Schools being rebuilt without fire sprinklers

From the NEU Circular to Officers:

NEU and the Fire Brigades Union wrote a letter to Damian Hinds about schools being rebuilt without fire sprinklers and the serious consequences this could have for pupils and teachers. Grenfell Tower should have been a defining moment in the way we view safety in public buildings but it seems that health and safety is still seen as an opportunity to cut corners and save money.

LGBT+ TEACHERS CONFERENCE, 20-22 APRIL 2018, Leeds

The online application for LGBT+ Teachers Conference 2018 has now gone live. This booking form needs to be completed and returned to us at your earliest convenience. The conference is an exciting opportunity to engage activists and potential activists from an under-represented group. Having listened to your feedback we will be running a Reps Taster session at the conference so as many activist outcomes are achieved as possible.

Please promote the conference and the application link: https://www.teachers.org.uk/equality/lgbt/application

The event is from Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd April 2018. The package includes: hotel for single occupancy, breakfast, 3 course dinner Saturday night, Conference attendance, lunch and refreshments – all you need to do is complete the form and it will be sent automatically to your association/division secretary for consideration. If your association/division nominates you, they will pay the conference fee.

Closing date for the receipt of application is Tuesday 27th March 2018.

The form will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Once you start this form it cannot be saved half way. Please have at hand the following:

  1. Your membership number.
  2. You need to know your association/division as incorrect details may delay your application.
  3. If you intend to travel by train, check train times to arrive at Leeds station for Friday 20th April at around 18:30 – the networking buffet starts at 19:00.

For further info please email Equality@neu.org.uk

Second strike day at Cumberland

On the second strike day at Cumberland there was a great turnout in the freezing cold. The school was only open to Year 11. In light of the continuing news of failing outsourcing, privatisation and academies the strikers felt stronger than ever that they were doing the right thing fighting to keep Cumberland with the local authority.

Strikers oppose academisation of Cumberland School.
Strikers oppose academisation of Cumberland School.

Retirement Dinner for Peter Smith, NTA Secretary

Peter Smith. Retirement dinner.Colleagues took Peter Smith for dinner to celebrate his retirement after 25 years unbroken service as Secretary of Newham Teachers’ Association / NEU Newham.

Peter Smith. Retirement dinner.

Peter has also served as Secretary to Newham Teachers’ Panel and undertook other roles such as Treasurer during his many years service for Newham’s teachers.

Peter Smith. Retirement dinner.

Our union thanks Peter Smith

At the final Officers meeting of our current association year Peg Probett, president, presented Peter Smith with a decanter set, bottle of whisky, cheque and card on behalf of the membership. This was as a sincere thank you for the 25 years, as divisional secretary, he has dedicated to the support of individual members and to the terms and conditions of the membership as a whole. A membership which has grown steadily to become t h e largest division in London.
He has also received a letter of thanks from the General Secretary, Kevin Courtney and current national president, Louise Regan.
We wish him a long and happy future.

National Pensioners Convention: Press Release

NPC Press release

Pensioners dismayed at Chancellor’s lack of action to tackle social care crisis, the demand for more suitable housing or fuel poverty

Britain’s biggest pensioners’ organisation, the National Pensioners Convention (NPC) has expressed its dismay at the lack of any announcements from the Chancellor in today’s Budget statement that would benefit older people.

Like millions of older people, the NPC was hoping for some further details on plans to tackle the growing crisis in social care, a programme for tackling the scandal of fuel poverty and needless winter deaths among pensioners and the urgent need for more suitable senior housing.

Jan Shortt (double t), NPC general secretary said: “It appears that it’s not just the Chancellor’s cars which are driver less – so too is his policy on older people. There was no promise of much needed funding for social care or any measures that could help pensioners to move to smaller properties, but the biggest omission was the fact that Mr Hammond never mentioned the 34,300 older people that died last winter from the cold. In a country which boasts the sixth strongest economy in the world, the fact that tens of thousands of older people die every winter is a national scandal.”

On housing Ms Shortt said: “The picture on specialist housing for older people is one of under supply. We need a 75% increase in specialist properties by 2035 if we are to meet a growing older population. This represents just over 51,280 dwellings a year for the next 18 years; well below the current building rate. In 2014, just 1% of UK new builds were bungalows, down from 7% in 1996. An urgent house building programme is therefore needed to match this under supply with the growing demand, and a stamp duty holiday for older people right sizing in retirement into homes under £200,000 could release up to 111,000 properties for younger families. The Chancellor certainly could have been more imaginative with his housing policy.”

On social care Ms Shortt said: “The social care system has suffered over £5bn worth of cuts since 2010 – and over one million older people no longer get the help they need, staff turnover is high, the quality of care is sometimes questionable and there is a distinct lack of dignity in the system for both staff and residents. A Green Paper that’s been promised next summer is simply too little, too late for hundreds of thousands of older people and their families. The Chancellor should have offered something now.”

On fuel poverty and winter deaths Ms Shortt said: “Today we learned that 34,300 older people died last winter because of cold related illnesses. This is the second highest number in the last five years and represents 285 deaths a day or 11 deaths an hour. Successive governments have simply ignored the problem of winter deaths amongst the older population and seem to have a policy of crossing their fingers and hoping things will improve. The fact that the Chancellor didn’t even have the courage to mention the issue today, or give any details as to how the government is going to tackle the issue, is quite unbelievable. The key to tackling winter deaths is to make sure older people have got a well-insulated, warm home and the income needed to pay the fuel bills. This is a basic requirement of what a decent society should do, and the today the Chancellor has failed in this duty.”