NEU members at Bobby Moore Academy in East London have used the threat of industrial action to win important concessions from their employer, David Ross Educational Trust. The school is in a gleaming new building, 200 metres from West Ham United’s London Stadium. But while the premises are bright and shiny, DRET’s employment practices at the school were shabby.
Teachers were compelled to work lunchtimes and were left with barely 15 minutes to grab a snack each day. They had no timetabled PPA and were working in excess of directed time each week. Vacant posts were left unfilled and TAs were cut to a minimum. This all added up to an impossible workload.
But our members weren’t prepared to accept this. They challenged the employer to end this bad practice and when DRET wouldn’t listen they responded by balloting for industrial action. A resounding mandate for striking changed everything. Management suddenly started taking our members demands seriously – a series of talks began with DRET which led to a signed deal brokered at ACAS.
This agreement means:
- No teacher has to work any lunchtimes.
- PPA is now on every teachers timetable and is guaranteed.
- Break duties have reduced from 4 to 2 each week.
- Directed time has been negotiated and agreed.
- 6 extra TAs are being employed.
- Vacant posts will be filled promptly.
Our school reps and Newham District Secretary did a brilliant job negotiating this settlement but what gave them the power to do so was the members resounding vote for industrial action.