The Role of School Support Staff

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2003 Local Government Service Group Conference
19 February 2003
Carried as Amended

This meeting notes with great concern the so-called ‘historic deal’ reached between the Government, the teachers unions (with the exception of the N U T), and UNISON, the T & G W U and the G M B. The agreement is aimed at reducing teacher workloads to enable them to have a guarantee of up to half a day per week ‘non contact’ time. Whilst supporting the teachers unions in their aim to improve the terms and conditions of their members, it appears that UNISON has agreed to its members increasing their duties and responsibilities, but has not established any safeguards of improvements to their terms and conditions.

It is also noted that a consultation exercise with Branches and Regions was conducted in early January to respond to the Governments document ‘Developing the Role of School Support Staff’. It appears that the outcome of the UNISON consultation process was not properly considered before the National Negotiators signed up to the agreement.

As a result, there is currently no framework in place to secure the necessary improvements to our members’ terms and conditions. It is essential that the following are secured before the implementation of the ‘historic deal’:

1)A National Framework for Support Staff (to be agreed within the N J C) covering:

a)The development of detailed guidance on a scheme of supervision.

b)Training provision under nationally approved schemes

c)Nationally approved qualifications

d)The proper evaluation and grading of posts

e)Adequate ‘ring fenced’ financial arrangements to be overseen by the Local Education Authorities.

If these conditions are not secured, then Conference instructs the National Local Government Services Group Executive to lead a campaign involving regions and branches to secure the memberships’ agreement to a policy of non-co-operation with the ‘historic deal’.