General Meeting 25th September 2014

posted 25 Sept 2014, 00:04 by general office   [ updated 25 Sept 2014, 00:05 ]


1)    Pay, conditions and workload campaign


Islington Teachers Association welcomes the sacking of Michael Gove as Secretary of State for Education and recognises the significant contribution that the NUT’s Stand UP for Education Campaign – and in particular the readiness of NUT members to take national, regional and local strike action whenever called to do so – made to his demise. We also note that despite Gove asking the STRB to review teachers holidays, working day and entitlement to PPA, the STRB recommended that these remain the same. We believe this is entirely down to the campaigning work of our union.

We note:

·         That Cameron’s decision to demote Gove came only days after the successful national strike by members of the NUT, UNISON, GMB, UNITE and FBU on 10 July.

·         That his replacement, Nicky Morgan, subsequently told the press “Michael set out the reforms, my job is to implement them” and that the fight for education and to defend teachers’ pay, conditions and pensions continues.

·         That NUT national conference at Easter voted to “consult with members about a series of strikes through the autumn term and in to 2015”.

We believe that, with the government in crisis over continually falling living standards, the bedroom tax and the closeness of the referendum on Scottish independence, the NUT Executive’s decision to stand aside from the strike by other public sector workers on 14 October is a wasted opportunity.

The record of the last Labour government and the feebleness of Labour in opposition shows that we cannot rely on a future Labour government - even if one were to be elected next May - to come close to meeting the demands of the Stand Up for Education Campaign.

We believe that the best way of achieving union objectives is to escalate the NUT’s campaign of strike action this term as far as possible in coordination with other unions,

We call on the NUT Executive, therefore:

To re-consider its decision not to join UNISON and the GMB in striking on 14 October.

In the event of the being unwilling to do this, to call on NUT members to give maximum solidarity to striking UNISON and GMB colleagues.

We resolve to do all we can to support the strike by our support staff colleagues.


We also reaffirm our willingness to build the NUTs Stand Up for Education campaign and agree to do everything we can to achieve a positive outcome to the forthcoming consultative ballot of members.


We commit ourselves to building any subsequent strike action and to doing all we can to ensure that any strike called is a success.



2)    Union consultation and Britain needs a pay rise demonstration

Islington Teachers Association congratulates all our members who have taken part in our sustained campaign on Pensions, Pay and workload which has helped reduce government support among teachers to historic lows and assisted the departure of Michael Gove from office.

We recognise however that the government has not given us anything more substantial that Mr Gove’s head and that, even if there are no further attacks from them between now and the general election, we still have the damage they have already done with PRP, Pay levels, Workload and Pensions to put right: and we need to send a message to the next government on this too while seeking to commit them in opposition to our negotiating demands.

We recognise that, particularly with other unions now taking up the fight on pay, we need to use the current union consultation as a means to mobilise the maximum possible positive vote for members to consciously recommit themselves to the campaign including further strike action.

We will

·         organise as many school based meetings as possible and appeal to reps to chase up all members to make a determined statement.

·         organise support activities for other unions taking action on Oct 14th

·         follow up the offer of a large delegation to meet Emily Thornberry at the House of Commons.

·         build the largest possible contingent of Islington teachers on the “Britain needs a pay rise” demonstration called by the TUC on Saturday October 18th.


3)    Lesson observations

Islington Teachers Association welcomes Ofsted’s decision to stop grading teachers’ individual lessons.

Notwithstanding our wish to see Ofsted abolished altogether, we endorse the view expressed in the comments made by its National Director for Schools, Mike Cladingbowl, to the TES earlier this year, that the practice of grading individual lessons “does little to encourage good teachers or increase professional reflection on what is effective practice”.

On the contrary, we recognise that the grading of teachers’ individual lessons is used by some head teachers to deny staff pay progression or as grounds to institute unjustified capability proceedings.

At worst, they can become a tool used to bully and intimidate teachers who - for whatever reason – are out of favour with a school management.

ITA resolves:

·         To encourage school groups in the borough to oppose the grading of teachers’ individual lessons as part of the appraisal/performance management process.

·         To call on the NUT National Executive to seek the agreement of the NASUWT to amend the joint unions performance management/appraisal protocol and classroom observation checklist to preclude the grading of teachers’ individual lessons, noting the impact that this amendment would have on Action Short of Strike Action instruction 1, which states: members should not participate in any appraisal/performance management process which does not conform to all elements of the NASUWT Joint Appraisal/Performance Management Checklist and the Joint Classroom Observation Protocol.


4) Peace and Justice in the Middle East

ITA welcomes the huge public meeting organised in August at Finsbury Park Mosque by Jeremy Corbyn, Stop the War and others held to protest at the attack on Gaza and the upturn in campaigning on this issue locally and nationally which reflects a sharp shift in the perception of this conflict across the world.

We welcome the further public meeting on Peace and Justice in the Middle East called by Stop the War on 30th September at Ringcross Community Centre.

We resolve to 
* donate £50 to the costs of this meeting. 
* invite a member of the NUT delegation to Palestine to a future UGM. 


5)  Julie Davies – Secretary of Haringey NUT


     ITA notes with alarm the continued suspension of NUT Secretary Julie Davies by

     Haringey Council.  We are concerned that this is a politically motivated and

      baseless attack on an effective and well-respected NUT Secretary, with an

      exemplary record of  defending NUT members in Haringey.

ITA fully supports the rights of Trade Union members to choose who represents them and oppose any attempts to attack the Union and those who lead it.

We agree to contact Haringey NUT offering whatever support we can in their campaign and urge all Islington members to sign the online petition. 



6) Motion on November’s Unite the Resistance Conference

Islington Teachers Association notes:

·         The successful strike action by around 1.5 million workers, including teachers in the NUT, on 10 July.

·         The continued attacks by both government and employers across the public and private sector on pay, pensions and conditions.

·         The planned strikes by NHS and local government on 13 & 14 October.

·         The NUT’s ongoing Stand Up for Education Campaign.

·         The call for a mass protest by the TUC on 18 October under the banner “Britain needs a pay rise”.

ITA believes:

·         That we should congratulate those at every level of the union who built the 10 July strikes.

·         That a mass campaign of protests and escalating strike action will be needed if we are to reverse the attacks we face from the Tories and those in the Labour Party leadership who support continued austerity.

·         That we need to build up networks locally and nationally to push for more action, build the TUC protests and to build solidarity for those in struggle.

ITA  resolves:

·         To support all strikes that build toward ‎further coordinated mass strikes over pay and against austerity.

·         To go all out to build for the TUC protest on 18 October.

·         To help to initiate a local mobilizing meeting to build for the demo.

·         To book transport and/or contribute towards the cost of transport to the demonstration for members to attend.

·         To support initiatives proposed locally and nationally by the People’s Assembly.

·         To support the Unite the Resistance “Striking Together-Organizing to Win” conference on Saturday 15 November, to send the branch banner and send up to 10 delegates at a cost of £6 each.