Your Autumn-Winter edition of Frontline newsletter: the pay deal explained: Q&A with Mark Langhammer, regional secretary; teacher governors: things to know; CPD opportunities.
NI teachers’ pay dispute update
NEU teacher members may be aware that the union (and other teachers unions forming the Northern Ireland Teachers Council) reached agreement with school employers on a 4.25% pay increase for 2017-18 and 2018-19 as part of an overall package which included nine review areas, and a range of “immediate actions to be progressed”.
The detail of this package remains confidential until we are able to conduct a ballot of members on a formal offer.
With great regret, we must advise that the agreement, and the funding package to support it, has been diverted or referred to the inter-party talks process at Stormont.
This decision was undertaken unilaterally without reference to NEU or other teachers’ unions. The effect of it, as such, is that the ‘timeline’ for putting into effect the agreement reached has been ‘long-fingered’ indefinitely. As such, industrial action will remain in place for the foreseeable future.
A more detailed report is in the reps bulletin.
NI news and advice
We have revised, and reissued, our NEU industrial action advice for the 2019/2020 academic year which comprises:
- Industrial action guidance for 2019/2020;
- Specific guidance on non co-operation with inspections and the inspectorate; and
- Specific guidance on non co-operation with end of key stage assessment .
You will note that the guidance on school inspections, and the ETI inspectorate, has changed in response to potential and anticipated revised guidance being issued to inspectors (essentially in anticipation of a more invasive form of inspection during industrial action).
NEU members are strongly advised, until further notice, to withdraw co-operation from the Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI).
NEU considers that the DE/CCEA designed assessment process places an unreasonable workload on teachers. The arrangements encroach significantly into the teaching and learning time of pupils and teachers.
NEU will continue industrial action in response to the Government’s derisory pay offer of zero per cent.
NI CPD and training opportunities
Accessing professional development is an important part of being an educational professional. It is the responsibility of the employer and employee to ensure that performance management, PRSD and any other professional requirements are met. Therefore, it is important that you receive support from your employer to attend this course, not just in the time away from the workplace but also in travel costs.
CPD can take place in several different ways; attending courses, reading a relevant book or watching a colleague perform within their role are some examples of how you can access CPD in your workplace and with your union. The professional development programme reflects the diverse and inclusive nature of NEU’s membership, and courses have been designed for members in every sector and role.
There are no course fees for members to attend a NEU CPD course, but we do not cover travel or accommodation costs. To help you secure both time-off and financial support from your employer, we have produced guidance on your rights to time off, how to request training from your employer and your rights if your request is refused. Please contact the NEU NI Regional Office or call 028 9078 2020 for more information.
Find a course:
Click to scroll to the relevant section, then find a course.
- Student and NQT workshops
- Early years
- Equality workshops
- Workplace relations and employment law
- Open university free courses
- Reps training
- Staff training for schools and colleges
Student and NQT workshops
NEU offer a range of workshops (90 minutes) for student and NQT members including:
- Protecting your professional online identity.
- The voice of control.
- Teaching in the multi-ethnic classroom.
- Meeting the parents – how to cope with parents’ evenings.
- Applying for your first job.
- What can happen in the classroom.
- Managing classroom behaviour.
NEU organises training in the early years sector through a partnership agreement with early years. Courses we can offer are subject to demand.
- Managing critical conversations.
- Managing challenging behaviour in the early years.
- Delivering multi ethnic early years provision.
- Voice care for early years practitioners.
- Protecting your online professional identity (personal use of social media).
- Child protection overview.
A range of workshops offered by the Equality Commission that can be accessed through membership of NEU. Equality Training seminars for Employers or Service Provider are available through the Equality Commission. These are CPD certified training opportunities, with online registration at the Equality Commission Northern Ireland website.
Workplace relations and employment law
NEU enjoy a close working relationship with the Labour Relations Agency (LRA). Several NEU personnel sit on dispute resolution and arbitration panels facilitated by the LRA. Members can access a wide range of information sessions, briefings, workshops and updates run by the LRA. You can book places (free of charge) online or contact the NEU NI Regional Office.
Open university free courses
We offer a range of courses offered through partnership with the Open University. These include over 800 free taster courses ranging from introductory level to postgraduate level. There are over 800 courses to choose from, each taking between one and fifty hours to complete.
FUTURELEARN: The expertise of the open University also powers Futurelearn, the UK’s largest provider of online free courses. Futurelearn has courses in a range of categories including Business & Management, Creative Arts, Health & Psychology, History, Languages, Law, Literature, Nature & Environment, Politics, Science, Maths & Technology and Sport and Leisure. Learn more.
NEU Northern Ireland (in partnership with INTO & UTU) also offer a series of training courses each year in both Belfast and Derry. Accredited representatives are entitled to paid time off for training associated with their role. Time off for union duties is determined within the parameters of “what is reasonable”. Provided reasonable notice is given, adequate leave should be granted for reps to attend training.
We are also exploring ways of working closer with other teaching unions on delivering training to our network of school based reps across Northern Ireland. If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a rep, please email Alastair Donaghy.
Reps can also access training opportunities through the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU).
This is a one-day induction course for all new NEU H&S representatives and will provide initial training on the role and responsibilities of the rep as well as an update on current issues.
This is a new course, designed to identify the learning needs of members in schools and promote learning in the workplace.
This two-day course is suitable for NEU health and safety reps who have completed the induction course.
This course is suitable for NEU reps who have completed the induction training for school reps.
This course will assist you in filling in the application form and interview techniques. Course dates tbc but will take place in the spring term 2020.
Staff training for schools and colleges
NEU can directly provide a range of courses to your school / college as staff training or at ‘INSET’ days, for instance. Our courses are skills-based, giving you practical tools that can be taken back into your workplace and beyond. To get the right course for you, we suggest thinking about not only what would benefit your institution and students, but also what would be of most value to your own personal development. Courses include:
- Protecting your professional identity online (1 hour)
- The multi-ethnic classroom (half day)
- Creativity in the classroom (half day)
- Managing classroom behaviour (half day)
- Managing investigations (aimed at school/college managers) (2 Hours)
- Understanding your pension (1 hour)
- Teachers’ terms and conditions (the “Jordanstown” agreement) (1 hour)
- Workload and managing stress in the workplace (1 hour)
Please contact the NEU NI Regional Office or call 028 9078 2020 for more information.