Saturday, January 26, 2008

Barnet Schools UPDATE....................

The New Year has got off with a bang. After two years of battling, finally we have a new job description for nursery nurses. Hooray? Alas no! The new J.D. causes us real concern. The two major issues are, it offers no career progression and is going over to term time only contracts. This is totally unacceptable and an erosion of your terms and conditions. As a result we are running an indicative strike ballot against the new role. So watch this space! We have a huge battle on our hands.

Quite a lot has come in, in terms of casework. Support staff really do bear the brunt of everything, from budgets to behaviour. For your records, even if you are taught how to restrain children safely, the advice from your union UNISON is DON’T. Try every other method, make sure the other children are safe and pass the situation up to your line manager or above to deal with. DO NOT run the risk of harming the child you are meant to be dealing with by restraining them. DO NOT run the risk of another child being hurt as a result of the restraining process. DO NOT run the risk of being hurt yourself. If necessary evacuate the area and pass the issue on. UNISON is really pushing forward with health and safety issues with the Borough for its members.

There are still lots of support staff who are expected to work outside of their job description and not paid fairly for it. Worse still we have discovered yet another school whose support staff are working without job descriptions and on the old pay scales. We are doing a lot of behind the scenes work on this one. Though we approach these on a case by case issue, with the advent of the new negotiation forum for schools (as fought for by Christine McAnea Head of Education in UNISON) we expect this to become a rare occurrence as everyone will enjoy national terms and conditions.
Its not just TAs and nursery nurses needing our support this term, quite a few premises management / caretaking staff are needing our expertise. We have overturned a potential sacking and reached a compromise agreement for another. Two excellent results for those concerned and a lot of sweat and hard work on our part
If you have a concern and want to speak to someone about it. Please contact one of our Assistant Branch Secretaries for Schools
or ring the Barnet UNISON Office on 0208 359 2088

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