Saturday, June 09, 2007

School staff pay!


In 2004 as branch secretary I made a decision approved by the branch executive to go out to Barnet schools. We made two successful regional pool
bids to help support our recruitment campaign in schools. We have 120 Schools in Barnet and it took nearly 2 years before I was able to visit almost all of them.

I hadn’t been in a school in almost 20 years before I started this campaign. Whilst I did see some evidence of good practice in schools, it was patently clear our members are not being paid for the work they are doing. Their roles are rapidly evolving, hence the demand for better training and financial remuneration. But we still have to fight for every single penny!

Whilst my memories of negotiating with my Head when I was at school are still vivid in my mind, it was quite clear who has the power in the schools. The last 3 years negotiating and representing in schools has opened my eyes as to how much work is needed in schools.

It really does help our teaching union colleagues to have nationally agreed terms and conditions. Our members don’t understand why they don’t have them and it is exasperating that in the current climate of Trust/Academies we are having to fight on a school by school basis to improve the terms and conditions for our members.

So, I welcome the news that there appears to be a shift in government policy. Discussions about a National Pay & Grading structures appears to moving a step closer. However there is still a lot of hard work to do BUT it is start…..

If you working a Barnet School and want a visit from our Lead Schools UNISON officers, please ring the UNISON office on 0208 359 2088 or email or

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