General Meeting 14th May 2019

posted 21 May 2019, 05:21 by general office   [ updated 21 May 2019, 05:21 by NEU Secretary ]

Motion A)    Climate Change

  Islington NEU recognises that the latest UN report shows that:

 1. Without more rapid action there will be at least a 3 degree temperature rise by 2100;

2. 1 degree rise above pre-industrial levels has already led to increasing fires, hurricanes, floods and droughts;

3. The transition to zero-carbon society to keep below a 1.5 degree increase is the most urgent problem facing humanity and is technically feasible; and

4. The obstacles are entirely political.

 We believe that:

 i. The consequences of failure to act – will be severe for our members, our communities, the children we teach and in the worst case could threaten our survival. 

 ii. This needs immediate Government investment for a qualitative shift within 12 years, including a significant shift in the focus and aims of education.

 iii. The current Government’s market solutions are failing, leading the UK to miss its targets.

 iv. The vote at NEU’s national conference in April to hold a conference about climate change in the autumn, affiliate to Campaign Against Climate Change and support the student climate strikers, is welcome and must be acted on in every association. 

 v. The recent protests and strikes by students and Extinction Rebellion (XR) have been an important step forward in the fight to save our planet. They need our support. A number of NEU associations have already begun to show their solidarity by supporting students, and joining the XR protests.

We welcome

A focus on the DFE during the next student strike on May 24th calling for curriculum change.

The call from the ITUC for June 26 to be a day of workplace action during which union Reps ask their management's what the plan is to make their workplace zero carbon 

We agree to:

 a. Re-affiliate to Campaign Against Climate Change;

 b. Support local and national actions by XR, Campaign Climate Change and other organisations, including sending B&D NEU banner on their marches and actions;

 c. Write to Islington council asking that they join the growing number of councils across the country that have declared a ‘Climate Emergency’; 

and calling for this to be followed up with action whereby Islington oversees, facilitates and encourages a process whereby

  • ·         All schools sign up to be Eco Schools
  • ·         All schools have insets on sustainable development
  • ·         All schools to have a pathway to zero carbon; to comprise both an audit what they can do now to reduce their carbon footprint and a list of things that could be done with the right investment; as well as determining how the current curriculum delivered in the school can be enhanced and supplemented to reflect the centrality of the climate emergency, pending and feeding into a national review.

 d. Support the 24 May Student Climate Strike day of action, and subsequent days of action; drawing on the following ideas:

 In the lead up to the strike

​Hold school meetings to discuss what action members feel they can take.

​Consider holding a ‘Climate Emergency Day’ where the focus of all lessons is on climate     change. 

​Encourage everyone to wear stickers and badges during the week beginning 19 May.

​Invite students to hold assemblies on the climate crisis

​Set up displays

​Incorporate lessons about climate into the curriculum

​Letter writing to the government.

​Make posters

​Invite speakers from Campaign Against Climate Change, Friends of the Earth and XR groups into school

On the day of the strike

​Take the maximum action that members are confident to take.

​Short of strike action you stand outside the school gates together at the start of the school day or at lunch time.

​Stand together in the play ground at break and lunch. Hold hands or posters.

​Take group selfies supporting the students or demanding we teach about climate

​Discuss forms of protest as part of citizenship


Motion B)    Afilliations

 Islington NEU district notes that as the NUT we affiliated to the following organisations:

·         Islington Trades Council

·         Cuba Solidarity Campaign

·         Palestine Solidarity Campaign

·         Venezuelan Solidarity Campaign

·         Anti Academies Alliance

·         Stand Up to Racism

·         Stop the War Coalition

·         Campaign against Climate Change

·         CND

·         Marx Memorial Library

·         National Pensioners Convention

·         Woodcraft Folk

 We therefore agree to continue with these affiliations.

 We further agree to affiliate to the British Rohingya Campaign


Motion C)     TransformEd Podcast

Islington NEU agrees that:

·  more and more people working in education have not had significant teacher training that furnishes them with ideas on how our education system could be different; nor do they remember a time when things were different; nor do they have the time to reflect on the purpose and methods of their work.

·  in this atmosphere the current educational hegemony sees teachers follow management’s oppressive demands which are driven by narrow data performance targets and performance related pay.

·  a cadre of neoliberal gurus offer school managers simple solutions that fit in neatly with the status quo.

·  progressive ideas in education do not receive enough attention, this despite an appetite for change as indicated by the numbers leaving the profession and corbynmania.

Islington NEU agrees to donate £100 to the London Young Teachers Network to support the starting of a podcast called TransformEd, which will be led by young members in the union with the aims of:

1.      Promoting critical education in schools.

2.      Promoting interest in education policy and support for policies supported by our union.

3.      Increasing union engagement.

4.      Offering counter hegemony to neoliberal intellectualism in education.