails and military action is used to resolve disputes, ordinary citizens are the ones who pay the price.
The NEU stands in solidarity with the citizens of Ukraine, with teachers, with school students and with their families, who will today be fearing for their lives and for the future of their country.
The NEU adds it voice to all those calling on President Putin to end the attacks on Ukrainian territory and to order Russian troops to leave the country. We further call on all parties to honour their obligations under the Minsk-2 agreement and under international law.
The conflict Between Russia and the Ukraine must not lead to the expansion and consolidation of military alliances in Europe which can only threaten future stability for all and hasten the likelihood of further conflicts and wars.
Peaceful dialogue, based on a commitment to finding a solution which fully respects the democratic and human rights of all those affected by this crisis, is the only way forward
We further endorse the statement from Education International, which we do not see as counterposed to our original statement.
We agree that the Union should:
i)         express full solidarity with the people of Ukraine;
ii)         express full solidarity with anti-war protesters in Russia and across the world;
iii)       contact education unions in Ukraine to explore what practical support we can offer them;
iv)       make a substantial donation to the EI solidarity fund and ask Districts and individual members to do likewise;
v)         support the call from the British Refugee Council on our government to open the borders to refugees fleeing war;
vi)       call on our government to use every diplomatic measure to bring about a negotiated peace – we believe the deployment of British and NATO forces in Ukraine would be a dangerous escalation in this war;
viii)     revise and reissue the Union’s guidance on dealing with conflict in schools;
ix)       ask the International Committee to discuss practical strategies to support trade union, educators and young people in Ukraine and provide guidance to members in schools and colleges about supporting young people in talking about the current situation.

 

3.  Amendments for Motions submitted to National Conference 2022

A) Amendment to Motion 20. CLIMATE CRISIS

Under “Conference believes” add new points

vii) UCU and other unions have made good progress in promoting the role of green reps in the workplace

viiI) Sustainability and environmental education must be embedded through the entire curriculum so that it is preparing and mobilising our society for a sustainable future.

ix) The purpose of climate education must be to bring about change in our world and our behaviour.

x) Debate about how to resolve an existential crisis for humanity cannot be constrained by the temporary policies of the government of the day in one country.

After “Conference therefore instructs the Executive to…”:

Add “supportive political parties” after “school students”.

Add at end of d) “through a review of the whole curriculum from the top where possible, and innovative practice from below when necessary.”

Add

f) Gender and ethnic disparities in skills training and recruitment for key transition sectors and STEM to be targeted and closed.

g) Promote and train green reps within the NEU across all regions


B) Amendment to Motion 5. WORKLOAD AND NATIONAL CONTRACT

After Conference instructs the Executive:

Insert new points

vii.        Construct a database accessible to NEU negotiators that holds information and data on schools nationwide that will support bargaining at school, MAT and LA Level.

viii.       Once operational draw up plans to use the database to offer a member accessible online system detailing terms and conditions in workplaces.

 

 C)  Amendment to motion 25 – Exclusions

 

Add to Conference notes:

(9) Last year a motion on exclusions was overwhelmingly passed at Annual Conference, with 94% of delegates voting to instruct the Executive to campaign for: ‘A fully inclusive, properly funded education service where exclusion is reduced and ultimately ended, and to call for a moratorium on exclusions in the wake of the pandemic’, and to affiliate to No More Exclusions (Motion 8, 2021).

 (10) No More Exclusions (NME) is a Black-led anti-racist organisation working to build an abolitionist grassroots movement in education.

 (11) NME has published a new guide to abolishing school exclusion in the education system: “‘What about the other 29?’ and other FAQs: demystifying abolition in the UK education system” (Jan 2022).

 

Add to Conference instructs the Executive to campaign:

(g) And to promote NME’s guide “‘What about the other 29?’ and other FAQs: demystifying abolition in the UK education system” by publishing an electronic version on the website, as the beginning of a resource hub on ending school exclusions.

(h) And to print and send a copy to every union rep in every school – to encourage conversations on this issue in every staff room.

The Original Motion is:

25 Exclusions

Conference notes:

 1. All students are entitled to have access to high quality education, and to have their backgrounds, cultures and individual needs respected

2. Students with Special Educational Needs, Black and Gypsy/Roma and Traveller children and those eligible for free school meals are disproportionally excluded from school and from education, whether through short term or long-term formal exclusion or illegal ‘off-rolling’

3. Exclusions rose by 5% in secondary schools and 20% in primary schools in the months before the Covid pandemic

4. Indications that unequal access to resources, and the impact of increased poverty and isolation during the pandemic have put pressure on vulnerable children, putting them at greater risk of exclusion

5. So called ‘zero tolerance’ approaches to behaviour do not support the needs that underlie challenging behaviour

6. There are huge discrepancies between schools that seek to include and those where there is a high rate of exclusion

 7. Exclusion from school can leave children socially isolated and educationally disadvantaged, and at risk of becoming involved in crime and the ‘school to prison’ pipeline 8. Parents of children excluded feel alienated and unsupported by the education system and the Independent Review System

 

 Conference further notes that the Timpson Review:

i.   Did not address the fragmentation of the education system and its consequences and failed to consider the impact of institutional racism on rates of exclusion

ii.   Proposes to expand Alternative Provision


Conference instructs the Executive to campaign:

a. For a reduction and ultimate end to exclusion

b. For schools to publish data on exclusions and the destinations of students no longer attending

 c. To ensure that managed moves only take place when properly resourced provision is in place

d. Against the expansion of privately run Alternative Provision and for better funding for inclusive education within schools

e. To challenge the failure of Government to address the racial and class inequalities in rates of exclusion, and to work with educators and parents of students affected

f. To call for the reform of Independent Review Panels, including returning their power to compel schools to accept back a student

 

 


General Meeting 2nd February 2022

posted 3 Feb 2022, 06:53 by NEU Secretary   [ updated 3 Feb 2022, 06:57 ]


 

1.  Prioritisation of Motions for National Conference

 

12 motions were put forward for consideration and the meeting voted to prioritise the following 6 motions:

49 Palestine, 30 Anti Racism, 28 Climate Crisis, 5 Ofsted, 51 Long covid, 16 Primary Education

.

2. Motions Submitted by Members

 A)    WomensAid

Islington NEU recognises that domestic abuse is a problem faced by far too many people in our society. A problem which has increased during the COVID pandemic.

Women are more likely than men to experience multiple incidents of abuse and sexual violence and that whilst this affects women regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, class or disability we recognise that women who experience other forms of discrimination and oppression may face further barriers to disclosing abuse.

We therefore agree to donate £500 to Womensaid (https://www.womensaid.org.uk/) to help in their work against domestic abuse.


 B)    UN Antiracism Day and Fighting for Antiracist Workplaces conference


 Islington NEU believes:

That we face a growing racist offensive by Boris Johnson’s government with the Nationality & Borders bill attacking the right to asylum and the government’s CRED report denying the existence of the institutional racism hi-lighted by the Black Lives Matter movement.

The he government continues to deploy the politics of divide and rule scapegoating refugees, migrants and the Muslim community.

The government’s new police bill targets BLM activists and the GRT community and strengthens police powers despite the ongoing reality of black communities facing disproportionate use of stop and search and deaths in police contact.

On an international scale governments are attempting to deflect criticism of their handling of the COVID-19 and economic crisis by using racism.

Islamophobia and antisemitism are on the rise and the Far Right are a growing threat.

We resolve:

1.      To support the international day of action to mark UN Antiracism Day on Saturday 19 March 2022.

2.      To support Stand Up To Racism and the TUC’s events across England, Scotland and Wales to maximise the turn out from members of our branch

3.      To support the ‘Fighting for Anti Racist workplaces’ conference on Saturday 5 February 2022 and  to pay for up to six delegates fees.

4.      To re-affiliate to Stand Up To Racism.

 

C)    NEU – Afghanistan Appeal


Islington NEU notes:

      The growing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan following the return of Taliban rule and the freezing of overseas aid into the country.

      Afghanistan was already one of the world’s toughest places to be a child or a teacher. Now the situation is desperate.

      10 million children require humanitarian assistance. Millions of girls are unable to return to school. Women, including teachers and other educators, are confined to the home.

      UNHCR has reported that more than 500,000 Afghan people had been internally displaced since the start of the year, bringing the total number of internally displaced people to over 3.5 million. In addition, 2.2 million Afghan refugees are registered in Iran and Pakistan.

      The Director of the World Food Programme has said “the next six months will be hell on Earth” - 23 million people are facing starvation.

 

Islington NEU welcomes:

      The partnership between the NEU and Save The Children to urgently raise vital funds to support Save the Children’s lifesaving humanitarian work in the country.

 

Islington NEU resolves:

      To donate £500 to the NEU Save the Children fundraising appeal at the following link: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/neu-afghanistan



D)   Geffrye Campaign

Islington NEU

1. Congratulates the Colston 4 on their victory in the law courts, following the over-turning of the statue of slave trader Edward Colston.

2. Re-iterates its support for the ongoing campaign supported by Diane Abbott MP, local councillors, Hackney Stand Up To Racism and others for the re-siting of the statue of slave trader Robert Geffrye at the Musuem of the Home

3. Notes the forthcoming publication of a pamphlet from the Caribbean Labour solidarity, giving a detailed historical account of Geffrye’s career and activities, including his involvement in the slave trade and agrees to purchase copies of the pamphlet for distribution to school groups.

E) A Memorial in Barking Town Square to those who died from exposure to Asbestos

 Islington NEU notes that Barking and Dagenham Trades Council is seeking financial support to renew and replace the existing memorial to those workers who died from exposure to Asbestos, which has fallen into disrepair.

We therefore agree to donate £250 towards the fund.


General Meeting 6th October 2021

posted 7 Oct 2021, 03:25 by NEU Secretary

 Islington Officer and Committee Vacancies

The following nominations were received and agreed unanimously

Assistant Secretary – Pippa Dowswell

Health & Safety Officer – Pippa Dowswell

Equalities Office – Lee Laudat Scott


Motion on UCU Strike Action

  • Islington NEU agrees to send a message of support and solidarity to our UCU colleagues at City and Islington College currently taking strike action over their pay and working conditions.
  • We deplore the 30% cut in the real value of college lecturers pay since 2010 and the £9,000 gap between their salaries and comparable teachers’ ones over a period when the rich have been getting a lot richer and continuing to avoid paying tax on their exorbitant income and wealth.

We agree to donate £500 to their strike hardship fund.

 

Motion on Pay and Funding

This District notes:

  1. The 1.5% pay rise for support staff alongside a pay freeze for teachers, whose pay has been cut by 15% cut between 2010 and 2021
  2. Current RPI is over 3%, so this represents real terms cut in pay
  3. The imposition of a 1.25% increase in National Insurance contributions, which will further cut educators’ pay
  4. The Institute for Fiscal Studies showed that funding per pupil is lower than in 2009, and this will be further worsened by the non-funding of the employers’ NI contribution and the change in date for awarding the Pupil Premium, which penalises schools in poorer areas
  5. The inadequate nature of the funding allocated for post-Covid recovery, as compared, for example, to the US or The Netherlands
  6. The chronic unaffordability of housing for all school staff in London.
  7. That pay is being held back across the public sector, including the NHS, while the government continues to underfund education and the NHS and other public services
  8. The government is making a deliberate choice about its spending and tax priorities – the money is there!

This District believes:

  1. That a realistic threat of national strike action must be part of an effective campaign and that to win a national ballot a sustained and high-profile campaign is necessary
  2. That the union needs to campaign at local and national level to address the parameters the government sets to the STRB, rather than waiting for its report
  3. That this would mean aiming for a ballot early in the summer term 2022.

This District urges the executive to launch a pay and funding campaign that:

  1. Works alongside other unions that represent school support staff as far as possible.
  2. Works with unions across the public sector wherever possible.
  3. Makes the following demands:

·       for a substantial and above inflation pay rise for all school staff, that begins to address the cut in pay experienced over the last 10 years

·       for a minimum flat rate uplift of £2000 for support staff.

·       that any pay increases must be fully funded

·       for an increase in London weighting aligned to housing costs.

4        Works to build our campaigning so as to meet thresholds that enable us to take strike action, and to move towards an indicative ballot and subsequently a national ballot for strike action

5        Works with parents and other organisations to build a national campaign over school funding

This District resolves:

(a)    Work other London NEU branches, along with Trades Councils and NHS unions and others across London with a view to setting up a joint union rallies on public sector pay

(b)   Campaign among the members, through organising meetings in every school, publicising and explaining our claim

(c)    Produce a petition, badges and other material to build the campaign

(d)   To organise a comprehensive check of membership details

(e)   To work with parents and other organisations to link our campaign for increased pay with the fight for increased funding

 

Motion on Climate Change

Islington NEU Notes

We are hitting possibly irreversible climate tipping points.

1.Human-caused climate breakdown is leading to and exacerbating extreme weather events across the globe: heat waves, wildfires, floods and hurricanes, and loss of biodiversity.

2. The latest IPCC Special Report has warned of the dire consequences of exceeding 1.5ºC global average warming and that a societal transformation would be needed to avoid this, including halving global carbon emissions by 2030; nevertheless, global emissions have continued to rise.

3. The climate crisis is a social justice issue, with those who have done least to cause the crisis and who are least able to address it facing the worst impacts. We need to mobilise for a just transition which protects and improves workers’ livelihoods, creates a more inclusive society and stops greenhouse gas emissions.

4. Wealthy, industrialised countries , which are responsible for 92% of historic emissions, have a responsibility to make the greatest and fastest emissions reductions; that the UK's target of net zero by 2050 is insufficient to avoid global temperatures rising above 1.5ºC, and that the UK is failing to implement policies to meet even this target.

5. We also face a global and UK crisis of unemployment; that tackling the Covid-19 pandemic represents an ideal opportunity to invest in climate jobs, in a just transition and a fairer society; and that the global response to this opportunity has been wholly inadequate.

6. We are educating our children for an unsustainable society.

7. The COP26 conference is a moment of vulnerability for the government - as it wants to pose as a "global leader" when it is nothing of the sort, which makes this term a period in which the maximum pressure can and must be applied.

8. The UN COP26 negotiations in Glasgow in November 2021 are crucial for the success of global plans to limit response to climate change; yet the UK government continues to back false solutions like carbon markets and block the transformational changes which are necessary.

9 The COP26 conference is a moment of vulnerability for the government - as it wants to pose as a "global leader" when it is nothing of the sort

This makes this term a period in which the maximum pressure can and must be applied for a green recovery and just transition,

 

Believes:

1. That trade unions can play a key role in the COP26 coalition in which UK civil society has been organising as part of the wider global climate justice movement.

2. Entrenching this issue in schools, LAs and MATs is an essential part of the national campaign to transform the curriculum and society.

 

Resolves that this his term we will

  1. approach the LA to formally support Lets Go Zero 2030,
  2. encourage all schools to have a staff meeting INSET running up to or during the COP using the UK schools sustainability network online film,
  3. encourage as many schools/colleges as possible to put on a climate themed learning week during November, noting that this has been formally approved by the DFE
  4. set up co-ordinating groups for schools engaged in any climate related initiative, and make sure there is union input to it
  5. hold a discussion in all school union groups possible using the 4 minute slot in the eco network film featuring Kevin Courtney to initiate a CEPOW discussion with school management and discuss together ways to raise the issue as widely as possible in their school in addition to the climate themed learning week e.g. assemblies, a banner to display outside, Global awareness teaching day on Nov 5th, 26 minute rally at lunchtime outside school etc
  6. Mobilise our members for the trade union bloc on the COP26 Coalition demonstration in London and online actions on Nov 5th and 6th and ensure that all staff in schools in the borough receive leaflets advertising the demonstration.
  7. To join donate £100 to the COP 26 London organising hub and £100 to the Greener Jobs Alliance.
  8. To send this motion to NEU London Region and National Executive members.

 

Motion on assistance for the Palestine children’s relief fund and Care for Calais

Islington NEU notes:

That we are currently in a comfortable financial position as a result of the lack of face to face meetings last year and national conference being online.

That the human suffering in Palestine has been exacerbated by the pandemic, with more Palestinians and their children requiring medical help and health professionals having to work harder than ever with limited resources.

That some families in Palestine are struggling to provide the basics for their children’s education.

That the office of the Palestine Children’s relief fund was destroyed in an air strike

That the coup by the Taliban in Afghanistan will increase the number of refugees who end up in Calais, increasing their need for food and clothing.

That as winter approaches the conditions in the refugee camps in Calais will become difficult to live in and that there are likely to be an increase in the number of families with children arriving there over the next few months

That the pandemic has made it harder for charities to gain the necessary funds to support their vital work and that this is particularly true for the smaller charities.

Islington NEU believes:

That some of our accumulated funds should be used to help people who are struggling in other parts of the world

Islington NEU resolves:

To donate £250 to the Palestine Children’s relief fund

To donate £250 to Care for Calais

Deputy General Secretary Hustings 9th September 2021

posted 10 Sept 2021, 03:59 by NEU Secretary   [ updated 10 Sept 2021, 04:00 ]


Islington NEU agreed to nominate Gawain Little in the election for Deputy General Secretary

General Meeting 30th June 2021

posted 1 Jul 2021, 23:50 by NEU Secretary

A) Museum of the Home (Geffrye Must Fall)

 

Islington NEU reiterates its  support for the ‘Geffrye Must Fall’ Campaign and notes:


1.      The Museum of the Home (formerly the Geffrye Museum), under pressure from the government, has ignored the public consultation which voted by over 70% for the statue of slave trader Robert Geffrye to be removed from the front of the building.

2.      The removal of the statue from the front is not an attempt to wipe out our history, but to place it in the context of racism and slavery

3.      The continuing need for decolonising the curriculum

4.      The campaign for its removal has widespread backing from different organisations and individuals including local Hackney MP Diane Abbott, Hackney LP, many Hackney councillors, Hackney SUTR and others

5.      Many black parents and campaigners have stated they do not want their children to visit the museum while they have to pass under the statue  

6.      That the museum is not far from Hackney’s border with Islington and for many years has been visited by Islington school groups usually without being aware of the murderous record of the racist man who’s statue they have to pass beneath to enter the building.

 

Islington NEU notes the protests that took place on 12th June, the day of the museum’s re-opening, and agrees:

a.       To continue to support protests organised by Geffrye Must Fall

b.      To continue to call upon the museum to remove the statue to a more appropriate place, where it can be used for genuine educational purposes

c.       To urge schools, children’s and young people’s groups to boycott the museum and organise no trips there until the statue is removed from the front.

d.      To call on Islington Council to support the campaign to take  down the statue and to discourage schools from taking children to the museum until this has happened.

 

B) Special Leave Policy – Making Eid a paid authorised absence for teachers in Islington schools.

Islington NEU notes: 

  • The Special Leave model policy circulated and recommended by Islington Local Authority to schools includes 1 day unpaid leave for Religious Observance. 
  • That this is significantly different to the policies of many of our surrounding boroughs which recommend that such leave is paid  
  • That in many Islington schools Headteachers have traditionally used their right of discretion to allow the leave to be taken as authorised paid leave but in an increasing number this is no longer the case. 
  • That in many Islington schools the significant number of pupils given authorised absence for Eid means that there are no ‘cover’ costs for schools when teachers take leave on these days.

 

 Islington NEU believes that: 

  • As a matter of religious equality the Muslim holidays of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al- Adha should be paid authorised absences in line with the ample holiday given around the Christian festivals. 
  • That consideration should also be given to significant holidays in other faiths that fall within term time. 
  • Members should not be made to feel that religious observation is now viewed in the same way as moving houses or attending weddings. 
  •  

 We resolve to: 

  • Seek Regional Office support in obtaining comparative data for how leave for religious observance is treated in other local authorities 
  •  Seek to change the Islington model policy so that it reflects the views expressed above.
  •  To survey members on this issue with a view to seeking support from the National Action committee if members wish. 

 


General Meeting 19th May 2021

posted 20 May 2021, 06:30 by NEU Secretary   [ updated 20 May 2021, 06:33 ]


1.         Islington Officer and Committee Vacancies

 It was agreed that Paddy de Clair and Michael Delaney would join the Committee

 

2.         Motions submitted by Members

 

A) Solidarity with Leaways NEU - Stop union busting in Kedleston Group

 

This branch notes:

1. Leaways is a privately-run specialist secondary education provision in Hackney for young people with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs.

2. Nearly 90 pupils attend Leaways and local authorities pay the company, Kedleston, over £53,000 per pupil.

3. The NEU group at Leaways is currently in dispute with their employer and have taken over 20 days of strike action, with future dates planned.

4. In late 2020, NEU members walked out for the first time over increased class sizes and management’s refusal to implement the full 2.75 per cent national pay award. The NEU also pointed to the absence of a pay progression structure and a cap of just seven days for occupational sick pay even midst the pandemic.

5. The NEU group also has serious concerns about the treatment of students, including poor heating and ventilation of the school building, the absence of outdoor play space, and the management’s failure to provide relevant therapies for students, and so meet statutory requirements.

6. In response, Kedleston has sacked the school’s NEU rep and disciplined other members of staff.

7. Ultimate ownership of the school is with an offshore fund based in a tax haven in Jersey, presumably to avoid tax on profits.

8. The owners of the Kedleston Group, the Brosnan family of financiers, have also been involved in other scandals. They featured in a BBC Panorama documentary showing patients being slapped and restrained under chairs at Winterbourne View, a Bristol care home. Another family-owned firm was involved in the death of a 2-year old at one of its nurseries.

9. Islington Council sends pupils to Leaways School.

This branch believes that:

1. The Leaways dispute highlights the concerning emergence of the for-profit sector as central to the education and care of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and/or who have been excluded from school. The pattern mirrors developments in residential care with offshore private equity profits subsidised by the public funding.

2. The services provided by outfits like Kedleston can and should be provided better and cheaper in the public sector.

3. The case of Leaways also underscores the need for a national campaign opposing central government’s chronic underfunding of SEND/SEMH provision.

4. It is a basic right to join or organise a union, and it isinappropriate that any public money is provided to an employer that tries to ban or bust unions. Islington Council should examine its relationship with Leaways as a matter of urgency.

5. Local councils should ensure that the needs of young people with SEND can be met within the public sector local family of schools. There is no place for profit-making in education, and we support the demand for a ‘good local school for EVERY child’.

6. Islington Council needs to hold Kedleston to account for how it is using public money, making sure its listens to staff and put pupils first.

Therefore, this branch resolves to:

1. Send a message of congratulations from our branch to the NEU group at Leaways following their successful struggle.

2. Write to Islington councillors and council officers and demand an increase publicly provided school places for young people with SEND in Islington schools.

References https://www.hackneygazette.co.uk/news/george-binette-explains-the-leaways-school-dispute-7890836 https://www.dianeabbott.org.uk/news/articles/item1708 https://actionnetwork.org/letters/stop-union-busting-in-kedleston-group

 

B) Solidarity with workers at SAGE Nursing Home

 

As discussed in our last branch meeting, this branch resolves to donate £300 to the United Voices of the World union strike fund.

https://www.uvwunion.org.uk/en/news/2021/04/sage-nursing-home-workers-vote-for-a-voice-at-work-and-strike-action/

 

B2) Emergency Motion on Palestine

 

 

Islington NEU notes:

The 73rd anniversary of the Nakba - or catastrophe in 1948, where many Palestinians living in the territory that became Israel were evicted from their homes and lands

The continuing 54 year repressive Israeli occupation of the West Bank (and de facto of the Gaza strip) and the continued extension of illegal settlements on this land.

Over the past week Israeli forces and armed settlers have attacked Palestinians who are refusing to be forcibly uprooted from their homes, stormed the Al-Aqsa mosque during Ramadan prayers, and beaten and arrested people indiscriminately.

In response to crude rocket fire from the Gaza strip protesting the treatment of their fellow Palestinian, Israel has launched bombs into Gaza killing a large number of people, including many children.

Israel's failure to meet its obligation to provide vaccinations against Covid to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza

The mass demonstrations in London (and other areas) against Israeli oppression of the Palestinians

Islington NEU believes:

That Israeli government policy towards the Palestinian people reflects a discriminatory racist and colonialist mentality, and it amounts to ethnic cleansing.

We resolve to:

Support and publicise events organised by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign and Stop the War against the bombings

To ask local MP's to raise the current Israeli evictions, bombings and treatment of Palestinians in relation to the diplomatic, military and economic support of the UK government

To write to the Foreign Secretary demanding that the UK government end all arms sales to Israel and bans the importation of goods produced in the occupied West Bank.

 

C) Medical Aid for Palestine

Islington NEU agrees to affiliate to MAP’s campaigns in support of Palestinian health workers and for the removal of barriers to health faced by Palestinians living under occupation and as refugees. (£50). We also agree to donate a further £250

We note that MAP supports Palestinians affected by occupation, conflict and displacement by working with local partners on the ground to provide essential healthcare services and supplies. It also campaigns in the UK and internationally for meaningful action to address the political barriers to Palestinians’ rights to health and dignity.

We recognise that MAP opposes racism in all its forms, including anti – Muslim hatred, antisemitism and xenophobia, and any form of discrimination whether based on race, religion, nationality, race, gender, sex, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.


D) Justice for Colombia

Islington NEU notes that:

Colombia is the most dangerous place in the world to be a trade unionist. Every year numerous union leaders, union activists and union members are assassinated – simply because of their trade union activities. Over 3,000 trade unionists have been murdered since the mid-1980s, and nobody has been brought to justice in almost 90% of the cases.

Most of the killings are carried out by right wing paramilitaries with historic links to the Colombian state. The Colombian security forces have also been directly responsible for many of the killings.

Colombia also has some of the worst workers’ rights in the world. A 2017 report by the ITUC gave Colombia the second worst possible ranking and placed it amongst the 10 worst countries in the world to be a worker.

We agree to affiliate to the Justice for Colombia campaign (£90) and agree to donate a further a £150.

Justice for Colombia was set up in 2002 by the British trade union movement to support Colombian civil society in its struggle for human rights, labour rights, peace and social justice.

All JFC work is carried out in response to the demands of partners in Colombia: the political activists, trade unionists, peasant organisations, human rights defenders, and other civil society groups who are on the front line in demanding peace and social justice.

JFC promotes links of solidarity between British and Irish trade unions and organisations in Colombia and gives a political voice internationally to Colombian civil society through our work in the British, Irish and EU Parliaments.

Its objectives are to

·         Raise awareness of the situation for Colombian trade unionists in both Britain and Ireland.

·         Build links between Colombian trade unionists and trade unionists in Britain and Ireland.

·         Denounce trade union abuses in the British Parliament.


E) For a mass campaign to resist the police crackdown bill (the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill)

This branch notes:

- That the Tory government is currently attempting to pass legislation - the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill - that hugely increases police powers and severely curtails the right to protest and picket in this country.

- That this bill allows police forces to criminalise any protest, picket or gathering they deem a “public nuisance” - a deliberately broad definition that gives the police discretion to break up events and arrest people at protests as they see fit.

- That this bill will also lead to further criminalisation of GRT (Gypsy, Roma, Traveller) communities through the updating of trespass from civil to criminal breach of law, leading to increased evictions, property seizure, family separations and incarceration of GRT people.

- That this bill will increase forms of police harassment and abuse, such as the justifications and scope of stop and search powers that are disproportionately wielded against Black people.

- That this bill will provide the legal mechanism for the rebranding of Youth Offending Institutions as “Secure Schools,” under the MoJ not the DoE, and incentivise charities to run these.

- That this bill ensures that actions of police officers are above the law during police car pursuit chases due to its amending of the 1998 Road Traffic Act.

- That this bill will needlessly increase surveillance powers, such as gaining access to electronic devices and holding people to obtain DNA or fingerprints.

- That this bill will extend the PREVENT duty, which already disproportionately targets those racialised as Muslim thus making educational institutions domains of surveillance, stress and threat for them, so as to increasingly also target Black young people.

- That this bill will increase the length and reach of criminal sentences, with longer sentences, minimum sentencing increased and mandatory, younger people eligible for whole life sentences, parole boards empowered to deny parole, and more; all of which will likely be used as ways of filling the 10,000 new prison places to emerge from the currently under-construction mega prisons.

- That an amendment put forward by a Labour Party MP seeks to introduce the Nordic Model of sex work and criminalise certain online platforms used by sex workers, which would lead to the backdoor criminalisation of sex work and would deeply exacerbate the dangers of sex work without offering any meaningful support to survive or exit the industry if needed.

- That there are both historic and contemporary examples of employers using police against legitimate pickets, undercover police within the trade union movement, and retrospective arrest and incarceration of trade union organisers to intimidate, undermine and quash trade union activities.

- That, given this, extending police powers will almost certainly lead to such tactics becoming widespread amongst employers who want to subdue union organisation and industrial action, alongside causing increased jeopardy to our Black, GRT and sex working comrades.

- That the government is likely to make concessions with this bill in an attempt to demobilise the movement.

- That to allow any form of this bill to pass and be enforced would be to abdicate responsibility towards and solidarity with Black, GRT and sex industry workers and non-workers.

This branch also notes:

- That protests against this bill have been met with severe police repression and widespread media coverage of police propaganda.

- That many attendees, legal observers, medics, and even representatives of the press have been attacked and injured at these protests, often without any provocation whatsoever, by police officers.

- That this violence from the police is in no way comparable to the supposed disorder that they were allegedly responding to.

- That the police have historically acted to break-up trade union activities with similar displays of force, such as at Orgreave and Wapping.

- That such displays of force are a regular occurrence against Black communities, GRT communities and sex workers and, as such, these parallels serve as reminders of what we have in common across movements, communities and industries.

This branch resolves:

- To publicly support the national Kill the Bill coalition by signing this statement: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdxxoAcut2Z3BXU1qeiE824MCXHk7TKlFCDSfgbBoV1AuQ18Q/viewform and contributing to national meetings, strategy and actions.

- To donate £100 to the national Kill the Bill coalition or founding groups.

- To commit to resisting this bill in its entirety in solidarity with the wider trade union movement, GRT communities, racialised people, and sex workers, who are all

disproportionately targeted by police powers already and face an intensification of such with this bill.

- To contribute to local organising efforts for the national Kill the Bill coalition via branch representatives, funds, information, networks, signposting, and more.

- To mobilise for any “Kill the Bill” actions organised by the local branch of the national coalition or by other local activists, including organising a delegation to attend these demonstrations.

- To stand in solidarity with other Kill the Bill actions and activists, regardless of whether the tactics they employ are commensurate with traditional trade union actions or tactics.

- To develop political education around policing, prisons, anti-racism, GRT lives, and sex worker politics in our branch and across our union in service of building solidarity across communities and a mass movement against this bill.

- To develop political understanding of trade unions, their history, and the purpose of industrial action in the wider non-trade union elements of the Kill the Bill movement, thus building and diversifying the trade union movement’s membership, politics, strategies, solidarities and strengths.

- To take our branch banner on any and all demonstrations we decide to attend.

- To instruct our union to take up such organisation nationally in order to render this bill unenforceable and defeat it before it passes, or make it ungovernable through direct action.

- To call upon our union to go to the TUC with a demand for a national mass campaign across all affiliated unions to oppose and defeat this bill in its entirety, regardless of any concessions the government might make.

- To call upon our union to put pressure on the Labour Party to come out strongly against this bill and its amendments, and to resist any increase of police powers or restriction on the right to protest or picket.

- To link this struggle with that of other workers, unions and community groups, by calling for a mass campaign across the labour movement and beyond - including building towards coordinated strike action - to bring down this Tory government.


 

 

Annual General Meeting 24th March 2021

posted 25 Mar 2021, 03:01 by NEU Secretary   [ updated 25 Mar 2021, 03:01 ]


1.     Installation of New President -Krystell Lopez 

2.    Islington Officer Elections

The following nominations have been received and these were agreed by the meeting  

·         Secretary (District and State Branch) – Tony Buttifint

·         Vice President (District and State Branch) – Terry Sullivan

·         Equalities – Krystell Lopez

·         Young Teacher – Sarah Asamoah

·         International Solidarity – Dave Rosenberg

·         Post 16 Section – Pippa Dowswell

·         Press and Publicity – Ken Muller

·         Committee Member – Sean Doherty

3.     2021/22 Local Subscription Fee

    Due to savings made during the pandemic it is proposed that this is reduced from 11% to 5% of the National Fee

4.     Motions submitted by Members

A)   Golders Green Sage Care Home Workers

Islington NEU congratulates the Golders Green Sage care home workers on their campaign of strike action to win recognition for their union, UVW, and an increase in their current hourly rate of pay of just over £8 to £12.

Their courage and determination to win respect from their bosses and a real living wage is an inspiration to all of us fighting to put people before profits.

We agree to donate £100 to the Sage care home workers strike hardship fund.

B)   National Education Museum

Islington District agrees to become a Founder Patron of the National Education Museum with a donation of £2500.

Details of the proposed Museum can be found at nationaleducationmuseum.uk

C) Police and Crimes Bill 

Islington NEU notes the attack by the Metropolitan police on March13th on the vigil mourning the murder of Sarah Everard at Clapham Common. We further note that the man charged with Sarah’s murder is a serving member of the Metropolitan Police.

We welcome both the statements from our joint General Secretaries and members of the NEU executive condemning the attack and re-affirming the rights of women to be able to live their lives safely and free from any form of abuse and attack.

We further note the draconian provisions in the Police and Crimes Bill and its blatant attempt to curtail the right to protest.

We agree to work with other local organisations including the Trades Council, Islington Stand Up To Racism, CLPs and local community and environmental organisations to build maximum opposition to this dangerous piece of legislation. To this end we support the calling of the broadest-based representative meeting to galvanise local support and engage with national campaigns pursuing the same objectives.


General Meeting - 4th February 2021

posted 5 Feb 2021, 07:06 by NEU Secretary   [ updated 5 Feb 2021, 07:06 ]


Local Officer Elections

Terry Sullivan was elected as a member of the Islington committee

Nominations for National Executive 2021-2023

The following candidates were nominated

Inner London Executive Seat

·         Jess Edwards  

·         Abdul Choudhury 

·         Alex Kenny 

·         Ruth Gibson

    Equality and Sector Seats  

·         Black Members - Vic Chechi Ribeiro

·         LGBT+ - Kacey de Groot

·         Disabled - Colleen Johnson

·         Post 16 - Duncan Blackie

·         Support Staff - Trish Fay

4.    Prioritisation of Motions for National Conference 2021

the following motions were prioritised

  • 31 - Black Lives Matter  
  • 16- Covid- 19 and Workload 
  • 39 - Combating Climate Breakdown 
  • 9 - Pay Freeze  
  • 3 - GCSE and A levels  
  • 40 – Exclusions 

Motions submitted by Members

A)     United Nations – Anti-Racism Day (March 20th) and Stand Up to Racism – Trade Union Conference (February 27th)

NEU Islington notes:

(1) The Covid-19 pandemic has led to starkly disproportionate BAME deaths.

(2) This, and the inspiring #BlacklivesMatter movement in the wake of the racist murder of George Floyd by police, has exposed on a mass scale the deeply institutionalised racism in society.

(3) Meanwhile, Boris Johnson’s government have turned in moments of crisis to an intensification of the racist scapegoating of refugees and migrants

NEU Islington believes:

(1) Our trade unions are critical in organising the mass anti-racist movement we need to challenge every instance of racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism, and opposing the threat posed by divisive racist in our communities and workplaces, the far right, and fascism.

NEU Islington resolves:

(1) To support the Stand Up To Racism–TUC backed national day of action for United Nations Anti-Racism Day on Saturday 20th March.

(2) To co-host our local events with SUTR, add our logo to promotional materials and make a donation of £200 to help fund the day.

(3) To support the Stand Up To Racism TUC backed Trade Union Conference (on-line) ‘Fighting for antiracists workplaces’ – on Saturday 27th February and to send at least 2 delegates


 

1-10 of 15