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Minutes of NEU Meeting on 26th November 2019

Minutes of NEU Surrey District and Branch General Meeting

26th November 2019. George Abbott School Guildford. GU1 1XX

Apologies from 14 members Action

The meeting was quorate

18 members in attendance

Minutes matters arising:

MS to be added to apologies.

Childcare at conference will be discussed at the 10th Dec. meeting.

Conference delegates will be decided next meeting. PC

Secretaries report: Independent schools pension queries. A two-tier system is being

considered. Schools are either leaving the scheme and joining private schemes or following

the TPS. Also, some schools are not following all their own procedures. 6th form colleges in

Surrey have been on strike due to continued erosion of funding and pay.

Treasurer’s report:

The treasurer gave an update of our accounts in the Unity Trust Bank and Teacher’s Building

Society.

 

Courses:

Approval has been given for 2 members to attend the Post 16 conference.

Approval has been given for 3 members to attend the Independent members Conference.

 

Purchase of IT

There were additional costs for the IT provision for the District Secretary as the price quoted

did not include VAT also there were unexpected delivery charges as the equipment was

dispatched in 3 deliveries. The additional cost was agreed.

 

Functions

The recent function in honour of the retiring Treasurer, Asst. District Secretary and Health

and Safety Rep. came in under budget.

 

Surrey NEU Website:

Payments were made to upgrade the website from NUT to NEU

Payments were made to register and gain certification for 2 years

 

Honoraria discussion:

Executive committee decided the limit was £2000 max per person no matter how many

posts they hold. Now the max will be 8x12th of £2000 i.e. £1344 for Jan to Aug. Our overall

costs for honoraria must be reduced as we paid over 30% of our income in honoraria last

year; we have been advised that this is too much.

 

We were told at length and in great detail what the difference was between duties and

activities.

Activities are attending workplace meetings to discuss and vote on the outcome of

negotiations with the employer, voting in union elections, meeting full time officers to

discuss issues relevant to the workplace, have access to union learning reps., attending

meetings for branch, executive and conference, meetings with full time officers of the

union.

Duties are to do with collective bargaining over: contracts, job descriptions, pensions, pay,

holidays, learning and training, notice periods, working environment, negotiating facilities

time, grievance procedures, communicating with members, job descriptions, HR planning…..

 

Detail on the differences between activities and duties is explained on the ACAS website: https://www.acas.org.uk/media/274/Code-of-Practice—Time-off-for-trade-union-duties-and-activities/pdf/11287_CoP3_Time_off_Union_Activities_v1_0_Accessible.pdf There was a huge wave of opinion that we should take a motion to conference that members had a right to have access to enough caseworkers. If the union enforces these rules for honoraria, then we would risk losing many of our skilled and experienced caseworkers in Surrey. The Surrey Branch is one of the biggest and if we had divided ourselves up, we could have a District secretary supported by the equivalent of 4 branch secretaries (North, South, east and West). This would be much more expensive for the union to fund and would not be supported by the Local Authority through facilities time. However, we cover this case work with people who volunteer. The unanimous feeling of the meeting was that this was so unacceptable that we should table a motion for conference; demanding that districts be empowered to offer honoraria to our post holders to say thank you for all the extra hours they put in as volunteers.  There was a wide-ranging discussion over activities and duties and the roles that various officers play in Surrey. This was a heated discussion as everyone wanted to emphasise the important role that our volunteer post holders play and they deserve our thanks. We discussed each post holder position individually and suggested the following rates for each post in relations to the average hours they would spend on these tasks in the given time frame (Jan to Aug 2019). These decisions were unanimously accepted by our quorate meeting. The treasurer will send these recommendations to NEU for the following posts: District Vice President District Secretary  District Health and Safety Officer District international Officer District Equalities Officer District Events Officer District Supply Officer District Assistant Secretary  District Treasurer District Independent Schools Officer  We would usually have a working party to discuss these proposals, we will do this for the future round of financial decisions. We decided to reinstate the Women’s section to be added to our groups list. Requests for donations from Cuban Solidarity Campaign and Justice for Columbia will be discussed at the AGM. SW, DW, HE PC PC / LJ PC / LJ

We read the manifestos from the candidates and voted on who we would support as a

district.

Nominations:

Equalities:

Louise Regan unanimously nominated

Nominations for Treasurer:

Hazel Danson was unanimously nominated

Vice President:  Two nominations:

Louise Atkinson and Daniel Kebede unanimously nominated

 

LJ to send to NEU

Reports Health and Safety: CC spoke to her written report and emphasised that each establishment should have a rep and a health ad safety rep. However, only 8 of Surrey schools had a health and safety rep. Other reports were sent in and accepted by the meeting.

AOB (i)

We discussed conference delegates and conference motions.

Mental health and the honoraria issue were discussed forcibly, then we agreed that we

would work up some motions for consideration that we would discuss virtually via email.

The deadline for motions is 3rd December 2019.

The draft wording for these two motions will be sent round by email for comments before

being submitted to the NEU. SW, HE, DW

AOB (ii)

A letter of thanks from CT and TT was read out.

The meeting closed at 7:40pm

Surrey Branch meeting:

There followed a brief branch meeting where those employed in the Branch shared what

was going on in their schools and where they would like support.

The main issues raised were:

Many were happy in their jobs which is good to hear.

Concerns were raised over:

Constant Observations (drop ins, pop ins, walk throughs!!)

Some schools were still enforcing three 1-hour observations a year

Stress and Pressure e.g. from book checks and worries about possible inspection.

Lack of understanding of the MAT

Lack of funding from MAT

Poor state of the buildings

From supply members, the lack of work due to the increase of cover supervisors and TA’s

taking lessons.

Erosion of non-contact time, having to work through break and lunch

Job security in the merger of two schools LJ is available to help as and when needed

The meeting closed at 8.00pm

 

Future Meetings schedule:

Tuesday 10th December 2019: Conference delegates confirmation meeting (one item

agenda) Venue: 6pm. George Abbott School GU1 1XX

Thursday 23rd January 2020: Prioritisation of motions meeting & confirmation of any

required decisions for ratification at AGM.

Saturday 29th February 2020: Surrey NEU AGM to include confirmation of Officer elections

to take post from 1st September 2020 (Holiday Inn Guildford 10am – 1pm)

Monday 6th April to Thursday 9th April NEU Annual Conference Bournemouth

Saturday 9th May 2020: Surrey NEU Presidential Lunch (Holiday Inn Guildford)

Thursday 18th June 2020: Officers, Committee & members

Friday 17th July 2020: Social function Officers & Committee

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