Following the December 2016 ballot on pay, 83.9 per cent of members voted for industrial action (short of strike) in response to the Government’s derisory pay offer of zero per cent in 2015-16 and one per cent in 2016-17.

The National Education Union (NEU) has announced that its action would commence January 16 2017.

What actions are we taking? 

  1. Complete non cooperation with the Education Training Inspectorate (ETI).
  2. Complete non cooperation with key stage assessment arrangements
  3. Work to rule on the teachers’ contract (the Jordanstown Agreement)
  4. Work to rule on the workload agreement (TNC 2011/8);
  5. Action on needless accountability, scrutiny, bureaucracy and administration (determined by consensus at school level);
  6. Relinquish individual non-contractual work

What is the purpose of the action? 

  • To protest against the derisory pay settlement imposed by the Minister for Education.
  • To protect teaching and learning over unnecessary bureaucracy, scrutiny administration and accountability.
  • To oppose the decision of Government to end contractual incremental progression (or “time served” progression as the Government term it).
  • To oppose the imposition of performance-related pay.
  • To ensure that cuts made to jobs, education resources and school budgets do not mean “Do more with Less” for teachers.
  • To protect teachers’  professionalism, discretion and autonomy.

The guidance in more detail

Complete non co-operation with the ETI 

NEU members, in all schools, will not co-operate with the  (ETI).  Non co-operation means complete non co-operation including preparation for inspections, participating in inspections; responding to ETI communications; attending ETI workshops or training events; it will also include members of NEU who are associate assessors/ inspectors ceasing to be involved in the inspection process. 

Please see separate guidance on non co-operation with ETI for the academic year 2019/2020 which is included as an insert to this summary guidance.

Complete non cooperation with key stage assessment arrangements

Please see separate guidance on key stage assessment for the academic year 2019/2020 which is included as an insert to this summary guidance. 

Working to rule on the teachers’ contract (the Jordanstown agreement)

NEU Members will Strictly adhere to the Teachers’ statutory Terms and Conditions set out in the Jordanstown Agreement. 

  • No more than 195 days in any year - from 31 July, including five INSETs (in this regard we will focus on the damaging and creeping shrinking of summer holidays by excessively early returns to school in early/mid-August – including exam result days etc which must be recorded against the 195).
  • No more than 1265 hours in any year – which must equate to 32.4 contracted hours per week for full time teachers (pro rata for part time).
  • 1265 hours are listed within the teacher’s time budget. Have you received your time budget for 2019/2020?
  • You are not required, contractually, to undertake any other duty not listed in your time budget.
  • No more than 23.5 hours a week direct teaching in any week in secondary schools (strict limits of 25 hours contact time for primary teachers. For avoidance of doubt, time spent in revision classes, tutor groups, cover classes and reception classes will be included within the maximum 25 hours; this also includes time when children are in their classrooms before school starts, at break and lunch, such as when the weather is bad).
  • No more than 25 hours a week direct teaching in any week in primary schools (strict limits of 23.5 hours contact time for post primary teachers. For avoidance of doubt, time spent in revision classes, tutor groups, cover classes and reception classes will be included within the maximum 23.5 hours).
  • Not required to do midday supervision (unless employed, and paid extra, under a separate or secondary contract).
  • A break of at least 30 minutes between 12 noon and 2 pm (12 noon to 2.30 in nursery and primary schools). 

There will be a cover limit of 20 hours per annum. In addition:

  • In large schools (more than 222 pupils enrolled) a teacher is required to undertake cover only for the first two days a teacher is not required to undertake cover if the period of absence of 2 days or more was known about in advance by the employing authorities
  •  In small schools (fewer than 222 pupils enrolled) a teacher is required to undertake cover only for the first day a teacher is not required to undertake cover if the period of absence of one day or more was known about in advance by the employing authorities.

Working to rule on the workload agreement (TNC 2011/8)

  • Strict adherence to the 2011 workload agreement, with all annual work commitments recorded on the teacher’s time budget (i.e. no hidden extras).
  • All time budgets to consider and include appropriate and protected PPA (planning preparation and assessment), time off for CPD and time off for trade union duties (where appropriate).
  • Restriction on meetings to no more than one meeting per week, of no more than one hour duration.
  • Refusal to attend unscheduled pre-school briefings (i.e. those not recorded in the time budget) without corresponding time in lieu.
  • Refusal to undertake routine administrative and clerical tasks which would be more effectively undertaken by staff without qualified teacher status (an indicative list is set out at the end of the guidance). 

School level actions on needless accountability, scrutiny, bureaucracy and administration

NEU members will cease to co-operate with needless accountability, scrutiny, bureaucracy and administration. These actions will be determined by NEU members at school level, on the basis of consensus.  Schools can use the template issued to school reps (overleaf) to choose one, two or more actions from an indicative list.

Individual non-contractual work 

Whilst not seeking to instruct those members who wish to undertake noncontractual duties, we know that many NEU members feel obliged to take on additional, unpaid, noncontractual work – often under duress. As such, we will formally support any individual NEU member who relinquishes such work, or who declines to undertake: 

  • Public examination invigilation.
  • Duties associated with GL and AQE testing, including invigilation (NEU recognises that GL and AQE transfer testing is not illegal. Equally it is not contractual. NEU members who agree to undertake such duties should do so under a separate (secondary) contract, and be remunerated at an appropriate rate of pay, no less than the current living wage rate and, finally, have sight of the school’s insurance cover to ensure they are covered in respect of vicarious liability).
  • Unremunerated extra curriculum activity.
  • Unremunerated out of hours activity, such as breakfast clubs, after schools clubs, homework clubs.
  • School trips.
  • Work associated with student teaching practice and placements.
  • Any other non-contractual duty.

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