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

 

 


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