UNISON Schools’ Update – September 2012


This update aims to provide UNISON members and organisers with a brief summary of the latest trade union news in schools.
If you have any comments or questions regarding this update please email education@unison.co.uk

Back to school – top tips for the new term.
We hope you had a fantastic summer holiday. Here are four top tips from UNISON to help you start the new term.

1. Check out the free UNISON training courses that are coming up in your area. UNISON runs a range of training courses to help you with your personal and professional development. For more info talk to your local UNISON branch or click here: UNISON training

2. Make the most of the great money-saving deals available for UNISON members, including exclusive offers for saving money on your next holiday. Click here: UNISON benefits

3. Check that your UNISON membership details are up-to-date, so that you don’t miss out on the latest information and support at work.
Go to www.unison.org.uk and select the “Update your details” logo. Alternatively, update your details by phoning 0845 355 0845.

4. Ask a colleague to join UNISON. We are the largest union for support staff in schools. Click here for more information: Join UNISON

UNISON members vote to accept changes to Local Government Pension Scheme
UNISON members across England and Wales have voted in favour of accepting the proposed changes to the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). UNISON led the negotiations, which resulted in proposals to maintain the current contribution levels for 90% of LGPS members and introduce a 50/50 ‘low cost’ scheme for the low paid. UNISON will now move into the next stage of discussions on improving the governance of the new scheme which is due to come into effect in 2014. You can read more here.

Calling all School Technicians
UNISON wants to know more about the workplace issues affecting school technicians, such as holiday entitlement and problems in booking leave.
Please encourage school technicians to complete our online survey here.

Administration of medicines – don’t forget to have your say
A survey on the administration of medicines and medical procedures in schools has been drawn up in partnership by the Royal College of Nursing and UNISON. Together, we are campaigning to ensure that our members are given the support, training and protection they need when supporting pupils with health needs.
Please encourage staff who assist pupils with health needs to fill in our survey. The survey is available here.

School Food event – invitation to School Cooks and Midday Supervisors (England)
The Secretary of State for Education has asked Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent, co-founders of LEON restaurants, to look at what makes a successful school food service. UNISON has invited Henry and John to meet with school cooks and midday supervisors to hear their views. If you are a school cook or midday supervisor please join us at a special event on 27 September 2012, 2.00 – 4.30pm at UNISON Centre, London. The Department for Education will provide a letter of support for those who find it difficult to secure release from their employer to take part in this important event. If you would like to attend send an email to Christine Lewis c.lewis@unison.co.uk. Please include your name, school, school address and whether you are a cook or midday supervisor.

Term time working – updated negotiating advice
New advice is now available for UNISON negotiators on the problem of term time pay in schools.
Download the advice here: Term time working – negotiating advice

100 more free schools to open in England
Over 100 new free schools have been approved to open in England from 2013. This is in addition to over 50 free schools that have already been set up by faith groups, charities, independent schools and academy sponsors. UNISON is worried that free schools will make the school system more complicated and costly. A new free school in Beccles, Suffolk, received a massive cash hand-out from government to open this September – but only received 37 applications for school places. Newham Free Academy in East London and a Bradford free school called ‘One In A Million’ have both collapsed because there was too little demand from parents.
You can read more about free schools here: Free schools, UTCs and studio schools – UNISON briefing

A future that works
Do you want a future that works? Make sure you join us on 20 October at the TUC mass demonstrations in London or Glasgow to show this government that their austerity agenda is standing in the way of delivering the jobs and growth that this country needs. We’re asking branches and members to help us get that message across. Visit our website here: unison.org.uk – and pledge to join us on 20 October. Leave us your email address so we can send you updates about the march.

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