Redundancies start to hit
The Government’s assertions that frontline public service staff would be protected from the impact of its cuts have been belied by the wave of redundancy notices received by the NASUWT for teaching staff.
To date over 10,000 workers in the education sector have received notices advising that they are either to be made redundant or that their jobs are at risk as local authorities struggle to measure the impact of the cuts to public services and local government.
In Warrington, cuts are being proposed to the Special Educational Needs Team, which provides support to primary and secondary schools in the town, and in Yorkshire the provision of teaching assistants is being reduced by some local authorities, which will have a severe impact on teachers.
The NASUWT is also monitoring the situation in Bury where the local authority has issued dismissal and re-engagement notices to all its workers, except staff directly employed in schools, in order to force them to accept new contracts on significantly worse pay and conditions.
“It is clear that extensive job losses are on the way, despite promises by the Government that the front line would be protected,” said Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT.
“The Union has already received over a thousand redundancy notices from local authorities for centrally employed staff, including teachers. The Union believes that redundancy notices for school staff, including teachers, will follow once schools have absorbed the detail of the budget cuts they face.”
The Union is aware that some schools have already stated that redundancy notices are being planned.
The NASUWT is committed to defending the jobs, pay and working conditions of all members.
If you are served with a redundancy notice or are informed that your employer is considering making compulsory redundancies, you should contact your Local Association or National Executive Member for advice and support.
The NASUWT has also produced guidance on redundancy, which can be found at www.nasuwt.org.uk/Redundancy.
GET UP STAND UP
The NASUWT has joined forces with the wider trade union movement across Northern Ireland, led by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), to launch the Get Up Stand Up for a Better, Fairer Way campaign.
The campaign calls for a fairer way to tackle the budget deficit which does not devastate the services on which millions of ordinary people depend.
ICTU is calling on the Government to tackle the jobs crisis which has seen unemployment rise to 450,000. It argues that putting jobs at the heart of its economic strategy will increase tax revenue, which in turn will provide greater funds to invest in essential public services, which are themselves a major employer.
Spreading spending cuts over a longer time frame, and ending the tax breaks introduced by the Government for private corporations all form part of the campaign’s alternative vision.
The NASUWT is urging all members to join the campaign to build a public coalition of opposition to the Government’s ill-conceived plans.
Regional protests and campaign events are being held across Northern Ireland to garner support and raise awareness of the alternative solution. For more details of your nearest event and further information about the campaign, log on to www.getupstandup.ie.
What you can do
• Keep up to date with the latest information by visiting the Union’s Championing Education webpage at www.nasuwt.org.uk/ChampioningEducation;
• Check and update your membership details at www.nasuwt.org.uk. Simply log in (or register if you have not previously done so), go to the ‘interactive zone’ and select ‘my details’. Do we have your email address? If not, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org;
• Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to see the latest developments in the Union’s campaign and to spread the NASUWT’s message by retweeting messages to your followers. Go to www.nasuwt.org.uk/SocialNetworking for information on how to join;
• Contact your NASUWT Local Association and ask for a representative to visit you and your colleagues to discuss the importance and impact of the issues and attend local and regional meetings;
• Contact your local MP, MSP, AM, MLP and local councillors by telephone, letter, email or by visiting their surgeries. Use the information provided by the NASUWT to support your lobbying;
• Discuss with family, friends and non-teaching colleagues the impact of the cuts and the alternatives. Public awareness is vital to the success of the campaign;
• Use the information provided by the NASUWT to instigate the debate in your workplace;
• Use the NASUWT information to write to the local media or go online on media websites raising issues as a concerned citizen, parent, grandparent or taxpayer. Encourage family, friends and colleagues to do the same;
• Become the workplace contact if there is no NASUWT Representative in your school;
• Keep the NASUWT informed of any developments in your school/college/service regarding proposed budget cuts so that the Union can provide advice and support.
To find out more about what you can do to fight the Government’s pernicious assault on education and the public sector, visit the Union’s Championing Education web page at www.nasuwt.org.uk/ChampioningEducation