Advice & Support
Members seeking advice should contact the Advice Line by telephoning 0345 811 8111 – 9am to 7pm Monday to Friday or emailing AdviceLine@neu.org.uk
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School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions
NEU Advice to Branches on Covid Outbreaks
The NEU’s advice to branches on engaging with public health authorities in relation to managing Covid risks and responding to local outbreaks and case rate increases has been fully revised and can be found here. The recent NEU advice on individual school outbreaks can be found here
Girls’ Day School Trust Pension Campaign
The Girls’ Day School Trust which runs 23 independent schools nationwide has begun consulting on their proposal to withdraw from the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. A national coordinating team are working with the GDST Branch to develop a campaign and will be in touch with local officials in the relevant districts in due course. An NEU member briefing on GDST proposal to leave the TPS, which has been shared with all GSDT members, can be found on the NEU Officers Resources Sharepoint. If you have any further questions at this stage please contact email@example.com
Call for support for the global day of action on climate
In the run up to COP 26, the global climate talks taking place this November in Glasgow, workers, trade unions and civil society organisations are mobilising for a week of action.
There will be a global day of action on Saturday 6th November with primary regional demonstrations in the UK in Glasgow and in London, Cardiff, Newcastle, Manchester, Sheffield, Nottingham, Birmingham, Norfolk, Cambridge, Bristol, Brighton, Leeds and Belfast.
We are urging districts in the above cities and surrounding areas to become focal points for members wishing to take part in these demonstrations. Support is available from the NEU Climate Network. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The NEU nationally will in turn support NEU members’ participation with resources and campaigns materials. More information on this will be provided in next week’s bulletin.
Schoolteacher pay in England: joint union advice from NEU, NASUWT, ASCL, NAHT and Voice Community
NASUWT has joined the existing signatories in endorsing this year’s joint union advice on school teacher pay in England, including joint union-endorsed pay scales for teachers and school leaders. The joint union advice includes a statement that all eligible teachers and school leaders should receive pay progression unless they are subject to formal capability procedures and, despite support being provided by the school, sufficient progress has not been made to resolve those concerns. The advice is available on the NEU website here and has also been published on the other unions’ websites. The joint union advice and pay scales are widely used by schools. They are the basis for the advisory pay points on the main, upper and unqualified teacher pay ranges that have been restored to the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document in England. The advice can be used to press more schools to adopt fair pay arrangements for teachers and school leaders. We are planning to post two copies of the advice to every school in England, with a copy for the head/Principal and one for the chair of the governing body.
Revised Joint Union Guidance on Ventilation
The DfE is providing all state-funded schools with at least one portable CO2 monitor for every two classrooms. However, the joint unions (NEU, UNISON, GMB and Unite) believe that the guidance which the DfE has issued to accompany the monitors is unhelpful. The joint unions have revised and reissued their guidance on ventilation to address this, which is available here in both web and PDF format.
Coronavirus: joint union safety checklist for schools
This advice has been issued by the joint unions (GMB, NEU, UNISON and UNITE) for use in schools and other settings for at least the first term of the 2021-22 academic year. You can find the checklist HERE. A Covid-19 specific appendix to an existing policy is a helpful tool for maintaining transparency and consistency in managing Covid-19 related absence. Please use this Sickness Absence Policy- Covid 19 appendix checklist, which sets out minimum requirements for an acceptable policy.
New NEU Behaviour advice for schools
Reviewing your behaviour policy after Covid is the NEU’s latest recovery advice for schools. It focuses on schools creating a sense of belonging and the mental health and well-being of students as key factors in fostering a good behaviour environment in school. It also sets out advice on why a Zero Tolerance approach to behaviour does not work and looks at ways of reducing exclusions. The advice includes practical solutions to consider when looking at your behaviour policy and a whole school behaviour approach. We believe that this positive behaviour approach will enable the most inclusive practice in schools in the recovery period.
The NEU would welcome any feedback from schools where they have made positive changes to the behaviour policy as part of the pandemic recovery programme – email email@example.com
The TUC has launched an online survey for workers who are experiencing/have experienced Long Covid, which aims to better understand their experiences at work and what additional workplace support they need. Please promote the survey to colleagues.
Members with confirmed or suspected long covid symptoms may require an assessment of their circumstances and the protections available to them in law, including a possible entitlement to reasonable adjustments, as well as enhanced sick pay under the Burgundy and Green Books. Reps and local officers are encouraged to refer to the guidance. It will be updated regularly to take account of developments in casework and the law.
NEU Anti-Racist Framework
The NEU Anti-Racist Framework (ARF), sometimes referred to as the Anti-Racist Charter, was published in June 2020. Many reps and members have been working with the Framework and received training on how to use it. We are now evaluating its impact. Please complete this short survey and encourage others to do so too.
Enforcing pregnancy and maternity rights during the pandemic
Pregnant women of any gestation should not be required to continue working if this is not supported by the risk assessment. Intransigent employers can be directed to this government advice.
The science shows that amongst pregnant women, the highest risk of becoming severely unwell with Covid is for those who are in their third trimester, that is 28 weeks pregnant or beyond; they must be able to adhere to active national guidance on social distancing. For details, see our guidance for higher risk groups, including pregnant women.
Employers cannot force pregnant women to start their maternity leave early. Maternity leave can only be triggered early if the baby is born early, if the mother gives notice to start maternity leave early, or if she is absent for a pregnancy-related reason in the last four weeks of her pregnancy.
Please share links to the NEU advice on Coronavirus: pregnancy, maternity and childcare and let your Women’s Organising Forum members know about your successes.
Agency Workers and School Pay Policies
An agency teacher has succeeded in recovering back pay at the proper rate of UPS1. The Trust she worked at had committed in its pay policy to the principle of pay portability and had agreed to apply this principle in practice when making all new appointments. The decision isn’t binding on other tribunals but is a great example of how we can win for agency members by negotiating robust pay policies.
Resources and guidance for officers can be found in Bargaining for alternatives to agencies (A2A) for supply educators.
NEU Evidence to School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB)
The NEU evidence to the STRB on teacher pay in England sent on 17 February underlines our opposition to the pay freeze, our call for the abolition of PRP and its replacement with a fair pay structure. The evidence also includes a call for urgent action to tackle workload problems. We have also sent to the STRB the report on the latest NEU pay and progression survey, which included responses from over 26,000 members.
We also secured a joint union statement to the STRB with ASCL, NAHT and Voice. The statement underlined the unity of the profession on key pay issues such as opposition to the pay freeze and the need to replace PRP with fair pay arrangements.
The NEU evidence and joint union statement can be found here.
The Covid-19 pages of the website have been updated – find all you need here.
Creating a sense of place and belonging in schools
The NEU commissioned research offers examples of how intentional whole-school practice can help create a climate of welcome and belonging in school. A purposeful approach which brings everyone on board, enriches the lives of all concerned and sets the school on a positive and upward trajectory.
Use the NEU Pay Toolkit to secure pay progression, by taking collective action or by pursuing and winning appeals against decisions that individual teachers should not progress.
Spotlight on: Financial Advice
Lighthouse Financial Advice are our preferred partner in finance. They are currently running surgeries and webinars for our members to learn more about their services.
“Financial Telephone Surgery ; The telephone surgery gives the members the opportunity to have a 30 minute complimentary consultation with a financial adviser over the phone at a convenient time to suit them. We are running them over three days to be as flexible as possible for members, allowing for home working, schooling etc.
The format is:
Day 1; 10.00am – 12.00pm
Day 2; 2.00pm – 4.00pm
Day 3; 6.00pm – 8.00pm
Financial Webinar: We are running themed online webinars on financial subjects such as Pre-Retirement, Redundancy & General Financial Planning etc. The Webinar is held online for up to 50 people, at a time that suits you and is accessible on personal devices such as Laptop, iPad etc. To be as flexible as possible we are running them at a time that suits you best, allowing for home working, schooling etc.”
For further guidance, contact John Duffy,our Regional Affinity Manager…
Book your complimentary, no obligation initial consultation by calling freephone 0800 085 85 90 or by visiting the Lighthouse website.
This framework is a response to the ‘Barriers’ report which was based on the testimony of over 1000
Black teachers about the impact of racism in their workplaces