General Meeting 27th June 2017

posted 3 Jul 2017, 04:04 by general office

A      General Election Result and Further Cuts Campaign

Islington NUT believes the outcome of the general election shows there is huge backing for social justice and anti-austerity policies in this country. The proposed deal for a minority government supported by the DUP is a deal with a homophobic, anti-choice and bigoted organisation whose views are rejected by the majority of the population in this country and are at odds with the ethos and policies of our union.

 We note the excellent role the NUT played in the election campaign, along with parents’ organisations and others, and believe it played a key role in shaping the campaign against austerity.

 We agree to send a message to Jeremy Corbyn and Emily Thornbury thanking them for putting education at the forefront of their campaigns.

 We further agree to:

1. Congratulate the NUT on the role it played in the campaign with evidence showing large numbers of people changed their voting intentions because of it.

2. Continue working with Fair Funding for All Schools and other parent organisations to encourage more parental involvement in our area and to consider what campaigning activities we can organise this term.

3.Call upon the national union to continue to work to expand the campaign against cuts, and against SATs, and other regressive polices such as the re-introduction of grammar schools.

4. Back action in any school or team threatened by cuts.

5. Support the London demonstration called for Sunday 16th July and encourage all members to attend.

6. Work with sister unions and parent organisations and others to organise a national demonstration against education cuts in the autumn term.

7. Ask the executive to consider taking national strike action in the autumn term alongside or in addition to such a demonstration.

8. We welcome the formation of the Islington Parents fair funding for schools group and agree to support its activities.


 Democratic Unionist Party

Islington NUT is appalled by the proposed deal being arranged between the Tory party and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in order for them to form a minority government.

 We note that the DUP:

  •   has supported the grammar school system, segregation of school students on the basis of religion and the introduction and maintenance of university fees and several of its senior members have supported the introduction of the teaching of creationism in schools alongside or as an alternative to science
  • has long been a staunch opponent of marriage equality and reproductive rights
  • has no policy on climate change and several senior members, including a former minister for the environment have denied the existence of climate change
  • supports investment in a replacement nuclear weapons programme for Trident.
  • maintains the support of and close ties to the para-military organisations the Ulster Defence Association and the Ulster Volunteer Force
  • has supported sectarianism through its support for the the Orange Order and Islamophobia through its association with and support for Pastor James McConnell and his comments that Islam is "heathen," "satanic," and "a doctrine spawned in hell."

We recognise that such views are at odds with the ethos and policies of our union and we firmly oppose them.


Austerity Fight Film

ITA notes that Phil Maxwell, a previous member at C & I, is making a feature length documentary film about campaigns against austerity. The film will be premiered at the East End Film festival in London this year. The film will aim to give a voice to those who are not normally heard including those who are suffering from austerity and are actively campaigning against it. NUT members have been interviewed for the film.

ITA welcomes the Austerity Fight film and agrees to donate £100 towards its production.


Grenfell Fire

Islington NUT believes that the Grenfell Tower fire is not a “failure of the state” (T.May) but a failure of the government and ruling party to take its responsibility for the care and safety of all citizens seriously. In particular they have

  •         discouraged concern for health and safety and sought to deregulate building standards
  •         encouraged a climate where private contractors building or renovating social housing have felt able to cut corners, do shoddy work, use cheap and inadequate materials and bully tenants and service users not to complain about it.
  •         sought to “socially cleanse” central London of anyone unable to afford market rents.
  •        failed so badly at local level in co-ordinating the emergency response that essential support work has had to be carried out by other councils and voluntary groups.

Those elements of the emergency services that they have not managed to cut responded heroically; and communities across London have shown a human solidarity that puts the government to shame.

We support the call for:

  •         empty houses and flats bought as investments and left empty to be Compulsory Purchased by the state and for the surviving former tenants of Grenfell to be rehoused in them at the rents they were paying previously and for this to be seen as a precedent for dealing with housing need.
  •         combustible cladding materials such as that use on Grenfell to be banned immediately and removed with full funding from central government.
  •         all contractors and the TMO to be held accountable for their failures.
  •         all people conducting fire risk assessments to be properly trained.
  •         the public inquiry to fully engage with the tenants and their action group and tenants and their legal representatives to be funded by government
  •         the resignation of all those responsible for this, starting with the  leader of the council and the former Minister for Housing, Gavin Barwell, now the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, for his failure to review fire safety in tower blocks following the recommendations of the report into the Lakanal House fire
  •        all councils to immediately retro fit all tower blocks with sprinklers to be funded by the government
  •         the reversal of cuts to fire service and the stepping up of their fire safety role.
  •         the government to requisition high quality temporary accommodation for those displaced from homes in Kensington and those affected in Camden
  •         an immediate updated of building regulations
  •        meaningful consultation with residents in all social housing.

We  note that there has never been a death by fire in a building fitted with sprinklers and recognise that the government’s plan to downgrade the planning regulations for new schools in England contrary to the advice of the All Party Parliamentary Fire Safety and Rescue Group, the Fire Sector Federation, the Chief Fire Officers Association, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), as well as NUT, so that in the new Building Bulletin
  •         the previous requirement to install sprinklers was made optional
  •         there would no longer any encouragement to use non-combustible cladding
  •         cloakrooms were removed from the list of places that are considered a special fire risk.

was only withdrawn as a result of the outcry arising from this fire.
We further recognise that this government will do only as much as it is forced to do on this matter and as little as it can get away with and that deregulation in the interests of cutting costs is its default position.

We resolve to :

  •         clarify with the council the position of all schools in relation to cladding and sprinklers
  •        write to the secretary of state expressing these concerns, to copy in our local MPs
  •       Write to the Tribune and the Gazette

Finsbury Park Terorist Attack

 Islington NUT sends its support and condolences to our Muslim brothers and sisters attacked in Finsbury Park last night. 

 This was an Islamophobic terrorist attack, designed to inflict maximum harm and fear among Muslims not just in Islington but throughout the UK.

 It was aimed at dividing our community at a time when we need to be united against racism, war and austerity.

 Islington NUT stands in solidarity with those killed or injured in last night's attack and with all their friends and relatives.

 We treasure our Muslim pupils,parents and teachers in Islington and will do everything in our power to support and defend them.