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,



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