Motions passed at General Meetings and AGM - NEU


General Meeting - 4th February 2021

posted 5 Feb 2021, 07:06 by NEU Secretary


Local Officer Elections

Terry Sullivan was elected as a member of the Islington committee

Nominations for National Executive 2021-2023

The following candidates were nominated

Inner London Executive Seat

·         Jess Edwards  

·         Abdul Choudhury 

·         Alex Kenny 

·         Ruth Gibson

    Equality and Sector Seats  

·         Black Members - Vic Chechi Ribeiro

·         LGBT+ - Kacey de Groot

·         Disabled - Colleen Johnson

·         Post 16 - Duncan Blackie

·         Support Staff - Trish Fay

4.    Prioritisation of Motions for National Conference 2021

the following motions were prioritised

  • 31 - Black Lives Matter  
  • 16- Covid- 19 and Workload 
  • 39 - Combating Climate Breakdown 
  • 9 - Pay Freeze  
  • 3 - GCSE and A levels  
  • 40 – Exclusions 

Motions submitted by Members

A)     United Nations – Anti-Racism Day (March 20th) and Stand Up to Racism – Trade Union Conference (February 27th)

NEU Islington notes:

(1) The Covid-19 pandemic has led to starkly disproportionate BAME deaths.

(2) This, and the inspiring #BlacklivesMatter movement in the wake of the racist murder of George Floyd by police, has exposed on a mass scale the deeply institutionalised racism in society.

(3) Meanwhile, Boris Johnson’s government have turned in moments of crisis to an intensification of the racist scapegoating of refugees and migrants

NEU Islington believes:

(1) Our trade unions are critical in organising the mass anti-racist movement we need to challenge every instance of racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism, and opposing the threat posed by divisive racist in our communities and workplaces, the far right, and fascism.

NEU Islington resolves:

(1) To support the Stand Up To Racism–TUC backed national day of action for United Nations Anti-Racism Day on Saturday 20th March.

(2) To co-host our local events with SUTR, add our logo to promotional materials and make a donation of £200 to help fund the day.

(3) To support the Stand Up To Racism TUC backed Trade Union Conference (on-line) ‘Fighting for antiracists workplaces’ – on Saturday 27th February and to send at least 2 delegates


 

Delayed AGM - 1st December 2020

posted 8 Dec 2020, 04:32 by NEU Secretary   [ updated 8 Dec 2020, 06:25 ]

AGM Minutes

01/12/20


 1) Local Organisation;

(a     (a) 2020/21 Subscription Fee  - Agreed

  (b)  Islington Officer Elections  

·         Secretary (District and State Branch) – Tony Buttifint

·         Vice President (District and State Branch) – Krystell Lopez

·         International Solidarity – Dave Rosenberg

·         Press and Publicity – Ken Muller

·         Equalities – Krystell Lopez

·         Young Teacher – Sarah Amissah

·         Post 16 – Pippa Dowswell

  (c ) Election of Annual Conference Delegates 

Paul Atkin, Sarah Amissah, Tony Buttifint, Pippa Dowswell, Krystall Lopez, Anna Wolmoth

   (d)  Accounts - Agreed


2.  Rule Changes

 6.8 Change quorum of General Meetings from 15 to 12


3.      Motions for Annual Conference

1)      Exclusions

Conference notes that the Covid-19 pandemic has underlined existing inequalities in our fragmented educational system and wider society, particularly in working class and black communities, thus placing those at greater risk of exclusion in greater jeopardy.

Conference further notes that the Timpson Review of school exclusions highlighted that:

1. Students with Educational Special Needs, Black and Gypsy/Roma and Traveller children and those eligible for free school meals are disproportionally excluded from school and from education, whether through short term or long term formal exclusion or the illegal off-rolling of students

2. There are huge discrepancies between schools that seek to include and those where there is a high rate of exclusion

3. Exclusion can leave children socially isolated and educationally disadvantaged, and puts them at risk of becoming involved in the criminal justice system

4. Parents of children excluded feel unsupported by the education system and the Independent Review System.

Conference further notes the Review failed to address:

(a) how the stereotyping of black children and institutional racism underlies racial disparities in rates of exclusion

(b) the impact of so called ‘zero tolerance’ approaches to behaviour which do not support the needs underlying challenging behaviour, and which often impose rigid and discriminatory expectations on students.

Conference instructs the NEU Executive to campaign for:

1. A fully inclusive, properly funded education service where exclusion is reduced and ultimately ended, and to call for a moratorium on exclusions in the wake of the pandemic

2. All schools to publish data on exclusions and the destinations of students no longer attending, and to be accountable for these students and the funding of their education

3. Behaviour systems which support rather than penalise students, whatever their culture or background

4. Managed moves only take place when properly resourced alternative provision is in place, and members in AP are properly valued and renumerated.

5. The reform of Independent Review Panels, including returning their power to compel schools to accept back a student

Further, Conference instructs the NEU Executive to affiliate to No More Exclusions.


2)      COVID-19 AND WORKLOAD

Conference notes that:

  1.  returning to schools in September 2020 created far more stress than normal for all Education workers
  2. the government’s funding of the unusual situation most schools found themselves in was vastly deficient
  3. that while some schools have made very sensible decisions on assessment and accountability to reduce staff workload, others have been less responsive 

 Conference believes that the severe real terms cuts to school budgets since 2010 have already created a crisis in our schools that has resulted in an increased workload and stress levels for all, with higher class sizes and fewer staff and that this has been hugely exacerbated by the effects of the Covid crisis.  For example, but not exclusively:

i.          Covering for absent self-isolating colleagues

ii.         Having an increase in split lunches/breaks/start end times

iii.        Increased testing and assessment in order to ascertain pupils’ levels

iv.        Demands on education workers to learn new methods of delivery

v.         Continuing to carry out observations, learning walks, book checks and other forms of monitoring

vi.        Demanding teachers set and assess and, in some cases,  deliver home learning, as well as continuing with their duties at school

 In many cases these have been expected without extra funding, time or professional development, alongside teachers regular duties.

Conference believes:

a. the government needs to intervene to direct schools more specifically in how to reduce teacher workload.

b. that the Union’s campaign for school funding has been very strong, but that still too few members of the public understand the direct consequences of the lack of funding in schools.

Conference instructs the Executive to:

A.         Lobby the government to direct its own workload charter for schools in consultation with education trade unions.  

B.         Lobby the government to set an absolute legal limit on class sizes.

C.         Re-launch the union’s campaign for proper funding

D.         Promote heavily those schools that have abandoned workload-heavy tasks (notably those linked to accountability) since September 2020

E.         Re-launch workload as a priority campaign for the Union.

F. Actively support schools and Districts taking action up to and including strike action over workload

 

3)    COMBAT CLIMATE BREAKDOWN IN SCHOOL AND BEYOND

 

Conference recognises 

1. The COVID crisis has been one manifestation of environmental blowback.

2. Climate breakdown and mass extinction is accelerating.

3. The world needs a global green new deal with all countries co-operating to salvage human civilisation.

4. The COP in November 2021 will be a pivotal point.

5. The measures taken by the UK government are not adequate even to meet its existing targets but many local authorities have declared a climate emergency.

6. The refusal of the DFE to consider a curriculum review to make our education system adequate for the society we need and implement their legal obligation under Article 12 of the Paris Agreement is a betrayal of the children in our schools.

 Conference instructs the Executive to:

 1. Review all national union activity and infrastructure to draw up a plan for complete eradication of greenhouse gas emissions and begin implementing it as rapidly as possible - with a report on progress at the 2022 conference.

2. Ensure that education in Just Transition is built into our reps training and call on Districts to incorporate it into local training.

3. Incorporate the huge range of creative work in developing climate themed education done by teachers and environmental campaigns into the Union’s CPD programme.

4. Take these points to the TUC to propose the rest of the trade union movement does the same.

5 Call for all schools, LAs and MATs to declare a climate emergency and to plan a path to zero greenhouse gas emissions by supporting the Let’s Go Zero 2030 campaign and for LAs to establish local Task Forces, comprising representatives of all relevant parties including school staff and students, parents, FE colleges, universities, employers and trade unions; to coordinate provision and support for Just Transition in local economies and  transition from school to training and work, with teacher unions represented in the local authority’s climate emergency policy process.

6. Work with the school students movement, other unions and campaigns in informing and mobilising our members in support of actions up to and beyond the November COP in Glasgow.

 

4.      Emergency Motions

Pay freeze

Islington NEU believes that the government’s announcement of a public sector pay freeze is an insult to key workers who kept the country going through one of the worst crises in generations.

We note that:

i) school staff have been hailed as key workers during the pandemic;

ii) despite the 2019 pay award being broadly in line with inflation, this follows a decade of   pay restraint leaving teacher and support staff take home pay nearly 20% lower than 2010;

iii) a government who have totally failed in their public health and economic response to  Covid-19 clearly intends the cost of the crisis to land on the shoulders of working people.

 We therefore call on the Executive, as a matter of urgency to:

1) Build a public campaign to press the educational benefits of ‘fair pay for all school workers’ and fully funded pay awards – seeking the support of political parties for this;

 2) Build a major campaign with our members, with national, regional and local briefings, events, rallies and activities, seeking to engage as many members as possible. This campaign should lead to a ballot for national strike action should the government not meet our demands.

 3) Work with other unions, to develop a coordinated campaign to challenge the pay freeze and coordinate action where at all possible.

We agree to support a local joint unions protest against the public sector pay freeze outside or close to Islington town hall, provisionally from 5 pm on Thursday 10 December.


Emergency Motion on Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party

Islington NEU notes that Jeremy Corbyn

1.      has supported our union locally and nationally in many disputes and on many issues since first elected MP for Islington North in 1983, and this is the case for many unions, movements and campaigns; so, the current action being taken against him by the "new leadership" is a concern for the whole movement, not just the Labour Party,

2.      is the most active and committed anti-racist and internationalist ever to lead a major political Party in the UK,

3.      made two statements in response to the EHRC Report, both of which said the same thing and both of which are true a) that antisemitism, as any racism, is completely unacceptable b) that the scale of it in the Party is tiny

 

Further notes that

1.      demands for him to "get real" and apologise for the second part of this statement would require him to become complicit in a factionally convenient lie,

2.      the gagging orders sent out to prevent Party organisations discussing this issue are couched in implicitly racist terms - in presuming that all members of "communities" think the same way and will be made to feel "unwelcome" by the same things.

3.      and are being used to suspend officers of local branches were a discussion has been allowed, including former NEU President Louise Regan,

Condemns these moves and calls for Jeremy Corbyn to have the whip restored and all members suspended for calling for his reinstatement should be reinstated.

 

Resolves to 

1.      send this motion as part of a solidarity letter to Jeremy Corbyn, Louise Regan, both Islington CLP Secretaries and Richard Watts; with Inner London NEU Exec members cc'd in.

2.      invite Jeremy Corbyn to a forthcoming Islington NEU meeting to discuss the whole range of the current political crisis and to discuss his ideas of radical education.

 

5.      Motions submitted by Members

A)     Motion on the Holloway Prison site

Islington NEU notes:

  1. That In March 2019 the Peabody Housing Association “bought” the empty Holloway Prison site for £82 million.
  2. That as well as receiving a  loan of £42 million from the Mayor of London they also got a grant of £40 million.
  3. That when they got the site they pledged 42% of the 1,000 new homes would be for social rent and to build a Women’s Building for the support of vulnerable women.
  4. That the Peabody Trust is now back-tracking on their commitments.

 We believe that this unacceptable and that the Mayor and Islington Council should not allow Peabody to renege on its promises.. At a time when many of us are worrying about our health, our jobs and the future of our families, a good quality, energy-efficient, truly affordable home has never been more important. At a time when we’re worrying about our health, our jobs and the future of our families, a good quality, energy-efficient, truly affordable home has never been more important.

 We demand that:

  • 60% of the new homes at the Holloway Prison site are at council equivalent rents
  • That a dedicated, visionary and transformative Women's Building is put in place there that will help women in all areas of society

 We agree to donate £250 to the Islington Homes For All campaigning group.

 

B)     Coats4Calais Appeal

 Islington NEU notes that:

 

  1. in Northern France more than 3,000 refugees are currently sleeping rough. Temperatures are rapidly dropping and police raids and evictions are worse than ever. 
  2. in the UK there are over 3,500 people stuck in limbo at hotels, hostels and military barracks. They arrive in just the clothes they are wearing, so they can’t take these off to wash them. They are poorly equipped for a British winter and many have no coat at all.

 We recognise:

1.     that these appalling conditions are driving refuges to risk their lives by desperately trying to reach the UK in small boats, sometimes with tragic consequences.

2.     that the UK government is directly responsible for the deaths by drowning which occur by failing to provide refugees with safe passage to the UK so that they can claim refugee status without putting seriously endangering their lives.

 We congratulate Stand Up to Racism and Care for Calais for launching a Winter Appeal whose goal is to provide each and every one of these refugees with a warm winter coat and agree to donate £250.

 

 

General Meeting 14th October 2020

posted 15 Oct 2020, 06:19 by NEU Secretary


Vacant Executive Seats:

i) Black Members 

Meeting agreed to make a nomination and then voted to nominate Vik Chechi – Ribeiro

i) ATL Legacy 

Meeting agreed to make a nomination and then voted to nominate Abdul Choudury


Motions submitted by members

A)     DfE guidance on permissible themes and resources for Relationships, Sex and Health education

Islington district notes that:

• The Department for Education’s recent guidance for schools on planning their relationships, sex and health curriculum states that schools “should not under any circumstances use resources produced by organisations that take extreme political stances on matters.”

• The guidance lists as examples of extreme political stances “a publicly stated desire to abolish or overthrow democracy, capitalism, or to end free and fair elections.”

This branch believes that:

• Children should be encouraged by their teachers to think for themselves about important and complex issues such as homelessness, poverty, fair trade, racism, the climate crisis etc and should learn about the presence of activism rooted in a desire for social, economic and environmental justice

• Children should be encouraged through the curriculum to find about the lives of figures who have fought for equal rights and freedom from oppression here and in other countries, noting that figures such as Nelson Mandela were condemned by opponents as “extremists”.

• Teachers should give children the tools and information for informed discussions by exposing them to materials from a wide range of sources.

• Teachers should encourage children to be inquisitive, to think, read, and listen critically and analytically and not arbitrarily place subjects off-limits

• In upholding democracy and free speech as important values, – teachers should be encouraging children to look at current institutions and arrangements in society and become confident in developing their own views about what should be supported, reformed, or replaced with alternatives.

• Schools should practise as well as learn about justice, equality and human rights: that means allowing children to see themselves as having a legitimate say on such matters.

This branch further notes the significance of the Black Lives Matter movement globally and its demand that children learn about slavery, colonialism and empire. This cannot be taught in a holistic way without teaching and thinking critically about the economic arrangements in which these occurred.

This branch expresses its concern about the drift towards authoritarianism expressed in these guidelines and the chilling effect they are likely to have on children’s access to information on important and pressing issues in our society.

This branch resolves to

• encourage teachers to continue to put equality and social justice at the heart of their teaching.

• call on Islington Council to oppose the guidance and recommend that Islington schools do not accept the DfE’s definition of “extremism”.

• call on the NEU nationally to support members in challenging this guidance and defend members who fall foul of the guidance by continuing to pursue good educational practice in their classrooms.


B)    Motion on Emergency Programme for Jobs, Services and Safety

 

(1)      Islington NEU notes the launch of the People Before Profit: Emergency Programme for Jobs, Services and Safety. (See below)

(2)      We believes that this programme can help to shape the resistance we need to prevent workers and the poorest and most vulnerable bearing the brunt of a health emergency and economic crisis not of their making.

(3)      We resolve to adopt this programme and to consider ways we can take up its demands in the interests of our members, and publicise them.

(4)      We agree to to inform the organisers of the Emergency Programme  (at healthworkercoronavirus@gmail.com ) of our support.

 

An Emergency Programme for Jobs, Services and Safety

Tens of thousands of have unnecessarily died from the Covid pandemic thanks to a government that was ill prepared and put profit ahead of peoples safety. Now, alongside a Covid pandemic that is far from over, we face an avalanche of job losses, more austerity and more attacks on pay and conditions.

We need a fightback across workplaces and communities to demand that ordinary people wont pay for the crisis.

 

Extend the Furlough scheme – Defend Jobs: The withdrawal of the governments Furlough scheme will have a devastating impact on jobs: it must be kept in place for at least the next 12 months and be extended to cover all workers regardless of what type of contract they are on – no worker should be left behind. Government should take an ownership stake in firms in return for such support. We demand a 35 hour week for workers with no loss of pay. Firms making profits must be barred from making mass redundancies and shareholder dividend payments should be frozen. Major firms that go bankrupt should be nationalised without compensation with workers provided with a job guarantee. We will support any group of workers that strikes or occupies their workplace to defend jobs.

 

Safe workplaces: Both government and employers are pressing to drive ever more people back to work despite the real dangers of a second Covid wave and the utter failure to put a credible test and trace system in place. Unions must sign off any agreements over what constitutes safe working conditions and the right to refuse to work in unsafe workplaces must be strengthened. High quality PPE must be provided. In workplaces without unions, the democratic election of workers’ reps should be legally provided for, with a right to involve a trade union if requested. We support any group of workers that refuse to work in unsafe workplaces.

 

Tax the wealthy – dont make workers’ pay for the crisis: The richest 1,000 people in UK have an estimated combined wealth of £743 billion alone! We need a massive transfer of resources from the rich to protect jobs, services and living standards. The top rate of income tax was 83 percent until 1980 – this should be reinstated. An immediate wealth tax should be imposed on all those with wealth of £1 million and over. We need a Living Wage for all workers of at least £15 per hour and this must be extended to cover those working in the gig economy”. We support all workers fighting for better pay. We reject any argument that pay freezes will save jobs – we need to fight on every front.

 

Public ownership of services and end outsourcing: Services like Royal Mail, rail, energy and water must be brought back into public ownership. The outsourcing of services to private firms across the health service, civil service, local government and elsewhere must be reversed – no more two tier workforces, one with less pay, security and poorer sickness entitlement.

 

For an immediate massive programme of green investment: We need to re-purpose” industries like aviation, car production, engineering to urgently address the climate crisis, end dependency on fossil fuels and to provide a million climate jobs.  We need a massive programme of investment in council housing and in public transport.

 

A welfare system that provides real social security and dignity: Universal Credit and the Bedroom Tax must both be scrapped and benefit sanctions halted. Benefit payments should be massively increased and the moratorium on housing evictions must be maintained.

 

Get organised!

 

Build fighting unions and solidarity with every fightback: to defend the interests of workers we need to rebuild the trade union movement. We need to draw millions of workers facing job losses, low pay, lack of safety at work into the unions – and we need tens of thousands of new reps and activists who can help organise campaigns, strikes and protest to defend workers. Unions that fightback can recruit members and enthuse a new generation of activists. Every group of workers that fights back should be flooded with messages of support, donations to their strike fund and invites to address union and labour movement meetings. We demand the repeal of all the anti-trade union laws.

 

Equality and unity - dont let them divide us: Governments that want to shift the burden of a crisis onto the shoulders of workers and the poor will also turn to more scapegoating, division and racism to help push their attacks through. We will organise to challenge and oppose all forms of racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia and discrimination against disabled people. Only though unity based on equality can we fight back effectively.

 

C)    Youth Climate Summit

 Islington NEU Recognises that 

·  the COVID crisis is one manifestation of environmental blowback,

·  while the world has been preoccupied with it, climate breakdown is accelerating,

·  the DFE is failing in its responsibilities to the next generation and to Article 12 of the Paris Agreement in rejecting the appeal of the student strikers for a full curriculum review to make what we teach and learn adequate to the scale of the crisis we face,

Islington NEU therefore

·  welcomes the initiative taken from below by teachers and NGOs to launch the Youth Climate Summit this November and the Go Zero Campaign that flows from it.

·  resolves to promote this initiative and campaign with the Local Authority, local MATs, schools, our Reps, members and our school communities; with a view to getting the maximum possible participation and organisation flowing from it.





General Meeting 4th March 2020

posted 6 Mar 2020, 05:39 by NEU Secretary   [ updated 3 Sept 2020, 04:25 ]

UCU Strike Action


Islington NEU congratulates our UCU university colleagues for taking hard-hitting national strike action in defence of their pensions and over pay, workload, contracts and inequality.


Their readiness to vote for action in sufficient numbers to overcome Tory anti-union strike ballot rules and to take effective nation action is an example to the rest of the trade union movement.

We recognise that strikers will need financial support from other workers to sustain their action and agree to make a donation of £500 to the UCU hardship fund.

We also agree to do whatever else we can to provide support and solidarity to our UCU sisters and brothers.


Amendments to Conference Motions

Motion 24 - Climate Emergency

Add

Conference notes

1) Global carbon emissions must reduce sharply from this year to stop climate breakdown.

2) We need a global Green New Deal; with all countries contributing according to their resources.

3) The November Glasgow COP will show who is meeting this challenge.

4) We need to campaign strongly leading up to, at, and during it.

5) 91% of students surveyed said schools should teach more about the crisis, over half of teachers that they were ill equipped to do so, 40% that their SMT was disengaged.

6) The success of the climate themed learning week in February.

7) Unlike the UK, Finland and New Zealand are making the climate crisis the core of their curriculum - including recognising student activism as the way to process ‘eco anxiety’.

Conference instructs the Executive to work with other unions and environment campaigns to:

1) Press government to transform our curriculum to meet the climate emergency.

2) Publish a special edition of Educate dedicated to COP26, the transition that is needed, ‘teach the truth’ and eco-anxiety.

3) Sponsor transport to the COP; and support a week of action all over the country during it; including a climate themed learning week.


Motion 49 - Exclusions

Add point 5 in Conference notes:

5. the increased use of ‘zero-tolerance’ behaviour systems impose rigid and often discriminatory expectations on

students, which fail to make reasonable adjustments for students entitled to consideration under the Equality Act

and often focus on trivia such as supposedly inappropriate hairstyles

 

Add after iii

Conference:

a. notes that an increase in AP provision and the development of Secure Schools whilst not restoring funding for

early intervention is an inefficient use of public money

b. believes that private providers shouldn’t be involved in management of AP/Secure Schools

c. celebrates the dedication of our members working hard in AP and calls for them to have the recognition,

remuneration and resources they deserve

 

Under Conference instructs the Executive:

Delete e and replace with:

Campaign against the expansion of privately run Alternative Provision and for better funding for inclusive

education within the education system.

Add h. Campaign for behaviour systems that support rather than penalise students, whatever their culture and

background, which are in accordance with the Equalities Act, and do not discriminate against students

Add i. Commission research into the extent of zero-tolerance behaviour policies in schools, and their effects

Add j. Affiliate to No More Exclusions


 



General Meeting 26th November 2019

posted 29 Nov 2019, 07:51 by NEU Secretary   [ updated 29 Nov 2019, 07:51 ]


Confirmation of "State Branch" Secretary and Chair

In future we will tie this in with District posts as we have no significant membership outside this sector. 

Tony Buttifint confirmed as Secretary Pippa Dowswell as Chair.

 

3) Nominations for National Officer Positions.

The meeting agreed to make nominations for all three posts. The following were nominated.

Treasurer. - Alyson Palmer

Vice President - 2 posts.  Kauser Jan and Daniel Kebede. 

Equalities and Membership. - Louise Regan. 


4) Motions for Annual Conference

As only 4 motions were tabled voting was on the basis of whether we wanted to submit each motion or not. No reduction to 6 required. All 4 motions were agreed unanimously

(1) Exclusions

 Conference:

Notes that the Timpson Review of school exclusions highlighted that:

1. Students with Educational Special Needs, Black and Gypsy/Roma and Traveller children and those eligible for free school meals are disproportionally excluded from school and from education, whether through short term or long term formal exclusion or the illegal off-rolling of students

2. There are huge discrepancies between schools that seek to include and those where there is a high rate of exclusion

3. Exclusion can leave children socially isolated and educationally disadvantaged, and puts them at risk of becoming involved in crime and the ‘school to prison’ pipeline

4. Parents of children excluded feel alienated and unsupported by the education system and the Independent Review System

Conference further notes the Review:

(a) did not address fragmentation of the education system through academisation and the introduction of free schools and the lack of local democratic control, which has allowed schools to exclude without consequences

(b) failed to address how the stereotyping of black children and institutional racism underlies racial disparities in rates of exclusion

(c) that so called ‘zero tolerance’ approaches to behaviour do not support the needs underlying challenging behaviour

(d) proposes to expand Alternative Provision 

Conference instructs the NEU Executive to:

1. Campaign for a fully inclusive, properly funded education service where exclusion is reduced and ultimately ended

2. Continue to campaign for all schools to be subject to local democratic scrutiny

3. Campaign for schools to publish data on exclusions and the destinations of students no longer attending, and to be accountable for these students and the funding of their education

4. Campaign to ensure that managed moves only take place when properly resourced alternative provision is in place

5. Campaign against the expansion of Alternative Provision and for better funding for inclusive education within schools

6. Challenge the failure of government to address the racial and class inequalities in rates of exclusion, and to work with educators and parents of students affected

7. Call for the reform of Independent Review Panels, including returning their power to compel schools to accept back a student.

 


(2) Scrap the NAHT/NEU Agreement on Avoidance of Disputes

 

Conference notes 

A. the agreement between the NAHT and the NEU entitled Avoidance of Disputes. 

B. That the agreement includes a commitment that, if it is enacted in any dispute, ‘NAHT and NEU paid officials will.... seek to agree status quo ante’ and ‘a cooling off period’ with no clear written requirement to get the agreement of members, workplace reps or lay officers to this course of action. 

Conference believes that this agreement

I. is of much more benefit to the NAHT than to members of the NEU. In practice it can make it even more difficult for our members, even where their support for collective action is overwhelming, to effectively challenge unreasonable 

practices by a head teacher

II. is not consistent with our commitment to be a lay-led Union.

Conference instructs the Executive to write to the NAHT to inform them that, on the basis of a Conference decision, the NEU is withdrawing from the agreement with immediate effect.

 

 

(3) CLIMATE EMERGENCY

Recognising that the labour movement has to lead the Just Transition to a sustainable economy and society, NEU Conference instructs the Executive to declare a climate emergency.

 

Conference instructs the Executive to:

1.    Immediately review all national union activity and infrastructure to draw up a plan for complete eradication of greenhouse gas emissions and begin implementing it as rapidly as possible - with a report on progress at the 2021 conference.

2.    Ensure that education in Just Transition is built into our reps training and call on Districts to incorporate it into local training. 

3.    Take these points to the TUC to propose the rest of the trade union movement does the same.

4.    Call for all schools, LAs and MATs to declare a climate emergency and to plan a path to zero greenhouse gas emissions on the basis of the maximum possible action within existing arrangements- while identifying action or investment needed from central government to remove structural obstacles.

5.    Work with the school students movement, other unions and campaigns in informing and mobilising our members in support of actions up to and beyond the November COP in Glasgow.  


(4)  BAD AIR AND HOT SUMMERS

Conference notes: 

i) though it is illegal to transport live cattle in temperatures above 30C there is no maximum legal temperature to work in.

ii) current union policy is that a temperature of 26C is a trigger point for ameliorative measures

iii) global heating being real, heat waves are becoming more frequent and intense, frequently making badly designed classroom conditions unbearable.

Conference further notes:

1the significant health impacts of polluted air along with the contribution of the transport sector to carbon emissions.

2.the need for significant investment in clean efficient properly regulated public transport and genuinely affordable housing so people can live within walking or cycling distance of work.

3.that traffic reducing measures in residential areas reduce traffic overall - there is no displacement effect.

Conference instructs the Executive to support Districts or MAT branches in taking a pre-emptive ballot at the beginning of the summer term to cover members in refusing to work in classrooms that are above 26C and to negotiate "chill days" with employers.

 

Conference further instructs the Executive to support:

a) traffic calming and elimination measures around schools including "school streets" and to promote this with local authorities;

b)promote where possible the reduction in school car parking spaces and the introduction of car pools and other measures including public transport subsidies where feasible".


5) Motions submitted by Members

(A) NO MORE EXCLUSIONS

 Agreed unanimously

This district notes:

1.     The leaked government plans for a ‘harder narrative on discipline’, including support for the use of ‘reasonable force’. 

2.     The rise of ‘zero tolerance’ approaches to behaviour, and increasing acceptance that this is ‘what works’, without regard for their impact on young people’s mental health and access to education for our most vulnerable learners.

3.    There has been a 40% increase in exclusions in the past three years.

4.  Exclusions disproportionately affect black young people, with Special Educational Needs, on Free School Meals - compounding the injustice. A black boy with SEN on FSM is 160 times more likely to be excluded than his peers.

5.    Informal exclusion, ‘off-rolling’, is being used by schools to remove students who may adversely affect their position in league tables leading to students spending time inappropriately in ‘home education’ or in a PRU. 

6.    The fact that academies and free schools are not accountable to the local authority/ community currently limits the powers of local councils to address exclusionary practices in schools.

7.    No More Exclusions is a grassroots coalition movement in education with a focus on race-disparities in school exclusions and inclusive quality education for all.

 

This district believes that:

1.     ‘Zero tolerance’ approaches are inhumane, ignoring the key idea that all behaviour is communication. They promote surface level compliance without addressing the needs underlying challenging behaviour.

2.    ‘Zero tolerance’ approaches are leading to students being informally excluded from classrooms and to young people spending inappropriate and harmful amounts of time in isolation within school;

3.     Policies that aim to control students’ behaviour, rather than helping them control it themselves, undermine the very elements that are essential for motivation: autonomy, a sense of competence, and a capacity to relate to others. 

4.     The upward trajectory in exclusions are a warning that the ‘school-to-prison pipeline’ is becoming an institutional reality.

5.    The increasing number of African Caribbean and other minority groups being excluded reflect both a historic injustice and evidence of institutionalised racism. 

 

Therefore, this district resolves to:

1.    Raise awareness of this issue in our staff rooms and locally, including writing to the Council and our MP with our concerns.

2.     Campaign for education policy development in support of:

i.                    More funding for schools, to adequately address the needs of all children.

ii.                  The abolition of league tables;

iii.                The promotion of approaches to behaviour management that are humane and respect the rights of the child.

iv.                 The overhaul of official exclusion practice and outlaw unofficial practice.

v.                   Bringing academy and free schools under local democratic control;

vi.                 Legislation for zero exclusion policies and to only consider managed moves when adequate, properly resourced alternative provision is already in place.

 

3.    Disseminate research to members on approaches to behaviour management that are humane and respect the rights of the child.

4.    Promote these approaches to head teachers.

5.    Support members in raising concerns about and challenging inhumane and unjust behaviour management practices in their schools.

6.    Make a donation of £100 to support the work of No More Exclusions.

 


(B) Planning on Action to Defend our Nursery Schools

 

Agreed unanimously

This district notes;

1.      The extra 3 terms funding announced by the Government in Nov 2019 was a result of the campaigning of our members along with the NAHT, Early Education, The APPG, many staff, governors and parents up and down the country.

2.      Previous government policy has failed to commit to the funding necessary to ensure the existence of our maintained Nursery schools past July 2021.

3.      This continued hand to mouth method of funding will continue to undermine the sustainability of the  model of state maintained nursery schools in the early years sector

4.      The maintained nursery school sector will not survive unless the funding needed is committed by government.

5.      Our demand to extend state maintained nursery provision remains. 

 

This district believes;

1.      That the NEU executive have carried out the mandate of conference 2019 to work with and be part of the national campaigns to save nursery education in a number of ways.

2.      This has strengthened our organisation within the state maintained nursery school sector.

3.      That if there is no announcement of sustainable funding as demanded by our campaign by the summer term 2020 we will need to step up our action to defend our members and the education they provide in this sector.

4.      State maintained nursery schools should be placed within the maintained schools funding block as this is the sector they are part of and their funding should be in parity with this sector.

 

This district now instructs the executive to;

 

1.      Call a meeting of our nursery school members in the summer term at Hamilton House with the purpose of organising the way forward for our campaigning and build on the solid work that has already been done to organise this sector.

2.      Put in place the necessary steps to ballot for national strike action that will begin in the Autumn  term.

3.      To organise meetings with NASUWT,UNISON, GMB & NAHT  to seek to involve them in joint strike action where their members are working in Nursery Schools.

 

(C) Whittington Hospital

 Agreed unanimously

Islington NEU deplores the suing by Grenfell Tower refurbishment contractor Rydon of Whittington Hospital for withdrawing, following the fire and the 71 deaths that occurred as a result of it back in June 2017, its previous procurement offer to Rydon subsidiary Ryhurst to manage and provide capital for the redevelopment of the hospital estate.

 

We recognise that this is the consequence of Conservative policies that:

a)  has underfunded hospitals since 2010, while still demanding that they upgrade their health facilities.

b) encouraged the selloff of NHS land through implementing the Naylor Report that required hospitals to sell their land to finance capital improvements

c) caused capital-starved hospitals to apply to private corporations to finance estate improvements at the initial stages

d) has encouraged the use of private companies rather than in-house NHS services for across-the-board NHS provision - catering, medical, social etc, etc

 

We will therefore

i)   support Defend Whittington Hospital in their campaign to stop Rydon suing the Whittington Hospital

ii)  donate £100 to support the DWHC campaign

iii)  campaign for a government that opposes NHS cuts and privatisation and any selloff to Trump’s corporations, and that will re-establish an NHS that is publicly-run,publicly-owned and free for all, including migrants.

iv) support the protest against Rydon’s legal action outside Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand from 9 am on Monday 9th December.

 

 

General Meeting 14th May 2019

posted 21 May 2019, 05:21 by general office

Motion A)    Climate Change

  Islington NEU recognises that the latest UN report shows that:

 1. Without more rapid action there will be at least a 3 degree temperature rise by 2100;

2. 1 degree rise above pre-industrial levels has already led to increasing fires, hurricanes, floods and droughts;

3. The transition to zero-carbon society to keep below a 1.5 degree increase is the most urgent problem facing humanity and is technically feasible; and

4. The obstacles are entirely political.

 We believe that:

 i. The consequences of failure to act – will be severe for our members, our communities, the children we teach and in the worst case could threaten our survival. 

 ii. This needs immediate Government investment for a qualitative shift within 12 years, including a significant shift in the focus and aims of education.

 iii. The current Government’s market solutions are failing, leading the UK to miss its targets.

 iv. The vote at NEU’s national conference in April to hold a conference about climate change in the autumn, affiliate to Campaign Against Climate Change and support the student climate strikers, is welcome and must be acted on in every association. 

 v. The recent protests and strikes by students and Extinction Rebellion (XR) have been an important step forward in the fight to save our planet. They need our support. A number of NEU associations have already begun to show their solidarity by supporting students, and joining the XR protests.

We welcome

A focus on the DFE during the next student strike on May 24th calling for curriculum change.

The call from the ITUC for June 26 to be a day of workplace action during which union Reps ask their management's what the plan is to make their workplace zero carbon 

We agree to:

 a. Re-affiliate to Campaign Against Climate Change;

 b. Support local and national actions by XR, Campaign Climate Change and other organisations, including sending B&D NEU banner on their marches and actions;

 c. Write to Islington council asking that they join the growing number of councils across the country that have declared a ‘Climate Emergency’; 

and calling for this to be followed up with action whereby Islington oversees, facilitates and encourages a process whereby

  • ·         All schools sign up to be Eco Schools
  • ·         All schools have insets on sustainable development
  • ·         All schools to have a pathway to zero carbon; to comprise both an audit what they can do now to reduce their carbon footprint and a list of things that could be done with the right investment; as well as determining how the current curriculum delivered in the school can be enhanced and supplemented to reflect the centrality of the climate emergency, pending and feeding into a national review.

 d. Support the 24 May Student Climate Strike day of action, and subsequent days of action; drawing on the following ideas:

 In the lead up to the strike

​Hold school meetings to discuss what action members feel they can take.

​Consider holding a ‘Climate Emergency Day’ where the focus of all lessons is on climate     change. 

​Encourage everyone to wear stickers and badges during the week beginning 19 May.

​Invite students to hold assemblies on the climate crisis

​Set up displays

​Incorporate lessons about climate into the curriculum

​Letter writing to the government.

​Make posters

​Invite speakers from Campaign Against Climate Change, Friends of the Earth and XR groups into school

On the day of the strike

​Take the maximum action that members are confident to take.

​Short of strike action you stand outside the school gates together at the start of the school day or at lunch time.

​Stand together in the play ground at break and lunch. Hold hands or posters.

​Take group selfies supporting the students or demanding we teach about climate

​Discuss forms of protest as part of citizenship

 

Motion B)    Afilliations

 Islington NEU district notes that as the NUT we affiliated to the following organisations:

·         Islington Trades Council

·         Cuba Solidarity Campaign

·         Palestine Solidarity Campaign

·         Venezuelan Solidarity Campaign

·         Anti Academies Alliance

·         Stand Up to Racism

·         Stop the War Coalition

·         Campaign against Climate Change

·         CND

·         Marx Memorial Library

·         National Pensioners Convention

·         Woodcraft Folk

 We therefore agree to continue with these affiliations.

 We further agree to affiliate to the British Rohingya Campaign

 .

Motion C)     TransformEd Podcast

Islington NEU agrees that:

·  more and more people working in education have not had significant teacher training that furnishes them with ideas on how our education system could be different; nor do they remember a time when things were different; nor do they have the time to reflect on the purpose and methods of their work.

·  in this atmosphere the current educational hegemony sees teachers follow management’s oppressive demands which are driven by narrow data performance targets and performance related pay.

·  a cadre of neoliberal gurus offer school managers simple solutions that fit in neatly with the status quo.

·  progressive ideas in education do not receive enough attention, this despite an appetite for change as indicated by the numbers leaving the profession and corbynmania.

Islington NEU agrees to donate £100 to the London Young Teachers Network to support the starting of a podcast called TransformEd, which will be led by young members in the union with the aims of:

1.      Promoting critical education in schools.

2.      Promoting interest in education policy and support for policies supported by our union.

3.      Increasing union engagement.

4.      Offering counter hegemony to neoliberal intellectualism in education.

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