General Meeting 26th June 2018

posted 2 Jul 2018, 03:13 by NEU Secretary   [ updated 2 Jul 2018, 03:14 ]


Nominations for NEU National Executive.


Jess Edwards , James Kerr, Alex Kenny


Nomination for Equalities Seat  – Black Members

Daniel Kebede. 

A)  Pay

Islington NEU (NUT section) notes:

1.      The motion on Greater London Pay passed at the National Conference which instructs the executive of the NUT section of the NEU to “Carry out research on costs In London and Fringe areas in order to submit a claim on Inner London, Outer London and Fringe allowances which reflects living costs as part of our national pay claim, in addition to the NEU call for a 5% rise for all teachers.”

2.      The motion also calls on the NEU to seek to work with other unions in raising this demand and demands on the government to control housing costs.

3.      That the formula for London weighting should be set, as it was before 1984, by a Pay Advisory board for London, which researches the differential between living costs in London and elsewhere and sets London weighting on that basis.

4.      That in the period 2010-2017 teachers pay rose by 6.1% whilst London house prices rose on average by 71%.

5.      That the differential between house prices in London and elsewhere in England has risen from around 30% in the 1970s to over 140% today (around 130% for rents).

This association believes:

1.      That one of the guiding principles of our London weighting claim should be that we need a demand for a minimum flat rate that would be applicable to all workers in London, and that we should seek to work with other unions on that basis.

2.      That the recommendation of Donald Hirsch for Trust for London for a minimum of “over £6000” for all London workers in 2016 should be updated and applied.

3.      That negotiation’s on London weighting should include demands to bring down house prices through rent controls and an extension of council house building.

4.      That the NEU should work towards a single London rate and an end to the wide divide between Inner London and Outer London pay that no longer reflects the realities of the London market.

5.      That if the national pay claim is settled without an acceptable increase in London weighting we should be prepared to move as quickly as possible towards London-wide industrial action on the lines of action taken previously in 2002.

This Association resolves:

1.      To send this motion to our exec members and the General Secretary.

2.      To support housing campaigns in the local area and support demands for local housing plans and a London Plan which supports genuinely affordable housing.

3.      To support any school where pressures on living costs have led staff to ballot for action on increasing pay at school level.

B)  30 Years since Section 28

Islington NEU (NUT Section) notes:

1. that 2018 is the anniversary of the passing of Section 28 which set out to ban ' the promotion of homosexuality in schools'.
2. that since its abolition there has been an improvement in the way that LGBT+ issues are dealt with in many schools, yet there are still lots of schools that do not have policies on LGBT+ issues or feature appropriate materials/ resources in their curriculum
3. the growing ability of teachers in our union to give a lead in creating and sharing an array of initiatives to make our schools fit for the 21st century on LGBT+ issues.

This association/ division believes:
1. that it is time to make all our schools LGBT+ friendly and that the NEU should be at the forefront of initiatives that challenge homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.
2. That all teachers can challenge homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.

This association resolves to:

1. support the '30 Years since Section 28 - LGBT+ Education in the 21st Century' event taking place at Hamilton House on Saturday 3rd November 2018.
2. Fund members (£10) who wish to attend the event.


C) Impact of Heathrow expansion on children's health and learning


Islington NEU (NUT Section) notes that:


·         high levels of noise affects children's learning and health

·         aircraft noise affects children’s performance in school and children attending noise exposed schools usually live in noise exposed homes.  

·         aircraft noise exposure outside school hours, especially in the early morning or late at night, will also impact on children’s learning and school performance. 

·         Tasks which involve central processing and language comprehension, such as reading, attention and problem solving and memory, are most affected by exposure to aircraft noise. 

·         Language based tasks are more affected by noise exposure than non-language-based tasks and studies of English tests shows that aircraft noise exposure affects performance.

·         Noise level is also significantly related to mathematical performance. As noise increases performance drops.

·         High levels of aircraft noise will impact on everyday activities such as homework, schoolwork and playing.

·         High noise exposed children have been found to have higher rates of hyperactivity than those exposed to low noise.

·         A South African study found that 68.7% of people residing near the airport presented with hearing loss, compared to 6.5% of those living further away. 

·         Investigation of the influence of high-frequency aircraft noise on the function of the auditory system in school age children confirmed damage to the peripheral cochlear mechanism in the group living close to the airport.

·         Long term aircraft noise exposure has been significantly associated with chronic noise stress, which is significantly associated with hypertension.

·         Since aircraft noise can cause stress in people we would expect to find higher usages of medicines and drugs to alleviate stress and help sleep in aircraft noise exposed neighbourhoods. This has been found to be the case for physician visits for hypertension, psychological and psychosomatic problems and cardiovascular disease and for the prescriptions of medicine drugs.

·         Night-time exposure to aircraft noise is also significantly associated with impairment of recognition memory.

·         An additional 24 schools will suffer from aircraft noise above the maximum levels recommended by the World Health Organisation if a third runway is built. 

·         The national average school size is 220 pupils per primary school and 950 pupils per secondary school, so this would result in somewhere between 5,280 to 22,800 extra children at risk of decreased educational attainment. 

·         Current Government policy expects airport operators to other acoustic insulation to noise sensitive buildings, such as schools and hospitals, exposed to levels of noise of 63 dBA Leq or more, but this is significantly above the onset threshold for impairing memory and learning in children indicated by the RANCH study of 50 dBA Leq. 

·         In 2015 Heathrow Airport finished providing insulation for 42 community buildings (including schools and nursing homes) that were within the 63 dBA Leq noise contour in 2002, at a cost of £4.8 million. Over 460 schools are exposed to aircraft noise from Heathrow Airport above 54 dBA Leq and the vast majority have not received any form of insulation from the airport. 

·         Heathrow expansion would lead to more schools being over own than would be affected without expansion, with an additional 24 schools being newly overflown by a significant number of planes, with a maximum noise level above 70 dBA. 

For all these reasons, and because expansion of airports will make it impossible to sustain essential targets to reduce climate change, we call on 

·  the National Union to oppose Heathrow expansion and issue a statement on the lines of the points above

·  our local MPs to do likewise.

Copies of this resolution will be sent to our London Executive members, our local MPs and letters sent to the local papers.


Unity against the far right

Islington NEU endorses the recent statement (below) on the need for unity against the far right, signed, among others, by our General Secretary, Kevin Courtney.

We reaffirm our support for the 13 July protest against the visit of the racist, misogynistic, homophobic US President Donald Trump and agree to support the counter demonstration called by Stand Up to Racism to the far right demonstration in support of the currently imprisoned fascist Tommy Robinson the next day, on Saturday 14 July.

Statement: We must unite to halt the rise of the far-right

The 15,000 strong violent far right protest to ‘free Tommy Robinson’ on Saturday 9 June has raised major questions for all those who value our diversity.

The racist right—from hardcore Nazis, through the FLA/DFLA to ‘For Britain’ and UKIP—are using Robinson to re-organise. Nazi salutes and Islamophobia were at the centre of the mobilisation.

 This is the first serious attempt since the collapse of the English Defence League (EDL) to develop a racist street movement and give it a political form. It is supported internationally by notorious figures including Geert Wilders from the Dutch Islamophobic right and Steve Bannon, former adviser to Donald Trump.

 It is absolutely vital that all who oppose this come together in a united mass movement powerful enough to drive these new developments on the far-right back.

 Donald Trump has played a major role in galvanising the racist right. When he arrives on 12-14 July we will take to the streets to protest against his racism. And when Robinson’s supporters take to the streets again on 14 July we will protest against them too.

 Wherever the far right’s support grows so does racism and violence. Let's come together to defend our multicultural society from those who spread hatred and division.