General Meeting 11/02/2010

posted 8 May 2010, 02:15 by Unknown user   [ updated 30 Jun 2010, 12:17 ]
Motion on young teachers

This association notes that young teachers often come out of university and teacher training with high debt levels and are and are facing continued financial hardship caused by the high cost of living in London. The high cost of living is a decisive factor causing young teachers to move away from London or to leave teaching in search of a more highly paid career.

This association believes that:

1.        The cost of travel in London is so expensive as to be completely unreasonable. London teachers spend a significant amount of their wages on travel. 

 

2.        House prices and rents in London remain high despite the recession. This means that young teachers are unable to find suitable accommodation, often living with their parents or in shared accommodation. The key worker living scheme made some difference to this and allowed young teachers to gain a step on the housing ladder. However, this scheme has got less attractive each year and there is no longer funding available for home purchase on the open market.

3.        The current London Allowance discriminates against young teachers who, at the bottom of the pay scale, receive lower levels of London Allowance than those on the Upper Pay Scale.

This association calls for a London wide campaign that demands:

1.   Free travel cards to be issued to London teachers in line with the police service.

2.   The reestablishment of the initial key worker living scheme in London which saw teachers able to obtain equity loans of up to £100,000 in order to purchase a home.

3.        To bring London Allowance levels up to the level of those teachers on the Upper Pay Scale.

 

4.       Amendments to motions to national Conference. The following amendments were adopted :

 

Motion 22 (i)              The economic crisis.                       .

Replace existing point 4 with:

In Britain, unemployment continues to remain at 2.5 million with a further 1 million unable to find full-time work.  Despite being the most well educated generation ever, employment prospects for young people continue to decline, with  1 million 16-24 year olds now categorised as NEET and many more graduates  unable to find employment commensurable  with their qualifications, or being forced to  take unpaid ‘internships’.

In point f:

 

add new iv) and re number

Extending  job creation schemes for unemployed young people so as to provide permanent opportunities with training for all those who want them. Ensuring there are enough university places for all those who apply.

 

Motion 22 (ii)             The Economic Crisis

Add at end:

Conference notes that recent court rulings against UNITE in the BA cabin dispute, and the RMT in a dispute with London Underground, have highlighted the restrictive nature of the anti-trade union laws first brought in by the Tory government led by Margaret Thatcher.

Conference instructs the Executive to:
i) reaffirm the Union's opposition the anti-trade union laws;

ii) reaffirm the Union's affiliation to the United Campaign for the Repeal of the Trade Union Laws;

iii) work with other unions in developing publicity highlighting the restrictive nature of these laws and to consider submitting a motion to the TUC Congress on this subject.

 

Motion 34       Academies

.After “Conference notes that”:

 

Delete Point 4 and replace with:

“Tory Party spokespersons have talked about putting ‘rocket boosters’ under the academies programme and to create primary academies. Their draft manifesto suggests they will create 220,000 new schools places in order to create a ‘supply side revolution’. This will allow academy chains and other organisations such as the New Schools Network to set up new schools on the basis of ‘parental demand’.”

 

Insert new point 5 and re -number

“In addition to the ‘new or ‘free’ school approach, some on the Tory right are pushing for the introduction of vouchers and for profit schooling based on the “Swedish model”. This would represent a radical extension of privatisation and deregulation threatening the coherence of a national state education system.”

 

Delete point 8 and replace with: 

“that the CO-OP – a labour movement organisation- is increasingly involved in promoting trust schools and academies. These can appear as a progressive alternative to academies run by business, but, however favourable the terms of the CO-OP Trusts, they remain unacceptable because they are part of the deregulation and privatisation of the democratically accountable system of local authority schools.”

 

 

After “Conference believes that”:

 

Insert new point c and renumber

“Tory plans for a radical extension of the market in education pose a fundamental threat to equality and social cohesion in society.”

 

After “Conference instructs the executive to”

 

Insert new ii) and renumber

ii) to support the AAA national ‘road show’ to debate and educate parents about the expansion privatisation by encouraging local divisions to seek new alliances and help organise support for local meetings and events. 

 

Motion 35       SATS & Assessment

Insert new sentence before “Conference resolves to”:
 
‘Conference believes that Assessment should only be for the purposes of learning and that any attempts to use Assessment for any other reason invariably leads to an increased workload for teachers.’  
 
Insert new action points after c and re-letter:
 
‘d.  re-iterate the Union’s stance that Assessment should only be for learning;
 
e.   publish guidance which makes it explicit that any instructions to record evidence as part of APP will lead to an increased workload and should become part of a workload campaign.’

52                    Fighting Racism and Fascism

Add to point 2 after “English Defence League”:

“and Welsh Defence League”

Add at end of point 3:

The attacks on local shops, cars and mosques in areas where the EDL and/or the WDL are active

Insert new paragraphs 6 and 7:

Conference notes with concern the increased levels of hostility and hysteria towards immigrants, asylum seekers and travellers in our society, as reflected within both mainstream politics and in the mass media, and which feeds the racism on which organisations such as the BNP thrive.

Conference notes the huge contribution immigrants have made to our society, and to our schools.

Add new points after Conference instructs the Executive:

(vii) Continue to support teachers and other members of school communities who are threatened under immigration law – for example by threat of deportation

(viii) Encourage divisions and associations to oppose stereotyping of immigrants and asylum seekers, and to promote balanced discussion of such issues

(ix) Work with relevant organisations to produce an education pack on immigration and asylum which promotes an informed debate and can be used in Citizenship and other lessons.

(x) Encourage Associations and Divisions  to encourage members to oppose marches and other activities organized by the EDL and/or the WDL.

 Motion 71       Defending Our Pensions

 nsert after 4th paragraph ending ‘….into poverty in old age.’

 

‘Conference recognises that the current inadequate state pension results in poverty for the majority of pensioners, particularly women.’

 

Add new 5 and renumber:

‘campaign alongside the TUC and the National Pensioners Convention for an increase in the state pension to £140 per week and thereafter for it to be linked to earnings or prices, whichever is the higher.’


Emergency motion on SATs.

 While recognising that the NAHT’s decision to hold a consultation exercise this term on boycotting SATs instead of a formal action ballot is unhelpful, Islington Teachers Association regrets the subsequent decision of the NUT NEC to follow suit and only hold only an indicative ballot of primary members this term.

ITA therefore calls on the Executive to reconsider its decision at its meeting
of October 8th and to begin the process for an action ballot of all members
as soon as possible.

We believe that it is important that any retreat by the leaderships of the NAHT and NUT is not allowed to undermine the momentum of the anti-SATs campaign.

We welcome, therefore, the commitment by the NUT NEC to step up the publicity campaign against SATs and in favour of alternative, educationally valid, forms of assessment.

The aim of this publicity campaign should aim to convince:

·        parents  that SATs are not good for their children

·        the government that a continuation of SATs testing will lose them votes in the forthcoming general election

·        our members that they should vote in large numbers for a boycott of the tests in  whatever ballot  is held.

For our part, ITA agrees:

1.       To work to ensure that our public meeting against SATs on 15 October, with Mike Rosen speaking, is a big success.

2.       To continue to leaflet and petition parents about SATs both in the high street and outside school gates.

3.       To encourage members in primary school to hold meetings to discuss boycotting SATs and to invite outside speakers, who will often be branch officers to speak to them about why we think a boycott is likely to be the most effective way of achieving our objectives.

4.       To organise a lobby of our local MPs’ surgeries to seek their support for the early abolition of SATs  testing.

We call on the NEC:

·        to urgently produce and distribute to divisions and school groups large quantities of attractive, popular and accessible anti-SATS publicity material

·        to prioritise visiting schools an local general meetings with a view to convincing members to vote YES in the indicative ballot

·        assuming a positive indicative ballot result, to move quickly (i.e. at the beginning of the spring term)  to a formal ballot for boycotting  SATs, alongside the NAHT if possible, but without them if necessary.

 

5.       Motion on Climate Change.

Climate Change resolution

Islington NUT recognises that, at the Copenhagen conference

·         “..instead of committing to deep cuts in emissions and putting new public money on the table to help solve the climate crisis, rich countries have bullied developing countries to accept far less. Those most responsible for putting the planet in this mess have not shown the guts required to fix it.”

      Nnimmo Brasso (Friends of the Earth international)

and that

·         “even if non-binding pledges made at Copenhagen are completely fulfilled, there is a 1.5 C gap leading to unavoidable impacts. The funding for adaptation covers impacts up to about 1.5C, and the mitigation pledges to cut climate change down to about 3C at the most…leaving 1.5C not avoided.”

Martin Parry Imperial College

We further recognise that this is setting humanity up for a series of catastrophes that will steadily intensify through the lives of the children we now teach.

In this context and, given the urgency of immediate action, we

Welcome the appeal made by Bolivian President Evo Morales for an alternative summit in April to generate a more coherent global movement to force action (Edited text below, full statement available at http://cmpcc. org/ ) and call for the NUT to send representatives

1.       Commit ourselves to working with FOE, Greenpeace, Campaign Against Climate Change

2.       Welcome Islington’s decision to sign up to 10:10 and call for all schools to do like wise; we will examine LBI’s three year plan for CO2 reduction when it is produced in February and report back to members

3.      Commit ourselves to working with the Islington sustainable schools network and extend its impact beyond the dozen or so schools currently signed up (as schools are responsible for 50% of CO2 emissions from public buildings in Islington).  

Bolivian declaration

Climate change is a real threat to the existence of humanity

·         Those most affected by climate change will be the poorest in the world

·         75% of historical emissions of greenhouse gases originated in the countries of the North

·         The failure of the Copenhagen Conference (was) caused by countries called “developed”, that fail to recognize the climate debt they have with developing countries, future generations and Mother Earth;

·         To ensure the fulfilment of human rights in the twenty-first century, we must recognize and respect Mother Earth’s rights, reaffirm the need to fight for climate justice, recognise the need to restore harmony with nature;

·         Confident that the peoples of the world will be able to save humanity and Mother Earth,

The Government of Bolivia calls on the peoples of the world, and invites scientists, academics, lawyers and governments that want to work with their citizens to the Peoples’ World Conference on Climate Change and Mother Earth’s Rights from 20th to 22nd April 2010 in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

Objectives:

1)    To analyze structural and systemic causes that drive climate change and propose radical measures to ensure the well-being of all humanity in harmony with nature

2)    To discuss and agree on a Universal Declaration of Mother Earth Rights

3)    To agree proposals for new commitments to the Kyoto Protocol and projects for the United Nations Framework for Climate Change that will guide future actions related to: Climate debt, Climate change migrants-refugees, Emission reductions, Adaptation, Technology transfer, Finance, Forest and Climate Change, Shared Vision, Indigenous Peoples.

4)    To organise a Peoples’ World Referendum on Climate Change

5)    To develop an action plan to establish a Climate Justice Tribunal

6)    To define strategies for action and mobilization to defend life from Climate Change and to defend Mother Earth’s Rights.


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