General Meeting 4th March 2015

posted 5 Mar 2015, 10:06 by general office   [ updated 5 Mar 2015, 10:17 ]

 Fixed Business

The meeting agreed the nomination of the following (with the proviso that those not at the meeting would be asked if they wish to stand)

International Solidarity officer – Mike Govender

Equalities Officer – Kiran Mirza

Action and Coordinating Group – Anna MacKinnon, Helen McMahon, Ceinwen Hilton, Dave Rosenberg

Motion on National Gallery dispute.  

Islington Teachers Association congratulates members of PCS  for taking strike action at the National Galley against the privatisation of 400 out of 600 staff.

 We believe the National Gallery should be run as a public service and the privatisation should be halted.

 We condemn the suspension of senior PCS rep, Candy Udwin for allegedly “breaching commercial confidentiality” by drafting questions for the union’s full time negotiations officer to ask the gallery about the cost of using CIS, a private company used in response to the dispute.

ITA agrees:

1.       To donate £100 to the National Gallery PCS strike fund

2.       Encourage members to pass motions in school groups and hold collections for the strike fund

3.       To support as far as possible future pickets and demonstrations called by PCS members at the National Gallery in support of their dispute

4.       To request that the Joint Secretaries write to the National Gallery demanding Candy’s immediate re-instatement

Motion on disappearance of Mexican teaching students. 

This Association notes with concern the disappearance of 43 Mexican teaching students from their college, Ayotzinapa, in Guerrero, Mexico on 26th September 2014. They were taken by police officers and their whereabouts are still unknown.

 This followed an incident where police opened fire on a group of students resulting in six people being killed and 20 injured.

 Mexico’s Attorney General has announced that the 43 students had been killed and incinerated on a garbage heap but no evidence has been produced.  There is other evidence to suggest that the 43 students were attacked and kidnapped by federal police and the army.

 This Association further notes the disappearance of 28,000 people in Mexico since 2006 and that these people are largely from very vulnerable groups such as poor migrants, indigenous people, peasants, children and women.

 Despite widespread calls for justice, there has been no investigation by the Mexican state into these crimes.

 This Association condemns any human rights abuses in Mexico or elsewhere and

resolves to:

 i) Encourage members to contact their MPs and ask them to sign EDM469 ‘Missing Students in Guerrero, Mexico’;

 ii) Alert members to solidarity actions organised by the Mexican Solidarity Campaign and other organizations;

 iii) Circulate up-to-date information about the campaign to members;

Conference Amendments

MOTION 10: Workload and accountability

Add at end of motion:

Conference endorses the general secretary’s summation of the inadequacy of education secretary Nicky Morgan’s report on teachers’ workload as, “The government hasn’t listened. This is not good enough”.

In the light of the failure of the government to listen to the 44,000 teachers who took part in its workload survey conference also instructs the executive to:

a)     Approach whoever is the education secretary after the general election and demand immediate talks to produce serious plans to reduce teacher workload, without harming the quality of education.

b)     While pressing for all the points listed above, at a minimum we should insist on the immediate implementation of the following:

(i)                Statutory guidance that teachers cannot be asked to submit planning for scrutiny unless they are in training or as part of an agreed support programme.

(ii)              Statutory guidance that the level and frequency of marking is a matter for a teacher’s professional judgement and should not be dictated by some arbitrary form or frequency dictated by the need to provide “evidence” that we are doing our job.

(iii)            Apart from the need to report on pupil progress once a year,  statutory guidance that data input and analysis should NOT be carried out by teachers but that this job should be done by non-teaching staff.

(iv)            A minimum 20 percent guaranteed PPA time for all teachers and this should be under teachers’ control and not subject to direction. Schools should be obliged to seek to accommodate requests for shared and longer blocks of PPA time to facilitate collaborative planning and preparation.

(v)              Statutory guidance that there must be no grading of lessons in any observations, instead all observations should have an agreed focus based around developing professional dialogue and improving practice.

(vi)            Recognition that reducing workload is impossible if education funding is reduced, so a government guarantee that funding per pupil will be at least maintained throughout the lifetime of the coming parliament.

(c) ballot members in the autumn term for a campaign of escalating national strike action in order to win such gains, and to make clear both to the new government and to our members that this is what will happen unless significant progress is made on achieving these points before the start of the new school year in September.

d) issue notice to the government, heads and our members that, while teachers will want to collaboratively             plan and to share plans and resources, the Union believes that teachers         should not be asked to submit planning for scrutiny, unless they are in training or as part of an agreed support programme.  

(e) urge school groups to meet in the coming term and discuss the existing action short of strike action guidelines on planning and seek to win a position that from an agreed date all members in the school will not submit plans for scrutiny unless covered by the above exceptions.

(f) ensure that heads and members know that any attempt to discipline any member for such a refusal to submit planning for scrutiny will be met with full national support, up to and including sustained strike action in any school affected. 

Motion 24 – Stand up for Education

Add to preamble

The distinct between inner, outer and fringe London pay allowances is no longer fair. Non-payment of Inner London pay scales to teachers across the capital is damaging the prospects of children making it harder to recruit and retain teachers. Housing costs in outer London have risen faster than other areas.

All London teachers need an allowance to take account of the additional cost of living in London. Teachers demonstrating on the recent Homes for London march under the banner “London needs teachers: Teachers can’t afford London “have done an important job in highlighting the issue.

Add to Conference instructs the Executive to

vii. Demand that distinction between inner, outer and fringe London allowance should be abolished and replaced by a ‘London Living Allowance’ that is at least the level of the current inner London Allowance.

viii. Campaign in London school communities for a rise in London allowances in line with the increase in cost of living in order to create ‘London Living Allowance’

a.       to support local campaigns on pay & housing

b.      to include the demand for a London Living Allowance in future submissions to STRB

c.       to consider further action if progress on meeting the demand for London Living Allowance has not been made in time for next academic year Sept 2015.

d.      To work with organisations such as Homes for London, Defend Council Housing and the People's Assembly to campaign for genuinely affordable housing for teachers and others across the public sector

e.       To campaign, with other organisations as appropriate, for additional measures to increase genuinely affordable housing in London such as rent controls, affordable housing targets, compulsory renting of empty property and empowering of local authorities to build council houses

Motion 32: Resisting the GERM

Add to Conference believes

e. That any academy school community that wishes to return to the Local Authority family of schools should be supported in that process in just the same way that schools are supported in converting to academy status.


Add to Conference instructs the Executive

vii. To seek agreement from government to clarify and promote the legal and procedural processes required for schools to return to the Local Authority.

viii. If, in the event that government does not clarify the legal and procedural processes, legal and other action should be pursued to the highest level to ensure the rights of school to return to the LA.  

MOTION 50: Teachers’ pensions – Continuing the Campaign

Add at the end

Conference also recognises the continuing attack on occupational pensions and insecure employment patterns mean that future pensioners will become increasingly reliant on the state pension to form a more significant part of their income in retirement.

It is therefore vital that the Union campaigns more vigorously, alongside others, for a decent state pension system for all generations - including future members.
Conference instructs the Executive to:
a)    Strengthen links with Britain's biggest campaigning pensioner organisation, the National Pensioners Convention and to support their Manifesto for Pensions which includes the following demands

·         A basic state pension for all, set above the poverty level of £175 a week

·         Increases in pensions to be linked to the best of RPI, CPI, earnings or 2.5%

·         Universal pensioner benefits (bus pass, winter fuel allowance, free TV licences for the over75s and free prescriptions) to be maintained without means-testing

·         A National Health and Care Service which is free at the point of use and funded through taxation

·         A legally binding Dignity Code to improve the quality and standards of care for older people;

b) Reject any further attempts to raise the state pension age beyond 67.