Firstly I would like to express thanks to Amy for her term as president and the introduction of a code of conduct for officers and committee members. I propose that this is continued throughout my term of office.
I approach this year with anticipation, interest and trepidation.
Anticipation: We have new officers who have promised much in their election statements. I will be interested to see this in practice and hope that it will mean an improvement in attendance at both Officers and Committee meetings. It will make a change for especially Committee meetings to be quorate and I would expect the courtesy of members of these to send apologies if they are unable to attend.
I also hope that the NTA Schools Refugee Competition will be taken up by more schools this year and actively promoted by all officers and committee members.
[details available on our website]: http://www.newhamteachers.org.uk/?page_id=223
Interest: The planned merger of the NUT with ATL to form a new Teaching Union, dependant on the ballot result, is to be welcomed. Merging can only bring increased strength, although it is unlikely that NASUWT will join us. It means a period of change and reconstituting as a new union, this will inevitably have repercussions on local divisions and the NTA will have to adapt accordingly to new rules and constitution.
Trepidation: Following the surprise results of the Brexit vote and the election of Trump both of which have led to an increase in racist incidents are of particular concern. Trump’s administration is all about division and blame with his tweet first and occasionally think later attitude. He seems bent on marginalising more people by his bullying attitude. It seems unlikely that the flow of refugees will cease resulting in many more drowning thanks to unscrupulous traffickers using unfit boats and fake life-vests. I cannot begin to comprehend how harrowing it is to see bodies washed up along otherwise beautiful coastlines or to understand the trauma experienced by the refugees who do survive.
The major concern for schools is the inexorable increase in academisation and the proposed funding cuts under the new formula. This will result in huge job losses initially for support staff who do such a vital job in helping to support some of our most vulnerable children. Class sizes will rise inevitably and workload increase even further. It all appears to be a cynical attempt to reduce the aspirations and life chances of poorer children and keep tertiary education for the rich. Even the proposed increase in apprenticeships is to be funded by those establishments with 250+ employees. Again, sound bites without government financial backing. I read last week that even school governors in West Sussex were “going on strike” and refusing to sanction budget cuts in their schools as a protest against F40.
We really need parents on our side in this fight against the government so the more they can be fully informed the better. I urge all members to go to www.schoolfundingcuts.org.uk to see the implication of the proposed cuts on their schools.
I appreciate that in the general scheme of things it is not always easy for members to attend union meetings but you can stay up to date by accessing our website. www.newhamteachers.org.uk
Picture: NTA members at the memorial to the British volunteers on the Jarama battlefield.
Members of Newham NUT attended the commemoration of the British & Irish Battalion of the International Brigades on the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Jarama during the Spanish Civil War in 1937. They joined a delegation of 120 trade unionists from Britain, including members from NUT, Unite, Unison, PCS, ASLEF and other unions who toured the battlefields of the University City and Jarama and visited a memorial to the trade union lawyers murdered at the end of Franco’s dictatorship. The group attended a reception at the headquarters of the Workers’ Commissions, a Spanish trade union federation, where a message of solidarity from the NTA was read to the meeting.
NTA Letter of solidarity to Comisiones Obreras, Madrid Download [▼]
You are reminded that the NTA competition is running again this year. Please enter your school.
“I commend too the work of the Newham Division for whom raising the issue of refugees and migrants has been ongoing over many years. The competitions they have run have inspired many a Newham student. This is a project that other Divisions might well seek to emulate “.
Christine Blower: 2016 NUT Annual Conference
“The Oxford International Women’s Festival exists to celebrate women’s achievements and solidarity and to highlight local, national and international issues. It is organised by local women to reflect a wide range of backgrounds and experiences – and has played a significant part in the community for over a quarter of a century.
Following the success of last year’s festival, we have our theme for March 2017: Women Thinking Big in the Arts, Science, Politics & Education!
We urgently need more supporters to help make this year the biggest and the best Oxford International Women’s Festival… ever. To find out more and get involved please contact the Festival Coordinator, Debbie Hollingsworth, by emailing email@example.com”
This information comes directly from the organisation’s website. The NTA has been asked by SERTUC to draw this event to your attention. SERTUC supports the Oxford International Women’s Festival. Thanks to Oxford International Women’s Festival for the use of their website info and image.