Minutes of the General Meeting held on 5th December 2006
Apologies : Deane Naryan Lee, Anwar Sheikh, Dave Ramsden, Chris Cheetham, Miriam Murch, Zari Grist.
Visitors: Samira Begum NHS trust (invited guest), Sylvia Jewell, Howard Roberts (Kirklees NUT), Patrick Murphy and Hazel Danson (National Executive members for West Yorkshire).
Minutes : Agreed as true record.
Matters arising :
James Dean attended ‘Organising for Fighting Unions’ conference and reported over 1000 attendees. Issues covered included:
How to organise Trade Unions in 21st century – Current fights by various Unions – Who speaks for Trade unionists? – Workers charter proposed and amended.
There will be an election for Young Teachers’ Regional Rep - James Dean was nominated.
Two members had put names forward for vacant officer posts. Alex Leggat for next President and Saleh Rahman for Vice President.
Friday 8th December ‘Getting Disability Rights’ Conference in London.
Saturday 9th December in Leeds TUs for Amnesty.
Keighley Trades Council – present delegates agreed to carry on.
Reports and Discussions
Workload in schools.
Ballot closes 11th December. Important to vote.
NUT taking a stand against the Government and other TUs view that Workload is sorted.
In school there should be two booklets, one on workload and other on lesson observations. In New Year need a school NUT meeting to try for a resolution of school issues. If there are difficulties officers are there to support. Negotiation to take place in individual schools but Union would support action ballots if members could not achieve the workload reduction in line with NUT policy by discussion.
Ian introduced NEC members Hazel Danson and Patrick Murphy.
1265 hours model was re-highlighted as a statutory maximum. Discussion followed about excessive demands for lesson planning.
Academies and Trust Schools
Ian, Dennis, Chris, Elvira and Haroon attended the Anti-Academy Alliance Conference recently. Government target 400 academies. Would mean half Bradford Secondary schools becoming Academies. The lever is money to rebuild the schools.
No appetite for Academies locally but they are being forced on us.
Potential for Muslim academies, possible targets for the potential sponsors that have been mentioned are Nab Wood , Belle Vue Boys and Belle Vue Girls.
Anti-academy teacher rep now on Rhodesway IEB and parent rep being sought.
Academies briefing on the NUT website.
Trust schools are now set up in law.
Discussion on the Niqab in Schools
Hazel Danson NUT from Kirklees – press and media furore after intervention of Jack Straw. Unpleasant reporting. Unhappy coincidence that Mrs. Azmi’s case in Kirklees came at that time. Also involvement of Tony Blair and Phil Woolas before the employment tribunal judgement.
NUT members named in the tribunal not able to put their case.
Issue of concern to the school was the impact of the niqab on the teaching of young children.
Think tank of the NUT on the Hijab was concerned mainly with pupils and school uniform. Dress code for teachers professional discretion- other than H & S issues or impeding teaching or learning.
The meeting welcomed Samira Begum – works in the NHS as part of early intervention team with patients with psychosis
Trainee social worker
Worn veil for 9 years – last 5 years full time.
No problem with clients and colleagues.
Only problem is security – checked by a female.
Working with clients – both South Asian and white 14 – 25. Haven’t found a problem. Asks them if it is a problem and none has been raised.
Samira was thanked for her contribution to the discussion.
Anti racist project
£1,000 agreed to be awarded to project involving pupils in combating racism or promoting world peace in memory of Geoff Robinson. Hoped that could be an annual project as part of Union work on social cohesion.
- invite John Illingworth ex national President to a stress/mental health meeting.
- Invite Mary Compton ex national President on Globalisation and Education to February meeting
Meeting closed at 6.40pm.