Minutes of the General Meeting held on May 9th 2006
Steve Boddy, Dave Ramsden, Miriam Murch, Jim Cartwright, Helen Chapman, Hazel Danson.
Meeting started 5.10pm quorate
Ian spoke of Geoff Robinson’s death and his very active involvement in the NUT and in anti-fascist, anti-racist activity in Bradford . Officers will bring a proposal for a memorial in this context to the next meeting.
Winter Vomiting - is now over but we need to raise with the Authority how this is dealt with in future. It is mainly spread by human to human contact and hand washing procedures need guidance. Cleaning is more generally an issue. Water bottles with tops accidentally exchanged added to the spread. Pupils sometimes came back too soon.
Pensions – A package of benefits for the new and existing scheme is being negotiated. It is likely to be agreed if employees are willing to pay an extra 0.4%. The package includes benefits for unmarried partners, Salary loss before retirement, Improved Death grant Widows and Widowers’ pensions for life and flexible retirement options.
62.5 years is the age at which the future scheme will give the same pension as 60 years does now.
UNISON – called off their strike because some money was on offer to extend protection in the Local Government Scheme, but no agreement has been reached yet.
Agreed to send £100 to the International Brigade memorial fund.
Reports and Discussion
Conference – Denis reported highlighting the workload discussions – other issues are on this agenda. Both Ian and John had spoken to Conference.
Education & Inspections Bill – Ian reported on the provision for Trust Schools, the threat to LAs. The Bill sets up a body for making schools into Trust schools. This hands over the school and its assets to the Trust and takes it out of any democratic control and the school sets up its own admissions arrangements.
The Union is active in campaigning against this Bill. Ian highlighted the Union website information and spoke to the emergency motion. It was agreed to have a stall in the city centre with leaflets and petitions on Sat 20 th May 10.30 – 13.00.
Faith Schools –The Vast majority are C of E and existed prior to State Education. They are not there because people chose to have church schools. The number of Catholic schools has recently shrunk significantly. Until this Government these schools funded some of their costs but no longer.
Academies have been an entry point for new religious schools set up by an individual.
United Learning Trust (CE) is running 9 academies. Vardy Foundation is running 3 academies.
The government has apparently tried to get Muslims to sponsor an academy in Bradford .
There is a serious issue about the imposition of faith schools on communities that don’t want them.
Rhodesway – was on the list of 100 Academies published by the Government without agreement from the Council or the school. A pre-feasibility study has been done. Head says he will put it to parents, staff and Governors in the future.
Scrutiny were promised that they would be kept full informed but weren’t at all.
We are supporting a campaign by Rhodesway staff against the Academy proposals.
Special School Reorganisation – update was postponed as no one from this sector had attended.
Agreed that we acquire a Union credit card to make it easier to purchase goods.