MINUTES OF GENERAL AND COMMITTEE MEETING 26th February 2002
Meeting opened at 5:20pm. 19 members present so inquorate as General Meeting. 12 members of Committee present so opened as Committee
Apologies:Miriam Murch, Irshad Ahmed
Minutes:Accepted as a true record.
Matters Arising: none
Ann Morgan of the Defend Council Housing Campaign addressed the meeting about the proposed transfer of Bradfordís Council House stock to a new Housing Association.. She explained that the Council was spending very large amounts of money on trying to persuade tenants to agree to the transfer.
Tenants conned into thinking their houses will only be improved this way.
Rents go up after repairs. Also service charges are being applied.
Money found by councils when the "no" campaigns are successful.
Tenancy agreements changed from secure to assured.
She explained that a group of tenants were still campaigning against transfer and showed the meeting a leaflet. All help gratefully received.
Agreed to donate up to £250 towards Bradford Trade Union Council campaigning against this and any further privatisation proposals that might have a damaging effect on education, pupils and parents. Treasurer to liaise with BTUC.
Amendments to Motions for Annual Conference.
6 proposed amendments accepted. (The two printed below were subsequently proposed at Conference by Bradford delegates and passed by large majorities.)
Motion 12. Workload and National Contract
In paragraph 4, point 1, replace "class" with "pupil/student".
Add at end of paragraph 5:
"It recognises that to be truly protective of teachers, a contract needs to provide a wider range of protections, such as class size limits, a reduction in the current requirement to cover for absences, defined rights to non-contact time, greater security of tenure, and all of the other rights set out in existing policy on the National Contract. Conference specifically reaffirms its support for the 11 points of the National Contract, and the framework necessary for their achievement set out in the 2001 Conference Motion.
Add new paragraph 6:
"Conference recognises from the Scottish experience that any proposed new contract has to be independently costed, and fully funded by the Government."
Add at end of final paragraph:
"Conference instructs the Executive to call a meeting of Divisional Secretaries and Executive Members in the summer term to discuss its strategy for reducing teacher workload and achieving the Contract."
Amendment to Motion 30 on Opposing Racism Defending Asylum Seekers
Add at end of first paragraph
"Conference notes that the activities of the far right British National Party and National Front have aggravated the situation in these towns. It welcomes the National Unionís support for local campaigns against their activities, and instructs the National Executive to actively oppose all of those who seek to poison race relations in our communities."
Add at end of motion:
"Conference recognises that trade unions have a pivotal role to play in campaigning against racism because of their capacity to build solidarity within the workplace. Conference recognises the importance of doing such work in alliance with broadly based national organisations set up specifically to play a part in broader antiracist work. Conference therefore instructs the National Union and urges divisions to affiliate to such organisations, including the National Assembly Against Racism, National Civil Rights Movement, and the Anti Nazi League.
Conference agrees with the findings of the Cantle and Ritchie reports into the causes of the events last year, when they draw attention to the growing segregation of pupils by race and religion in schools and the negative impact this is having on mutual understanding and respect. Conference believes that the stated desire of the Government to increase the number of pupils in faith schools has the potential to severely exacerbate such problems, and could institutionalise a divided society. Conference instructs the Executive to argue vigorously against such a policy.
Conference congratulates teachers on their day-to-day commitment to work in our poorest and most disadvantaged communities to raise educational attainment and to promote respect and mutual understanding between different ethnic and religious communities."
Pay beyond the threshold
Government is putting in enough money for only 50% of those eligible for the next point on the Upper Pay Spine this September. STRB said must be based on the original criteria of sustained good performance. No guidelines yet on the criteria. Government accepts STRB ruling but will give no more.
Council Budget 2002/3
Bradford has decided to give Education all of the 6.1% rise in SSA this year after intensive lobbying by the NUT and headteachers. Secondary and special schools should now be OK this year, but primaries may not have enough to meet all of the cost of pay rises.
Too Much Cover?
At last Education Bradford is to write out to schools with advice on how cover for absences should be managed in the light of last yearís national agreement.. But are still arguing about the details. Need to negotiate a fair system was emphasised.
A Bradford school had employed through an agency, Select, someone who turned out to have a criminal conviction and to be awaiting trial for a serious offence for which he was subsequently jailed for 7 years. This and other incidents raise serious concerns about the role of agencies. Also they donít train, pay during holidays or for illness etc. Trying to get LEA action. Teacher at Grange has set up his own agency. BBC Radio "File on 4" Tuesday 5th March 8pm. Ian Murch speaks!
West Yorkshire Young Teacher Weekend:
we had 20 applicants. Agreed to pay for 6 instead of the original 4. Cost ca £130 each. Ian and John are making an input to the sessions.
100,000 laptops for teachers Ė who gets them?
Computers bought as previously agreed. New photocopier, as agreed previously to replace ageing existing model, will be installed next month - will cost £8,000 but will save us £1000 p.a. in reduced copy costs.